Century 21 Labels Marc Jacobs Real Fur as “Faux”

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(March 7, 2013) – The Humane Society of the United States and New York State Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, author of New York State’s 2007 fur labeling law, found that popular New York department store, Century 21, sold multiple animal fur garments in violation of state and federal fur labeling laws. The undercover investigation documented that the chain advertised raccoon dog fur as “faux fur” on a Marc Jacobs jacket and sold an unlabeled infant sweater that contained rabbit fur.

Pierre Grzybowski, research and enforcement manager of the fur-free campaign for The HSUS said: “The Humane Society of the United States is releasing these findings during National Consumer Protection Week to warn consumers that animal fur, including from raccoon dogs who may be skinned alive in China, is being sold unlabeled or as faux fur. Consumers can protect themselves and animals by learning how to tell real fur from fake fur, and urging retailers like Century 21 to go fur-free.”

In September 2012, HSUS investigators purchased three Marc by Marc Jacobs jackets online from Century 21, where they were advertised as having “faux fur” trim. Upon delivery all three jacket labels indicated “real raccoon fur” from China and laboratory testing of one jacket indicated it was actually raccoon dog.

Tell Century 21 Department Store To Drop Animal Fur:

Click here, tweet @century21stores , or leave a comment on their Facebook page.Read the full report, which includes pictures of the garments

Let Marc Jacobs know how you feel about fur:

tweet @marcjacobs , @marcjacobsintl or leave a comment on his Facebook page.

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal said: “In 2007, I passed legislation to require all apparel with real or fake fur to be labeled as real or fake, so that shoppers could have easy access to this important product information. My constituents and the people of this state thought that this law was a necessary complement to existing, but rarely enforced, federal regulations requiring that fur garments contain a description of the kind of fur used and the country of origin. Many people want to avoid wearing fur at all, and for them, knowing whether the garment they are about to purchase is made with real or faux fur is just as important a factor in determining whether to buy it as is the price.”

In January 2013, HSUS investigators, accompanied by Assemblymember Rosenthal, purchased five different animal fur-trimmed jackets inside two Century 21 stores in New York City. Two of the jackets, one unlabeled and one “JNBY” brand jacket with “faux fur” on the hangtag, were purchased in the Lincoln Square location, which is within Rosenthal’s legislative district; the other three were purchased at a separate Century 21 location. In 2011, prior to the grand opening of the Century 21 location, Assemblymember Rosenthal wrote the retailer to notify it of its duties under the law she passed, and to request that it comply or go fur-free altogether.

Undercover footage shows Century 21 salespeople unable to find any fur labeling on garments, and in some cases indicating that they thought the unlabeled fur was fake, when in fact it was animal fur. Under the federal Fur Products Labeling Act, all garments trimmed with animal fur must give the name of the animal and the country in which the animal was killed. It is a violation of federal law to misidentify the species of animal fur used in wearing apparel.

For a copy of the complete investigative report, including photos of the purchased items and undercover footage, visit, http://www.humanesociety.org/century21fur.

H-Couture

Los Angeles was the scene for an historic fashion show this past weekend featuring visionary designers Victoria Bartlett, Kimberly Ovitz, John Bartlett, Charlotte Ronson, and Marc Bouwer. H-Couture, organized by The Humane Society of the United States, was co-hosted by Paul Wesley and Torrey DeVitto of “The Vampire Diaries,”  and featured both menswear and womenswear by designers focused on the future of fashion and who take a bold  and exciting stand against using fur. You can watch a stream of the show below:

TAFA Fashion Panel

On Saturday, July 29th 2012 I had the honor of presenting alongside fashion icon and hero to animals John Bartlett, and Andrew Page, managing director of Wildlife at the Humane Society of the United States. The Taking Action for Animals conference is an annual conference held in Washington D.C. that provides people with opportunities to collaborate, learn, and take more effective action as animal advocates.

