Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Real Fur in Urban Outfitters Clothing

It has been recently discovered that Urban Outfitters was selling cardigans with real fur trimming, under the labeling of faux fur. This issue is twofold. First, the use of any real animal fur should be correctly labeled as such- customers deserve to know what exactly they are purchasing. There is actually a new law, the Truth in Fur Labeling Act, which goes into effect in March. Secondly, the use of real animal fur is not only wrong on all grounds, but Urban Outfitters is actually among one of the fur-free retailers and designers in the Human Society of United States website. The company has also made a public agreement to PETA in 2009 to commit to fur-free clothing.

Here is a video by Joshua Katcher, the head of the anti-fur PINNACLE campaign, which shows four different ways to determine that the fur trim of the Urban Outfitters cardigan was indeed real fur. He contacted Urban Outfitters for an explanation, and Change.org also started a petition to demand an apology as well as reassurance that they will not sell fur products. You can see Change.org's updates on this matter here and here

After people found out about this, Urban Outfitters retracted their statements of denial and admitted that their clothing did contain real fur, although the blame was placed on the companies vendors. Of course, many people can say let bygones be bygones since Urban Outfitters has admitted their mistake. However, larger issues still remain.

What kind of product quality control did Urban Outfitters even have to let fur into their clothing? How will Urban Outfitters ensure that they only use synthetic materials in the future?

Why did UO's vendors end up giving the company real fur to use in place of synthetic fur? To answer this particular question, the sad truth is that live animals are still being killed in fur farms for their fur because real fur by itself is often cheaper than production of synthetic fur. Again, cost and not ethics is at the forefront of many, if not most, company values. Companies have separated the lives attached to the skin and fur of animals, and disregard that animal lives have any meaning or value. Otherwise, animal lives (priceless) plus their fur (insert dollar amount) should be completely out of the question, and synthetic faux fur should be the only option out there.

The last point I want to make is that: because there is a demand for fur clothing due to "fashion" reasons, there will perpetually be animals dying and stripped of their fur alive every single day. Did you know that by following this fur trend, you are promoting the look of clothing with fur and making it okay for people to wear things that resemble dead animal fur? Even if you are a hundred percent sure the "fur" in your apparel is fake, the consequences of wearing real or fake fur are much more far-reaching than you think- this Urban Outfitters incident is but one example of the toll it takes on real animals who value their own lives much more than any clothing company out there. I really don't want to preach, but even from an objective point of view I believe what I am saying is fact.. which is why I choose to not purchase anything resembling fur, real or faux even if they are "in" and popular.

 I have several posts on what you need to know about fur, just click on the Fur vs Fashion link above or here.


  1. Great post Karen. I admit I fell victim to this trend when I bought the H&M faux fur scarf. I know many many others bought similar...hopefully your message reaches some ofthem and causes them to think twice about buying fur (faux or not) and to think twice about following the trend. Luckily, I lost the scarf so I can't wear it anymore..

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  3. I can't get over how rotten this is on so many levels. I think pretending to champion the anti-fur cause while actually using fur is even worse than companies who are honest about using it. Geez, they were tricking people into wearing it. It would be great if we were all allergic to the fur from dead animals--but not allergic to it while the animal was alive. That way we can love our pets and not have to worry that someone was wearing one of the pet's cousins.

    I've never purchased any real or faux fur items.

    Hope you're having a great weekend--despite the studying.