London - No one likes to be deceived - especially those who choose to purchase faux fur for ethical, social and environmental reasons, only to find out that is real. Unfortunately for some shoppers at Missguided, House of Fraser and Amazon UK that is exactly what happened. A joint investigation from the Humane Society International UK (HSI UK) and Sky News uncovered the sale of cat, rabbit, mink and raccoon dog as faux-fur at the aforementioned retailers and consumers are not pleased.
A pair of pink stilettos featuring poms-poms, labelled as faux-fur from Missguided, were found to be made from real cat fur after a concerned consumer shared her worries with HSI/UK and had them tested. The findings came for many as a shock as the import and sale of domestic cat and dog fur have been banned across the EU since 2009. Another pair of pom-pom shoes from Missguided were also found to contain real rabbit fur and a range of shoes from Primars sold as fake fur but tested positive for rabbit, mink and fox fur. In addition, a pair of gloves from Moda in Pelle, sold at 'fur free' retailer House of Fraser were also found to contain real rabbit fur next to two bobble hats from Amazon UK and Lily Lulu which tested positive for raccoon dog fur.
The public responds to Missguided and House of Fraser selling real fur as faux fur
Since the investigation reports were first released on Monday morning, consumers across the UK and abroad have taken to social media platforms to share their concerns and worries with the findings.
Since the findings of the investigation were released both Missguided and House of Fraser have issued official responses to the allegations made concerning the mislabelling of real fur as fake fur. "Missguided does not condone the use of fur in any of its products and is investigating the issue raised by Sky News," said the fast-fashion retailer in a statement on Monday. "The items referenced in the article have been removed from sale." Missguided did not respond to initial requests from FashionUnited for additional information, but stated on social media that it has launched an internal investigation with the relevant suppliers and will ensure these matters are addressed urgently.
Missguided and HoF open own internal investigations into real fur claims
House of Fraser noted that they were not responsible for manufacturing of the gloves and stressed the fact it has a strict no fur policy in place. "We ensure all of our suppliers and brand partners are aware of this," said a spokesperson from House of Fraser to FashionUnited. "We would never knowingly mislead our customers, who we believe have the right to know what they purchasing. We are extremely concerned that fur can be mislabelled in this way, particularly for brands that we stock. Our customers want assurances that House of Fraser is not be complicit in such unnecessary suffering of animals and we take this issue very seriously and have communicated this to the brand in question. We will also be launching a full brand partners and supplier engagement to ensure that they are reminded of our no fur policy."
HoF has removed all the products from sale and returned them to brand and is offering customers a full refund on any purchases of the gloves. In addition the department store group is also donating 50 pounds to charity for each refunded pair of gloves. Unfortunately this is not the first time that a concession brand from House of Fraser was caught selling real fur as faux fur - in 2015 a parka jacket from Silvian Heach was found to contain a real fur trim, even though the label stated that the jacket was made 100 percent polyester and 100 percent nylon. However, despite the public outcry the results of the investigations have garnered, the Humane Society International UK applauds both Missguided and House of Fraser for having fur-free policies in place in the first place.
""We applauded the fact that they have fur-free policies in place"
"We applauded the fact that they have fur-free policies in place in the first place which reflects the fact that they choose not to sell fur in the first place," said Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International UK to FashionUnited. "The statements from both Missguided and House of Fraser show that they are taking this issue seriously and are willing to take direct action where needed to ensure their products remain fur-free." HSI UK previously contacted Missguided and HoF to offer their support and guidance in spotting real fur within the supply chain.
“The CEO of Missguided, Nitin Passi, was very concerned by our findings and emailed us directly,” added Bass. “They are launching an internal investigation into the matter as well as extra quality control measures. But we also have our own guidelines for companies on how to enforce fur-free policies, which includes tips for buyers, suppliers and sales assistants. We’ve sent it to Missguided, at the request of their CEO, and hope to be in touch with them soon about making some of it happen with them.”
The results of the investigation are why HSI UK is pushing for stricter rules concerning labelling, as current regulations are relaxed and certain loopholes make it easier for real fur to be mislabelled as faux . “We hope the investigation acts an urgent request to the government and retailers to enforce the proper labelling of real fur,” says Bass. “HSI UK would like the UK government to adopt a similar labelling system as to that enforced in the US, which sees labels featuring the type of fur, origin and sometimes even trapping method for consumers so it is clear what they are buying.”
In addition, Bass hopes enforcing proper labelling for fur will lead the way to significantly reducing the UK’s fur trade. “The UK was one of the first countries to ban fur farming in 2000. Public polls shows that the majority of the UK’s consumers are against wearing any type of fur - whether it’s fur from coyotes caught in the wild, raccoon dogs and foxes, or cats, dogs or rabbits. There is no logic to banning fur from some animals and not others, and Brexit means we could have the opportunity to reflect public opinion and make the UK the world’s first fur-free nation.”
Photos: Courtesy of HSI