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Animal Fur Sold as Fake at Barneys New York

HSUS Investigation Reveals “Faux Fur” Deception

WASHINGTON -- The Humane Society of the United States revealed through laboratory testing that a Phillip Lim brand parka sold online by Barneys New York as “faux fur” is real animal fur, and that the same Phillip Lim parka was sold in the Manhattan flagship store without the “real fur” label required by New York state law. 

“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.”

Selling unlabeled real animal fur-trim jackets has been allowed for decades through a loophole in the nearly 60-year-old federal fur labeling law, but a new bill signed on Saturday by President Obama will close this loophole. H.R. 2480, The Truth in Fur Labeling Act, will take effect in March and will require all garments made with animal fur to be labeled and advertised with the correct species of animal on the label. It is unlawful to describe garments containing animal fur as “faux fur.” Violations of the federal fur labeling law carry up to a $5,000 fine and a year in prison. 

New York state passed its own law several years ago to address this deception in the marketplace and protect consumers. Under New York state law, fur garments must be identified as “real fur” or “faux fur” on a fixed label.  Violations carry penalties of up to $500 for the first violation and up to $1,000 for each subsequent violation. 

Images of garments, ads and labels for both garments are available.

Timeline and Facts:

  • Dec. 18, 2010: President Obama signs H.R. 2480, the Truth in Fur Labeling Act, into law. It goes into effect 90 days from the time of signing.
  • August 2010: HSUS investigators purchased a 3.1 Phillip Lim brand “amber…oversized silk blend button front parka with removable faux fur collar trim” from Barneys.com. Hangtag indicates: “Style: F110-8156HST.” Lab results: animal in the Canidae Family, possibly coyote.
  • September 2010: HSUS investigators purchased a 3.1 Phillip Lim brand “amber…oversized parka w/dlbe function removable fur clr” from the Barneys New York flagship store in Manhattan. Hangtag indicates: “Style: F110-8156HST.”  There is no label indicating whether the fur is real or fake. HSUS has confirmed the fur is real animal fur.
  • August 2007: New York state fur labeling bill signed into law requiring all animal fur to be indicated as “real fur” on label.


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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

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