Today a group of local animal welfare campaigners met in Ramsgate to demonstrate outside a stall which, by the stallholders own admission last week, was selling coats decorated with Chinese produced fox fur. Clearly word had got around about our planned demonstration and the stall was not there today. But we did have a Plan B. Just down the road is a branch of fashion retailer New Look. Inside we found what were described on the labels as “fur fox stoles”. The staff were a bit surprised by our visit and tried to reassure us that the stoles were not made from real fox fur.
We were not convinced. First there were other jackets and coats for sale in the shop with fur trimmings on which the label clearly described the fur as “faux fur”. Second the new Consumer Rights Act 2015 which came into force just last week states “that the goods will match the description”, which can only mean that if says its fox fur it must be fox fur. Finally, I passed on my phone number to one of the staff members at the New Look branch who said she would speak to the company’s press office who would get back to me confirm whether or not the fur was not real. I’m still waiting for the call. I
have course alerted Kent County Council Trading Standards to discrepancy between what the staff said and what the label said. I am sure that Trading Standards will wish to check whether New Look are complying with the Consumer Rights Act 2015. In the meantime I’m working on the assumption that New Look are a law abiding firm and that their product labelling complies with the Consumer Rights Act 2015. In which case this company must have been responsible for the importation of thousands of fox fur stoles from China. Animal welfare charities such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have documented that appalling brutality and torture of innocent animals is widespread in the Chinese fur industry. So ask yourself would you be happy to buy your clothes from an High Street chain who’s labels appear to suggest that they sell fox fur imported from China and which is highly likely to have been produced by skinning alive and torturing innocent animals.