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Mislabelling Could Lead to a Total UK Ban on Fur Fashion

A cross-party group of MPs have suggested that there should be a total ban on fur used in clothing and upholstery in the UK after an increase in incidences of real fur being sold as fake fur.

The call comes after a 2017 Sky News investigation uncovered that TK Maxx, Amazon, House of Fraser and Missguided were among the retailers that have been selling real animal fur as fake fur.

These incidents not only breach Trading Standards regulations but can also cause severe distress to affected consumers.

Current legislation only requires labelling to state that a product contains products of animal origin. The committee has also recommended that this is changed to include the species of animal, the country of origin and information on how the animal in question was raised and killed.

The proposal for a potential ban was outlined in a report, Fur Trade in the UK, released by the environment select committee in July this year.

The report criticises Trading Standards as being ‘weak’ and ‘complacent’ when it comes to investigating the issue and suggests that more funding is needed to identify and act when it comes to fur being misidentified and sold.

The committee has also suggested that it is the responsibility of local councils and retailers to know what they are selling and to clearly label products so that consumers can make an informed choice.

Items tested during the Sky News investigation were found to be made from fur consistent with that belonging to several species, including racoon dogs, mink and rabbit.

Photo credit: Fashion United

One customer was horrified to discover that the pink ‘faux fur’ pom poms on a pair of sandals purchased from Missguided were made of cat fur.

A second pair of shoes on sale at from the popular fashion retailer was found to contain rabbit fur. Both pairs of shoes have now been removed from sale.

House of Fraser removed a pair of gloves from sale after it was proven that the faux fur trim was rabbit fur. The retail giant issued an apology and withdrew the offending gloves from sale.

They have also reaffirmed their fur-free policy and are currently investigating the matter. All products from the brand responsible for producing the gloves have been returned to the supplier and affected customers are eligible for a full refund.

Amazon confirmed that faux fur bobble hats found to contain racoon dog fur had been sold through their marketplace but stated that sellers must adhere to strict guidelines. The affected products have now been removed from sale.

TK Maxx has also issued an apology after they were found to be selling a ‘faux fur’ handbag made from fox fur and a pair of shoes made from racoon dog fur. The retailer has since withdrawn the offending items from sale and has offered a full refund after launching a full investigation into the matter.

Palmier says these animals are kept in appalling conditions and there is evidence to suggest that the animals are often skinned alive.

Racoon dogs are one of the most popular sources of fur. Photo credit: Getty Images


Fur farming has been illegal in the UK since 2003 but it’s still legal to import fur, with most stock coming from Asia

One of the most popular sources of fur is the racoon dog, as they have soft fur and breed quickly

Around 200,000 racoon dogs are killed for their pelts in Europe every year

By Kathryn Shipman

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