Our panel, “Fighting Fur From Within – Working With Designers and Retailers” — Fur Panel at Taking Action for Animals 2012 focused on challenging the fur industry from inside fashion culture. John Bartlett, now vegan, was once known for his leather designs and had even used fur in the past, shared insights and anecdotes from his involvement with CFDA to conversations he’s had with popular designers (who you’d be surprised to hear have serious qualms with the fur they use). Andrew provided facts, figures and the current laws governing international fur farming and trapping. Traps were passed around the audience. Confiscated samples of real fur were compared to the latest faux, and I spoke about the semiotics of animals in the fashion system. (for more info on my Fashion & Animals presentation, click here)

FUR, HONESTLY

I am happy to report that President Obama has signed the Truth in Fur Labeling Act into law! This is big step toward informing citizens about one of the gruesome and intentionally hidden truths behind fur garment production. For far too long fur producers and those making a fortune at the expense of animals have capitalized on lies, confusion, and the vagueness of an U.S. President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order reversing the U.S. government’s ban on funding stem-cell research during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House March 9, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama also signed a Presidential Memorandum pledging that the new administration "base our public policies on the soundest science; that we appoint scientific advisors based on their credentials and experience, not their politics or ideology."  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Barack Obamaunregulated market where cats and dogs from Asia arrive labeled as “faux” or canines are labeled as “raccoon” as long as the garment is valued under $150. Of the fur-trimmed jackets subjected to mass spectrometry testing by HSUS, 96 percent were found to be domestic dog, wolf or raccoon dog, and either mislabeled or not labeled at all. This is definitely a foot in the door concerning other fur-related issues and should be a sign that people are concerned about the well-being of animals, and that if they knew the truth about how fur garments are made, they would choose to avoid them. Here is the official press release from HSUS:

WASHINGTON (Dec. 18, 2010)–The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund applaud President Barack Obama for signing an important bipartisan bill to protect consumers and animals. The Truth in Fur Labeling Act (H.R. 2480), which passed the House of Representatives in July and the Senate in early December, will bring much-needed accuracy and disclosure to fur products.

The legislation closes a loophole in federal law that currently allows some animal fur garments to go unlabeled if the value of the fur is $150 or less, leaving consumers in the dark as to whether they are buying faux or animal fur. HSUS investigations have found jackets trimmed with animal fur being sold across the country without labels or falsely advertised as “faux fur.”

“By signing this legislation, President Obama has given consumers who choose to avoid real animal fur for moral reasons a valuable tool,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “The Truth in Fur Labeling Act will protect shoppers by requiring all garments containing animal fur to be accurately labeled.”

The HSUS and HSLF also expressed their thanks to the sponsors of this legislation—Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and David Vitter, R-La., and Reps. Jim Moran, D-Va., Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., and Ed Whitfield, R-Ky.—for their leadership on this critical animal welfare and consumer protection issue, and to House and Senate leaders for working to bring the bill over the finish line in Congress.

Facts

  • Gucci Group, Burberry, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Buffalo Exchange, Overstock.com, Ed Hardy, Victoria Bartlett, Charlotte Ronson, and Andrew Marc, among other retailers and designers, have endorsed closing the fur labeling loophole.
  • An HSUS investigation found raccoon dog fur on more than two-thirds of a nationwide sample of fur-trimmed jackets purchased from well-known retailers and designers. Of the raccoon dog fur jackets tested, not a single one properly identified the animal in advertising or labeling, instead calling it such things as faux fur, raccoon, or simply not labeling it at all.
  • H.R. 2480 had 171 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, and S. 1076 had 34 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate.
  • The Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000 banned the trade in domestic dog and cat fur after an HSUS investigation revealed the gruesome deaths of 2 million dogs and cats a year in China and other parts of Asia for the fur trade and found domestic dog and cat fur for sale in the United States. The HSUS later found domestic dog fur slipping into the country on unlabeled jackets.
  • The HSUS testified in favor of the Truth in Fur Labeling Act at a House subcommittee hearing on May 13.

Mokee Genes & Terrorist Pesticides

• Monkee Genes makes sustainable, affordable, organic denim in lots of styles and colors. They do not use sweatshop labor and have been awarded the Soil Association Organic Standard. Only $79, and you can buy direct from them here.

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• The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program still uses highly toxic poisons to kill tens of thousands of animals each year. These poisons — M-44 cyanide devices and the Compound 1080 toxic collar — are so deadly that the FBI recently listed them as “highly toxic pesticides judged most likely to be used by terrorists or for malicious intent.” These cruel and indiscriminate poisons kill wildlife and family pets, and even threaten human safety. Urge USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to stop the use of these terrible toxins, and move his agency toward non-lethal methods that are safer, more effective, less expensive, and more humane.