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Fur-look products are popular in the UK, especially in the colder months, but while many consumers consciously avoid real fur in favour of a synthetic alternative, it seems many products out there are unfortunately the real deal.

Clothing Retailers are selling real animal fur but advertising it as fake, they have now been ordered to stop!  It comes after the Advertising Standards Authority found online retailer Boohoo had sold a pompom jumper which used real fur, most likely rabbit fur. It’s part of a more widespread problem of real fur masquerading as fake fur. A pompom headband sold by Zacharia Jewellers, a firm trading on Amazon, was also found to have broken the rules. Last year a BBC investigation found TK Maxx and other Amazon retailers had sold items labelled faux fur but using real fur.

The UK’s advertising watchdog has given them a deadline of 11 February 2019. If the ASA find there are problems after that date, they will take action against those retailers. This follows two rulings which found retailers were selling real fur and claiming it was fake fur. The current enforcement notice will ensure that all retailers are not selling real fur and labelling it as fake fur.

Often, the retailer itself is shocked that they have been using real fur instead of fake fur as they have been misled somewhere along the supply chain. However, this is not an excuse as they need to take charge of this and make sure that they are not misleading their consumer, who, at the end of the day, trusts what the clothing retailers put on the labelling.

There are a couple of ways you can tell the difference between real and fake fur:

  • Check the tips of the fur to see if they taper at the end like cats or dogs fur, then that will be a good indication that it’s real fur.  If it has a blunt end then it’s more likely to be fake; and
  • Part the fur and if you see a pale yellowy backing that looks a bit like a human hair parting, then this will probably be animal skin.  If it has a woven backing, it’s fake fur.

Retailers should stop using real fur for their products.  There are no humane ways to manufacture real fur without an animal suffering.