In a time when selling items of clothing made with real animal fur is frowned upon – to put it mildly – it came as a shock to one buyer who found out that a pair of shoes with what was supposed to be faux fur, were actually made from cat fur!
Donna Allison genuinely thought that the decorations on the shoes were fake fur, but she started to worry that the pom poms may be animal fur and contacted a charity who took the investigation further. The laboratory tested the fur and found that is was from a cat!
Missguided – the store and website – which sells the shoes, had assured Donna that they only sell fake fur products. Missguided has it’s shoes made in China where it is estimated that some 2 million cats a year are stolen and killed for their meat and fur.
Donna was horrified that Missguided did not seem to take her concerns seriously. She feels that all retailers should take responsibility for the origins of their products, and ensure that the traceability is ethically correct. To people like Donna, it is just not acceptable to purchase clothing where animals have been subjected to extreme cruelty.
“I find it horrifying that Missguided and other retailers are selling real fur — in my case cat fur — and that they didn’t appear to take action when I raised my concerns about this serious issue,” she said.
“All retailers should be taking action to ensure complete traceability of their materials. It’s unacceptable that they are helping fund an industry where animals have to endure unimaginable cruelty and for something so unnecessary.”
Claire Bass, director of HSI/UK (Humane Society International) commented that selling real fur as fake will only put a dent in consumer confidence. Not only that, but it is extremely disturbing to find cat fur sold illegally in the UK.
“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.”
“Fake faux fur is a growing problem; when items have cheap price tags and labels saying ‘100% acrylic’, consumers can understandably be caught out mistaking them for fake fur, when in fact they contain fur from a tormented animal.”
Popular markets such as Camden Town, along with many online retailers are full of items which have fur attached to them. Sometimes they are advertised as faux, while at other times they are simply left unlabelled.
“Independent stores, popular markets like Camden, as well as online retailers are awash with cheap animal fur-trimmed garments that are either mislabeled as ‘faux’ or not labelled at all. To properly protect both animals and consumers the government needs to take action to stop Britain’s insidious fur trade.”
Phil Greaves, who is a fibre expert says that it is becoming more common to see faux fur sold and mislabeled, particularly over the past five years.
A spokesperson said: “We will be launching an internal investigation with the relevant suppliers and will ensure these matters are addressed urgently.”
House of Fraser has withdrawn gloves from their shelves because they were found to contain rabbit fur. House of Fraser has a strict no fur policy. All the gloves were returned to the manufacturer, and would not be sold in the store again. House of Fraser says that it would never knowingly deceive their customers, and offered full refunds for the gloves which were returned.
“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,” a spokesperson said.
“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.”
“As a result all products have been removed from sale and returned to the brand. We will offer a full refund on any purchases of this item previously made.”
“We will also be launching a full brand partners and supplier engagement to ensure that they are reminded of our no fur policy.”
Missguided has also withdrawn the shoes from the store, and its online shop, and says that they will not be selling any fur items, which are not genuine fake fur. They have a no fur policy and would not be stocking such products again.