Your Fake Fur Might Actually Be Real Dog

Joanna Douglas
·Senior Editor

No matter where you stand on real fur versus faux fur, we doubt you'd like to wear a coat made of your household pet. But in a shocking discovery, some Marc by Marc Jacobs designer jackets being sold by Century 21 department stores were marked "faux fur" but actually contained dog hair. Selling these mislabeled furs is in total violation of state and federal fur labeling laws, which require all garments trimmed with animal fur to reveal the name of the animal and the country of origin.

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The Humane Society of the United States and New York State Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, who created New York State's 2007 fur labeling law, made the discovery after an undercover investigation and laboratory testing. In September 2012, investigators from The Human Society bought three Marc Jacobs coats online that were labeled as having "faux fur" trim, but found them to be made from the fur of Chinese raccoon dogs. This breed is often skinned alive for it's soft fur that is of such low quality it is cheaper to buy than faux fur.

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We're guessing the use of raccoon dog fur may be a surprise to Marc Jacobs, who loves his two bull terriers and even has a tattoo of the pups on his shoulder. While he has used real animal fur in his collections before, we doubt he'd approve of using canine fur. We reached out to the Marc Jacobs brand about the issue, but have not received a comment at press time.

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal said in a statement, "In 2007, I passed legislation to require all apparel with real or fake fur to be labeled as real or fake, so that shoppers could have easy access to this important product information. My constituents and the people of this state thought that this law was a necessary complement to existing, but rarely enforced, federal regulations requiring that fur garments contain a description of the kind of fur used and the country of origin. Many people want to avoid wearing fur at all, and for them, knowing whether the garment they are about to purchase is made with real or faux fur is just as important a factor in determining whether to buy it as is the price."

In January of this year, investigators also purchased five different jackets with fur-trim at two of Century 21's New York City department stores. Some were unmarked while others were labeled "faux fur." Salespeople at these locations told investigators they believed the unlabeled fur was fake, but they were wrong. Check out the undercover video below.

Assemblymember Rosenthal said she wrote to Century 21 back in 2011, prior to the opening of their Lincoln Square location, to inform them of the fur labeling law, requesting that they must comply or go fur-free. In a statement obtained by the New York Daily News, Century 21 has blamed the producers of the garment claiming, "Century 21 does not create garment labels, the manufacturers do."

The Humane Society urges consumers to learn how to tell real fur from the fake stuff (click here for more info). You can also urge your local retailers to go fur-free.

For more fur controversies, check out the video below.

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