December 2, 2013
Buyer Beware: Rabbit Fur Sold as “Faux” at Kohl’s
Independent laboratory testing confirms accessories being sold on Kohls.com and promoted as “faux-fur” are actually made with real rabbit fur. The Humane Society of the United States is issuing a consumer warning about the falsely advertised products on Cyber Monday – one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.
HSUS investigators purchased several different styles of Nicole Lee Fabiola brand handbags, which were prominently advertised as having “faux-fur” trimming, from Kohls.com in October and November. However, upon examination, the handbags were found to be trimmed with animal fur, and laboratory testing determined the fur to be from a rabbit.
Selling animal fur as “faux fur” on a handbag is a violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” in commerce and carries a civil penalty of up to $16,000 per violation.
Pierre Grzybowski, research and enforcement manager for the Fur-Free Campaign of The HSUS, said: “Consumers should be aware that animal fur is still being sold as ‘faux’ by major retailers – in this case Kohl’s. We’re calling on Kohl’s to adopt a fur-free policy and more robust quality control program, and urging consumers to learn how to tell animal fur from fake fur so they can shop with confidence.”
More than 75 million animals, including rabbits, raccoon dogs, mink, bobcats, foxes and even domestic dogs and cats, are killed annually to make unnecessary fur products.
- August 2013: Federal Trade Commission issued enforcement action against retailers Neiman Marcus, Drjays.com and Revolveclothing.com, in response to 2011 HSUS petition alleging the selling of animal fur as “faux.”
- March 2013: Investigation by The HSUS revealed NY department store Century 21 sold real fur as faux, including a Marc Jacobs jacket with raccoon dog fur.
- July 2012: Investigation by The HSUS revealed illegal sale of domestic dog fur in apparel and other items by NY retailer, leading to action by Customs and Border Protection.
- December 2010: The Truth in Fur Labeling Act, signed by President Obama, an amendment to the Fur Products Labeling Act, closed a loophole in the six-decade-old federal fur labeling law that previously allowed many fur-trimmed garments to go unlabeled if the value of the animal fur material was $150 or less. This loophole left consumers in the dark as to whether they were buying faux or real animal fur.
- March 2010: Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Saks Incorporated, Lord & Taylor, and Andrew Marc reached settlement agreements with The HSUS, and Neiman Marcus was the subject of a court judgment, in a lawsuit filed by The HSUS in 2008 alleging the false advertising and mislabeling of animal fur garments.
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