OTTAWA – National animal law organization Animal Justice has filed a complaint with federal and provincial consumer protection regulators after accessories retailer Ardene was caught selling animal fur, but passing it off to customers as “faux fur”.
Ardene is selling black, knee-high socks with pom-poms on the cuff that are made of animal fur. Disturbingly, the packaging on the socks fails to disclose that they contain animal fur, and lists only polyester and spandex as materials. The socks are also described on a store receipt as containing “faux fur”. In response to multiple inquiries made online and in person, Ardene customer service representatives have repeatedly stated that the socks are made with faux fur.
Animal Justice filed the complaint with the Competition Bureau, which prosecutes contraventions of the Textile Labelling Act and the Competition Act.
“It’s illegal to deceive consumers by disguising real fur as faux fur, and authorities must take swift enforcement action against Ardene,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director Animal Justice. “Most consumers refuse to buy or wear real animal fur out of concern for the millions of animals who suffer and die on fur farms and in trapping devices. It is unacceptable for Ardene to pass off products of the cruel fur trade as ‘faux fur’ to consumers who are trying to avoid harming animals.”
Animal fur is often mislabelled as faux fur and sold to unsuspecting customers. Animal fur can be less expensive to produce than faux fur, allowing unscrupulous companies to increase profits by relying on cheaper materials in the manufacturing process.
A 2017 Insights West poll shows that 79% of Canadians oppose killing animals for their fur, and a recent Abacus Data survey shows that most Canadians do not think it is morally acceptable to wear fur.
Animal Justice was alerted to the false labelling and misleading statements by Marley Daviduk, a Vancouver resident who saw the socks for sale in Vancouver at the Kingsgate Mall. Animal Justice was able to purchase a pair of the socks in Ottawa at the St. Laurent shopping centre and they appear to have been sold across the country.
Animal fur is easily distinguishable from faux fur as individual follicles contained pointed, tapered tips. Animal Justice also performed a burn test, as animal fur smells like human hair when burned; faux fur does not.
A copy of the complaint is available upon request.
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