Opinion Former Article

RSPCA: Fur in fashion no longer a cover-up

Under a new European law passed yesterday (Wednesday), clothing or textiles made from real fur will have to carry a label stating that it is made from "non-textile parts of animal origin".

In addition, the European Commission is also considering introducing country of origin labelling to fur products and could extend the ruling on labelling in the future.

This move follows widespread confusion amongst consumers about the use of fur in fashion.

An RSPCA poll found that 93 per cent of people think products should be clearly labelled as real or fake fur, and more than half said it would stop them buying the item if it wasn't labelled.

A further 95 per cent said that they would refuse to wear real fur.*

RSPCA director of communications David Bowles said: "The RSPCA is against the use of fur in fashion. Animals farmed for their fur are often confined to tiny, barren cages and denied opportunities to perform much natural behaviour.

"We wholeheartedly welcome this new ruling and hope it will help consumers to make an informed decision about the items they buy on the high street."

The RSPCA is opposed to the farming and trapping of fur-bearing animals as it causes considerable suffering all in the name of fashion.

It is often nearly impossible to tell the difference between real and fake fur if it is not labelled and some consumers may be unwittingly buying the real thing.

The RSPCA poll found that 77 per cent of people asked thought price would be a big indication of whether a product contained real or fake fur. In fact, real fur can be purchased at high street prices.

Following the annual fashion shows in London, New York and Milan, the RSPCA was disappointed to see so many collections flaunting real mink, fox and raccoon dog furs.

Strong public opposition to fur shows that the fashion companies who excelled at last year's RSPCA Good Business Awards know what consumers want. Winners included New Look, Marks and Spencer and George at Asda.

Businesses worthy of the Good Business Award accolade show a commitment to not using fur, exotic skins or karakul lambskin pelts and must have a policy on sourcing merino wool.

The search is now on for this year's winners to commend companies who have animal welfare at the heart of their practices.

Good Business Awards manager Jane Aslett said: "Over the last 10 years, animal welfare has remained a priority among consumers and spending on ethical goods and services has increased three-fold. Retailers would be foolish to ignore this.

"We want to reward companies that are exploring new ideas and developing interesting and innovative solutions to the promotion of animal welfare in fashion."

For more information and to enter log onto www.rspcagoodbusinessawards.com or to find out more about ethical fashion go to www.goodthings.org.uk

Notes to editors

Interviews are available. Please contact the press office on 0300 123 0244/0288 or email press@rspca.org.uk

More Articles by RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) ...

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