The Advertising Standards Authority has penalised fast-fashion online retailer Romwe for selling real animal fur as faux fur, following a complaint by animal charity Humane Society International/UK (HSI UK).
HSI UK found two items for sale online marketed as faux fur which they had testing by an independent textile analysis laboratory and they confirmed it to actually contained real animal fur, including rabbit and mink fur.
As well as misleading consumers by labelling real fur as faux, the fast-fashion e-tailer also states within its FAQ page on its website that it does not sell real fur or leather.
Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK said in a statement: “It’s completely unacceptable that compassionate consumers setting out to buy fake fur are being misled into buying cruel animal fur. The vast majority of British shoppers want nothing to do with the horrors of fur farming and trapping, but because of mislabelling shoppers face a minefield trying to avoid it.
“As long as animal fur can be legally and cheaply sold here this problem of ‘fake fake fur’ will persist. The UK banned fur farming almost two decades ago because it was deemed too cruel, now we must finish the job and ban animal fur sales too. We are calling on the government to take action to clean up the fur marketplace, protecting consumers, and animals, from the cruelty and deception of the fur trade.”
The Advertising Standards Authority stated that the retailer breached code with ‘misleading’ advertising and issued Romwe in January 2019 with an Enforcement Notice, regarding ‘Misleading “Faux Fur” claims in clothes and accessories’, breaching the CAP (Committees of Advertising Practice) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).
When they became away that the retailer was continuing to sell real fur as faux it once again contacted the retailer in January 2020, and the Advertising Standards Authority has now listed Romwe as a non-compliant advertiser, and may face further sanctions.
When making the original ruling, Advertising Standards Authority director of complaints and investigations, Miles Lockwood said: “Consumers should be able to trust the ads they see and hear and they certainly shouldn’t be misled into buying a faux fur product in good conscience only for it to turn out to be from a real animal. That’s not just misleading it can also be deeply upsetting. Our rulings serve as an important notice to retailers and the clothing and textile industry about the need for truthfulness in their ad claims around faux fur products, and to get their house in order or face further action.”
Image: courtesy of Humane Society International/UK