FTC to consumers: Don’t be duped by "fake" fur
Photo courtesy of Richard-Seeley
This holiday season, shoppers around the country are looking for the perfect gifts and last-minute deals. It’s also a time when more and more consumers are thinking about conscious ethical purchasing choices and what impact the products they buy have on the world. This includes animal issues, whether it’s a puppy purchased from a pet store, cosmetics tested on animals, or food sources from factory farms.
When it comes to the fashion industry, there is still some misrepresentation of garments labeled as “faux fur” when they really contain animal fur. Recently, The Humane Society of the United States asked the Federal Trade Commission to bring enforcement action under federal protection laws against 17 retailers for false advertisement of fur garments. These retailers sold a combined 37 different styles of apparel and accessories that were advertised or labeled as “faux fur,” but actually included animal fur from raccoon dogs, rabbits, and coyotes.
While FTC is still reviewing this enforcement action, the agency has taken steps to help educate consumers this holiday season by releasing a blog that highlights the difference of faux fur and real fur, which I have posted below. We hope you use this information when shopping this holiday season, and we are grateful to the FTC for raising awareness of this important consumer protection and animal protection issue in the marketplace.
December 21, 2016
by Colleen Tressler
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
Do you have faux fur on your holiday wish list—maybe a jacket, hat or throw? It turns out that some faux fur is actually real fur, but manufacturers and retailers say it’s fake. And misleading people is against the law.
Both the federal Fur Act and the FTC’s Fur Rule (yes, there’s a Fur Act and a Fur Rule) say that companies have to give shoppers accurate information about what they’re buying—whether in a store, online, or in advertising. And, if it’s a real fur product, the law says it has to be labeled with the type of animal and the country where the fur comes from.
- As you’re shopping, here are some ways make sure you’re getting the kind of fur—real or faux—that you’re after:
- Don’t go by feel and color alone. Some fake fur is actually softer than some real fur. Also, fake fur can be dyed.
- Separate the fur and look at the base. Fake fur usually has a mesh or threaded backing, while real fur usually is on a backing of skin or leather.
- Look at the tips of the hairs. Unless they’ve been sheared or cut, the tips of animal fur taper to a fine point—like a sewing needle or sharpened pencil. The tips of faux fur don’t taper.
Do you think you’ve spotted a company selling real fur as fake? Report it to the FTC. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies put an end to unfair and misleading business practices.