If choosing faux fur over real is an important part of your ethical shopping strategy, you might want to sit down for this. According to an investigator from The Humane Society of the United States, department store chain Kohl's has been discovered selling a men's parka jacket trimmed with real raccoon dog fur as "faux" (to be clear, it was a different jacket sold at Kohl's than the one pictured here).
As of this writing, the jacket is no longer for sale on the Kohl's website, but according to The Humane Society's investigation report, the jacket was listed on the website as "faux," while the garment's tag stated that the fur trim was made with real raccoon fur imported from China.
This is the second time the department store chain has been called out for this problem. Last year, The HSUS issued a consumer warning that Kohl's was selling real rabbit fur-trimmed accessories as fake. Under the Fur Products Labeling Act, it's a violation of federal law to not disclose a fur garment's animal and country of origin, and mislabeling is subject to a civil penalty of up to $16,000.
To its credit, once Kohl's was made aware of the mislabeling, it immediately removed the product from its website, apologized to customers, and will honor returns with no questions asked. The full statement is below:
"Kohl’s standard vendor terms require that all merchandise must be free of any real animal fur unless expressly authorized in writing by Kohl’s. No such authorization was given here. Once aware that the product was made with real fur, Kohl’s immediately removed the product from our website.
The parkas in question were sold online only and were not exclusive to Kohl's. Kohl's has never held these items in our inventories, as they are directly shipped from the vendor to customers. Fewer than 100 of these parkas have been purchased through Kohl's.
We apologize to our customers who would not have otherwise purchased these parkas. Kohl’s will honor returns, no questions asked, for any customers who no longer wish to keep them."
For shoppers dedicated to avoiding real fur, always check the garment's fabric tag — which, in the case of the men's parka, did disclose the real fur trim, but was impossible to check, since the jacket was only sold online. To truly protect yourself, check out The Humane Society's guide on how to tell real fur from fake, since clearly, it's not always easy to shop animal-free. (The Humane Society)