WASHINGTON — The House Energy & Commerce Committee unanimously passed a bill on Thursday that would require companies to label fur garments when the value of the fur is less than $150. Under existing law, garments with fur trims worth less than $150 do not have to be labeled as real fur.
The Humane Society of the United States was the primary proponent of the legislation. Gucci Group and Burberry have endorsed the bill and a Macy’s Inc. executive confirmed that the company also sent a letter to the animal rights group, in which it stated that Bloomingdale’s, which it owns, supports a requirement “that all fur-containing garments be labeled with the information required of the [law], regardless of the amount or value of the fur in each garment.”
The bipartisan bill will next go to the House for a vote. A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate.
The Humane Society, citing a Federal Trade Commission analysis, said about 13 percent of animal fur garments sold in the U.S. fall into the exemption and do not require labeling, “even if the fur is dyed pink or blue to look synthetic.”
Designers and retailers are required to label fur garments with the name of the species and country of origin if the value of the fur material is worth more than $150.
“Many consumers choose to avoid buying and wearing animal fur, and they deserve to know what they’re getting so they can make informed purchasing choices,” said Michael Markarian, chief operating officer for the Humane Society. “As a result of our investigations, we have found jackets trimmed with animal fur being sold without labels and falsely advertised as ‘faux fur’ across the country.”