UK fur-free stores caught selling real fur

Real fur was found to have been used in apparel and accessories sold as ‘fur-free' at retailers including Boohoo, TK Maxx, Amazon, Miss Bardo and Groupon.

Boohoo was found to have sold mink fur earrings and rabbit fur shoes - Photo: Feathered shoes from Boohoo

Results of product fibre testing found authentic fur in items including bobble hats, keychains, scarves, coats and bridal shoes, revealing fox, rabbit, chinchilla and mink all in the mix.

The findings were part of an ongoing investigation by the animal rights’ group Humane Society International in partnership with Sky, which previously saw Missguided come under fire for the inadvertent use of cat fur as a shoe embellishment.

A spokesperson from Boohoo told Sky: "We are very disappointed that on this occasion our high standards have been breached by the suppliers from who these items have been sourced. The items in question were immediately removed from sale and the breach of the policy and its standards is being investigated as a matter of urgency."

While under consumer protection legislation, brands are obliged to describe fur products as containing 'non-textile parts of animal origin', HSI claims that the regulation is poorly enforced. "'An honest mistake’ is considered a legitimate defence and so retailers are rarely prosecuted," the animal protection organisation said. Executive director Claire Bass added: “The combination of trusted brands, cheap prices, and items described as “faux” or “100% acrylic”, means many people will be justifiably horrified to discover they’ve inadvertently bought animal fur.”

The discovery comes amid growing opposition to the use of fur, with Michael Kors, Kering’s Gucci and US-based apparel group VF Corp all announcing their plans to go fur-free.

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