29 December 2010

Investigation reveals real fur sold as ‘faux fur’ at Barneys New York

Just a few months before the new Truth in Fur Labeling Act goes into effect, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has discovered that a garment sold as having a ‘faux fur trim’ by designer Phillip Lim is really coyote fur. The parka jacket, sold online by the upscale Barneys New York, should have been labeled as ‘real fur’ according to New York state law. Infringements of this law carry penalties of up to $500 for the first violations and up to $1000 for each subsequent violation.

“Consumers have a right to know what they are buying,” said Pierre Grzybowski, manager of the Fur-Free Campaign at the HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States calls on Barneys to take immediate action to ensure that unsuspecting consumers are not duped into purchasing animal fur when they intend to purchase a cruelty free alternative.”

The Humane Society purchased the parka in August, it was described as having a "removable faux fur collar trim." Laboratory tests revealed the trim to be real coyote fur. One month later, investigators bought the same parka, this time described as having a "double function removable fur collar" from the Barneys New York flagship store in Manhattan. There was no labeling to show whether the collar was real or fake.

The Truth in Fur Labeling Act signed this month by President Obama will come into effect in March 2011, and will stipulate that all clothing made with animal fur be labeled (and advertised) as being real fur, along with the species of the animal.

Bev Hahler | @redhotvegan
Bev, a vegetarian since she was 14 years old, became more interested in veganism several years ago after studying Agro-business as part of an Ecology degree. She has a gorgeous daughter in second grade who has been a vegetarian her whole life (lucky girl). Follow Bev on her blog and Facebook.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/aliciagriffin