Fashion retailers in Britain have launched an investigation into their products after products advertised as faux fur were found to contain cat, raccoon dog, and rabbit fur.
The import and sale of domestic fur from cats and dogs have been banned in the European Union (EU) since 2009. The problem comes out of China, where everything from hats to gloves to shoes is made and shipped to other countries. Due to cruelty concerns, China is supposed to be using fake fur on the items coming into the EU.
Missguided and House of Fraser are the two companies under investigation. Sky News and Humane Society International (HSI) began the investigation after consumer Donna Allison purchased a pair of pink high heel sandals with a pom pom. The pom-pom was later tested and turned out to be real cat fur. Donna contacted Missguided via Twitter and the company dismissed her claim.
In an interview with Huffington Post, a Missguided spokesman stated
“Missguided does not condone the use of fur in any of its products, therefore we take the allegations made by Sky News very seriously. We have launched an internal investigation with the relevant suppliers and will ensure these matters are addressed urgently.”
Claire Bass, executive director of HSI/UK stated
“It is extremely concerning to find cat fur on sale illegally in the UK, both because of the cruelty that cat and all fur products represent, but also because it will rightly dent the confidence of consumers seeking to buy only fake fur.”
The shoes, which were sold both online and in London at its Westfield Stratford store, are labeled as using only man-made materials. House of Fraser has stopped selling gloves that were identified as being trimmed with rabbit fur. They have a strict no-fur policy, which they say their suppliers are aware of. Missguided removed the shoes in question after they were informed of the findings.
According to a report by Sky News, fiber specialist Dr. Phil Greaves found rabbit, raccoon dog, mink, and cat fur was used in items for sale in UK shops.
This isn’t the first time retailers have been caught selling real fur on products labeled as faux. In 2016, Good Morning Britain correspondent Katy Rickitt went into a Forever 21 store and found a real fur item being sold as fake. That video is below (it’s a bit over six minutes long).
House of Fraser and TK Maxx were also caught back in 2015 during an investigation by the HSI/UK and the BBC’s ‘Fake Britain.’
It’s important for consumers to know how to differentiate real fur from fake. Several videos are available on YouTube to help educate those who aren’t familiar. Until more transparency is enforced on the manufacturing end, the problem of real fur being used on fashion items will likely continue.