Dogged Followers of Fashion

Ever wonder why some fake fur feels so real?  The Associated Press has one explanation:  “An animal advocacy group says its investigation has turned up coats — some with designer labels, some at higher-end retailers — with fur from man's best friend.”

The Humane Society of the United States said it purchased coats from reputable outlets, such as upscale Nordstrom, with designer labels — Andrew Marc, Tommy Hilfiger, for example — and found them trimmed with fur from domestic dogs, even though the fur was advertised as fake.

“It's an industrywide deception,” said Kristin Leppert, the head of the Human[e] Society's anti-fur campaign.

The investigation began after the society got a tip from a consumer who bought a coat with trim labeled as faux fur that felt real. Leppert and her team began buying coats from popular retailers and then had the coats tested by mass spectrometry, which measures the mass and sequence of proteins, to determine what species of animal the fur came from.

Of the 25 coats tested, 24 were mislabeled or misadvertised.

Three coats — from Tommy Hilfiger's Web site, and a coat from Andrew Marc's MARC New York line sold on — contained fur from domesticated dogs. The others had fur from raccoon dogs — a canine species native to Asia — or, in one case, wolves. The single correctly labeled coat was trimmed with coyote fur, but it was advertised as fake.

Most of the fur came from China.

I suppose I can understand why even the correctly labeled coat trimmed with coyote wasn't advertised as such, given that one of the most common adjectives used to describe a coyote's appearance is “mangy”.  Mangy probably isn't very appealing to fashion conscious– of course, Heroin Chic was popular a few years ago, so maybe there is hope for Mangy Chic.

If you're one of the fashion forward who favor faux fur, you should definitely read the whole story— though you should probably be warned that the story contains descriptions like “routinely killed by stomping them, or beating them, or skinning them alive”.  Unfortunately, that is not a description of what happens to the people making a heap of money mislabeling fur from a heap of dead dogs.

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