Urban Outfitters was selling real fur labeled as “Faux Fur”. I ordered the garment to prove it was real fur, and I am asking Urban Outfitters to make a public apology and continue to commit to being fur-free.
2011 is going to be the year that the fur industry is undone, once and for all. Already, Norway has made history by banning fur from the runways at Oslo Fashion Week. Just check out the size of the list of fashion industry professionals in Oslo who are openly and vehemently against fur. This is huge considering the climate, the culture, and the proximity to so much of the neighboring fur-farming countries. Once again, we Americans are shamefully lagging behind much of the developed world when it comes to ethics. New York Fashion Week could learn a thing or two from Norway. Ecouterre reports:
Any fur that flies at Oslo Fashion Week in February will be strictly metaphorical. Norway has become the first country to ban animal pelts from its biannual runway event. The ban is a response to the efforts Mote Mot Pels (Fashion Against Fur), an anti-fur initiative that has received the support of more than 220 Norwegian fashion industry insiders who refuse to work with fur, including designers Leila Hafzi, Thomas Ryen of Undorn, and John Erling Vinnem of JohnnyLove, as well as Norwegian Elle, Norwegian Cosmopolitan, KK, and Det Nye.
Founded by designer Fam Irvoll, designer and stylist Kjell Nordström, and fashion editor Hilde Marstrander, in collaboration with the animal-rights group NOAH, Mote Mot Pels has been instrumental to shaping Oslo Fashion Week’s fur-free stance. “It has been a very natural choice for us,” says Paul Vasbotten, general manager of the Oslo Fashion Week. “We are doing this in order to increase ethical values in fashion.”
It’s bad enough that designers still use fur. It’s cruel, unnecessary, and when you wear it, it means you hate animals. But what’s worse is that designers and stores are still breaking the law and labeling real fur as “faux” in order to keep money rolling in for the fur mafia – whose sleazy tactics and multi-million dollar marketing campaigns insist that you should ignore the inherent cruelty and selfishly indulge in an outdated status symbol. The full article:
A Humane Society of the United States Investigation Reveals “Faux Fur” Deception
WASHINGTON (Dec. 21, 2010)–The Humane Society of the United States revealed through laboratory testing that a Phillip Lim brand parka sold online by Barneys New York as “faux fur” is real animal fur, and that the same Phillip Lim parka was sold in the Manhattan flagship store without the “real fur” label required by New York state law.
“Consumers have a right to know what they are buying,” said Pierre Grzybowski, manager of the Fur-Free Campaign at The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States calls on Barneys to take immediate action to ensure that unsuspecting consumers are not duped into purchasing animal fur when they intend to purchase a cruelty-free alternative.”
August 2007: New York state fur labeling bill signed into law requiring all animal fur to be indicated as “real fur” on label.
Selling unlabeled real animal fur-trim jackets has been allowed for decades through a loophole in the nearly 60-year-old federal fur labeling law, but a new bill signed on Saturday by President Obama will close this loophole. H.R.2480, The Truth in Fur Labeling Act, will take effect in March and will require all garments made with animal fur to be labeled and advertised with the correct species of animal on the label. It is unlawful to describe garments containing animal fur as “faux fur.” Violations of the federal fur labeling law carry up to a $5,000 fine and a year in prison.
New York state passed its own law several years ago to address this deception in the marketplace and protect consumers. Under New York state law, fur garments must be identified as “real fur” or “faux fur” on a fixed label. Violations carry penalties of up to $500 for the first violation and up to $1,000 for each subsequent violation.
Images of garments, ads and labels for both garments are available.
Timeline and Facts:
• Dec. 18, 2010: President Obama signs H.R. 2480, the Truth in Fur Labeling Act, into law. It goes into effect 90 days from the time of signing.
• August 2010: HSUS investigators purchased a 3.1 Phillip Lim brand “amber…oversized silk blend button front parka with removable faux fur collar trim” from Barneys.com. Hangtag indicates: “Style: F110-8156HST.” Lab results: animal in the Canidae Family, possibly coyote.
• September 2010: HSUS investigators purchased a 3.1 Phillip Lim brand “amber…oversized parka w/dlbe function removable fur clr” from the Barneys New York flagship store in Manhattan. Hangtag indicates: “Style: F110-8156HST.” There is no label indicating whether the fur is real or fake. HSUS has confirmed the fur is real animal fur.
Tevas with socks. Cargo Pants. Slogan tees. Let’s face it, people who care about ecosystems, animals, and worker’s rights aren’t typically celebrated for their sartorial poise. Likewise, most designers who care about form, function, and aesthetics aren’t typically known for their environmental wisdom or empathy; Fur coats, leather everything, toxic cotton, sweatshops.
There is new breed of designer, though, not so easily written off, who can turn old televisions into jaw-dropping shoes, who foster relationships with organic cotton farmers in developing countries, who invest in research and development of warm, biodegradable, recycled, cruelty-free textiles, whose aesthetic vision is not hampered by the challenges of navigating ethical dilemmas, and who – armed with tencel, lenpur, hemp, recycled fabrics, faux-fur, soda-bottle ultrasuede, and organics – aren’t afraid of challenging the tragic credo set by heritage brands. In a culture where the iconography of the rebel is tied up in so many embarrassingly common and mainstream social, environmental and ethical muddles, these true iconoclasts are redefining cool, and reinvigorating the lost meaning of dressing like a dissident.
1. Vaute Couture. Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart is the prefect example of a designer who dreamed big. Her line went from a fantasy (gorgeous, eco, vegan winter coats that can handle Chicago in February) to reality. The line looks as amazing as it is warm and ethical; 100% Cruelty-free, sustainable, and fair-labor. Vaute Couture took over 8 months of fabric research and development and launched just last year, but has already garnered a host of celeb fanatics from Emily Deschanel, to Alicia Silverstone, and Ginnifer Goodwin. The men’s line launches August 2010. vautecouture.com
Today, Paris was transformed into an arctic fairy tale with real, melting icebergs shipped in from Scandinavia, plopped along the runway, creating a frigid puddle for the models to splash through. The menswear was over-the-top, and suggestive of Satyrs, the Inuit, and Ice Kings with everything from full-length faux-fur cloaks to faux-fur pants and full-on Yeti-suits.
The Humane Society of the United States‘ fur specialist inspected closeups of the images earlier today, and has told me, “I’ve examined the shots from the show, and the fur indeed appears to be fake”.
I am hesitant to read into this any more than pure aesthetics, but given the fact that all the fur was faux in this collection, I wonder is Mr. Lagerfeld has taken environmentalism into consideration? In a world where melting ice-bergs pose a threat to all Earthly inhabitants, the man typically known for saying such things as, “In a meat-eating world, wearing leather for shoes and clothes and even handbags, the discussion of fur is childish,” seems to be making a point about something.
Karl also noted in January of 2009 that “I can hardly eat meat because it has to look like something what it was not when it was alive,” which makes me wonder if he’s becoming a friend to animals after all? We certainly hope so. In the mean time, take a look at these AW10 menswear shots from Paris Fashion Week, they are certainly a sight: