Sorry to do this to you at lunchtime, but we have news you may want to sit down for. The Huffington Post reports that police in Rome seized more than a million items of counterfeit clothing on Monday. The pieces include coats and sweaters labeled as cashmere but that were actually a mixture of "acrylic, viscose, and fur from rats and other animals." Oh, dear.
The seizure of goods marks the end of a yearlong investigation into five Chinese-run clothing manufacturers in Rome. The manufacturers had been shipping the clothing to Florence for distribution. There are currently no details on where these counterfeit clothes are sold or if any of them made their way to the U.S. The BBC adds that "police also seized knockoff merino wool, silk and pashmina garments," which may have been made from similar materials. Fourteen Chinese-born people may face fraud charges as a result of the raid.
So, there you have it. The lowly rat, favorite pet of weird kids and gutter punks alike, makes its fashion debut, possibly in an inexpensive pashmina or wool coat near you. As avowed fans of cashmere — but not so much paying three figures for it — we're not taking the news well. Excuse us while we side-eye that so-soft, gray cashmere-blend sweater we got a screaming deal on last month... (The Huffington Post)