Protecting Bingo

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THAT fur trim on your jacket that you think is fake? It might be dog hair.

An animal advocacy group says its investigation has turned up coats – some with designer labels, some at higher-end retailers – with fur from man’s best friend.

Some retailers are pulling the coats from shelves, taking them off Websites and even offering refunds to consumers.

The Humane Society of the United States said it purchased coats from reputable outlets, such as upscale Nordstrom, with designer labels – Andrew Marc and Tommy Hilfiger, for example – and found them trimmed with fur from domestic dogs, even though the fur was advertised as fake.”It’s an industry-wide deception,” said Kristin Leppert, head of the society’s anti-fur group.

The inquiry began after the society got a tip from a consumer who bought a coat with trim labeled as faux fur that felt real.

Leppert and her team began buying coats from popular retailers and then had the coats tested by mass spectrometry, which measures the mass and sequence of proteins, to determine what species of animal the fur came from.

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Of the 25 coats tested, 24 were mislabeled.Three coats – from Tommy Hilfiger’s Website ShopTommy.com, Nordstrom.com and a coat from Andrew Marc’s MARC New York line sold on Bluefly.com – contained fur from domesticated dogs.

The others had fur from raccoon dogs, a canine species native to Asia, or, in one case, wolves. Most of the fur came from China, the society said.

In response to the society investigation, Tommy Hilfiger stopped selling the fur-trimmed garment and said it was looking into the matter. “We were quite concerned to hear of this finding,” said spokeswoman Wendi Kopsick.

Nordstrom called the 62 consumers who bought vests with dog fur trim to give them the opportunity to return them, company spokeswoman Brooke White said.

She said Nordstrom no longer buys fur trim products from the vendor, who had marketed the vests as faux fur.

Charles Jayson, CEO of Andrew Marc, disputed the society findings and insisted all fur on his coats labeled as raccoon contains “only farm-bred raccoon fur from Finland, and our items labeled ‘faux fur’ are a 100 percent synthetic fabric.”

 

Humane Society Urges Crackdown on Dog Fur

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WASHINGTON – A national animal rights group wants to put a group of fur retailers and manufacturers in the dog house.

The Humane Society of the United States asked the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday to fine high-end retailers and designers of clothing that contains mislabeled fur from dogs, wolves and raccoon dogs. The group also would like inventories seized and perhaps charges filed.

“Consumers have a right to know what they are purchasing,” said Michael Markarian, the executive vice president of the Humane Society. “If they are truly getting a type of dog fur, they should be outraged.”