USA, 11 AUGUST 2016 – Seventeen large retailers are found to sell real fur items that are advertised or labeled as “faux fur”. New research shows that the retailers are promoting apparel and accessories of brands as Canada Goose, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Burberry Brit as fake fur, while the items actually include animal fur from raccoon dogs, rabbits and coyotes.
Fur Free Alliance member The Humane Society of the United States asks the Federal Trade Commission to bring enforcement action under federal consumer protection laws against the 17 retailers for false advertising of fur garments. Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Kohl’s, Nordstrom are among those facing potential civil or criminal penalties.
In its largest collection of industry misrepresentations to date, The HSUS highlights violations from December 2011 through December 2015 by retailers Amazon, A-List/Kitson, Barneys, Belk, Bluefly, Century 21 Department Stores, Eminent/Revolve, Gilt, Kohl’s, La Garconne, Mia Belle Baby, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Ross, Ruelala, Searle and Stein Mart. Pierre Grzybowski, Research and Enforcement manager of The HSUS’s Fur-Free Campaign, says:
“Consumers would be horrified to know they have been duped into purchasing animal fur when they thought they were buying a humane alternative. The FTC must crack down on this industry-wide problem of misrepresentation that The HSUS has been uncovering and documenting year-after-year for a decade.”
The sale of these coats, footwear, key chains, handbags and cardigans as “faux fur,” when in fact they include animal fur, is a violation of the US Fur Products Labeling Act, The Federal Trade Commission Act, and in some cases a violation of outstanding cease-and-desist orders already issued by the agency. Violations can carry penalties of up to one year in prison and/or fines of up to $40,000.
MICHAEL Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Burberry Brit, Canada Goose, Rebecca Minkoff, Elie Tahari and Rag & Bone are among the 32 different brands of apparel and accessories sold by the retailers named in the petition.
The submission represents the latest in a series of HSUS investigations and actions regarding rampant false advertising and labeling in the animal fur apparel industry. The HSUS previously sought FTC action on the problem in March 2007, April 2008, November 2011, July 2014 and April 2015. But lack of vigorous industry-wide enforcement has allowed widespread violations to go unchecked.
Neiman Marcus and Eminent/Revolve are already under 20-year cease-and-desist orders from the FTC following an HSUS petition that identified similar violations in 2011.
More details can be found in the links below:
21 july 2016 – O bag, the famous Italian fashion handbag brand has, in agreement with the Fur Free Alliance, announced its commitment to completely abandon the use of animal fur in its products.
The O bag autumn collection will be showcasing a major new feature: instead of real fur, the interchangeable handles, straps, trims and inner bags of the O bag, the O basket and the O pocket, will be made of top quality eco-fur. Michele Zanella, director-general of Full Spot, explains:
“As of autumn-winter 2016/2017 the O bag collections will be entirely fur free. This is a huge step for our company and testifies as to our tangible commitment towards animal welfare. Our choice stems from a strong request on the part of some of our customers that, though they love our bags, weren’t comfortable with the use of certain materials. Our customers come first and that is why we always listen to what they have to say. It’s word-of-mouth that made the success of O bag, alongside a continuous dialogue with our customers and the collective sharing of personal experience.”
Through the Italian member organisation of the Fur Free Alliance LAV, O bag has signed the Fur Free Alliance protocol. O bag has thus pledged not to use any type of animal fur whatsoever in its future collections, including fur that comes from the food sector (such as rabbit fur for example).
Simone Pavesi, head of LAV’s Animal Free Fashion department, says:
“O bag is a symbol of Italian creativity and its designer products, from watches to bags to bracelets and glasses, and now shoes as well, all made from innovative materials, delight customers around the world. This decision has been long-awaited and reinforces the mission LAV has set for itself to promote ethical, responsible and sustainable fashion that doesn’t exploit animals”
With its decision O bag responds to its customers’ request: according to a recent report commissioned by LAV in 6 European countries (Italy, Germany, the UK and Poland) consumers that regularly buy animal friendly products account for at least 12% of fashion items consumers, a number that is highly like to increase.
To ensure its commitment to a fur-free policy, O bag has pledged to demand that its suppliers provide the adequate certifications ensuring the absence of animal-based materials. As it is not possible to withdraw items from its previous collections that contain real fur from the market, these items will still be sold until they run out.
WASHINGTON, 1 FEBRUARY 2016 – Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor settled a civil contempt suit brought by Fur Free Alliance member The Humane Society of the United States after an investigation revealed more than 40 fur advertising and labeling violations between December 2013 and November 2014.
The HSUS’ investigation uncovered evidence that Saks and Lord & Taylor violated the Fur Products Labeling Act and 2009 court orders prohibiting false advertising of animal fur garments. Among other violations, the retailers falsely marketed real animal fur garments as “faux,” incorrectly advertised fur from raccoon dogs – a species in the dog (Canidae) family – as “raccoon” fur and failed to disclose fur garments’ country of origin (where the animal was killed) and other legally required information.
Under the settlements, Saks and Lord & Taylor certify that they will cease selling fur from raccoon dogs, one of the most horribly mistreated and commonly misrepresented species in the fur trade, pay The HSUS approximately $50,000 in investigation costs and legal fees and agree to pay additional damages if they breach the agreement in the future.
Ralph Henry, director of litigation at The HSUS, said:
“We are pleased with the terms of these settlements, which ensure that Saks and Lord & Taylor will phase out raccoon dog fur, while holding the retailers accountable for continuing to falsely advertise fur garments despite their prior agreement to stop. While the production of animal fur inherently involves suffering, and we urge companies to go completely fur-free, the killing of raccoon dogs for their fur has been repeatedly shown to be among the worst of the worst. The HSUS will continue to aggressively pursue fur vendors who ignore their legal and contractual obligations to protect both animals and consumers.”