The Jakarta Post
Animal protection organization Humane Society International (HSI) claims to have found shoes containing cat fur at UK retail store Missguided. (Shutterstock/File)
A pair of shoes containing real cat fur marketed as fake was allegedly found at a shop in London, United Kingdom.
An investigation by animal protection organization Humane Society International (HSI) in partnership with Sky News claimed to have found the shoes at a retail of UK fashion brand, Missguided.
The Independent reported that HSI UK executive director Claire Bass called the finding “really shocking” as cat and dog fur usage in clothing has been banned in the region since 2009.
Bass said the organization had found an increasing amount of fur products, unlabeled or mislabeled, in the market. “This is misleading for ethical consumers, who assume it is fake because it’s cheap. Consumers don’t know what they are buying."
This was the first time the organization had found real cat fur in a high street product since it started a campaign against the fur trade two years ago. But Bass was sure more would be found. “This could only well be the tip of the iceberg."
Apart from the product at Missguided, HSI also claimed it found other products with real animal fur, such as rabbit, raccoon, dog and mink furs, labeled and sold as fake fur products in the House of Fraser department store.
Both Missguided and House of Fraser have issued official statements regarding the matter, saying that they took the allegations “very seriously.” Through its Twitter account, Missguided stated that was conducting an internal investigation into the products' suppliers.
Meanwhile, House of Fraser announced that it had removed all products in question and returned them to the brands. “We would never knowingly mislead our customers, who we believe have the right to know what they are purchasing,” it stated. The department store is also offering full refunds for past purchases of the items.
Bass said that she did not think Missguided and House of Fraser had deliberately mislabeled the products, but the long and complicated supply chain may have left room for error.
Fur farms have been banned in the UK since 2003, but real fur from Asian countries can still be found in the supply chain.
“In China, millions of cats are being killed for the meat trade and it is possible that the fur of these animals went into the fur trade,” Bass said.
HSI is currently urging the UK government to ban fur imports. (mas/kes)