Top LA boutique in hot water after labelling real fur items as 'faux'
18:30 GMT, 12 April 2012
West Hollywood, Calfornia is known to sartorialists as a fashion hub with its priorities in the right place.
But after a vote to ban all sales of fur garments by 2013, one of the area's most popular boutiques has found itself under fire for mislabelling its fur-trimmed outerwear.
Three jackets described on Kitson's website as being fabricated from synthetic materials, were subjected to microscopy tests that found the allegedly faux fur-lined hoods were made from the coats of real animals.
Busted! The Humane Society of the United States revealed that popular Los Angeles boutique Kitson recently sold three different items as faux fur that were actually real animal fur after it conducted laboratory tests
Oops: The analyses were made by a method known as microscopy after an anonymous tip-off from a blogger who noticed the Street Level handbag on the Kitson website
The laboratory tests were run by The Humane Society of the United States after a researcher was tipped off by a blogger that a Street Level handbag described online as 'faux leather and carry on', was most likely real.
A Canada Goose jacket for infants and a Monnalisa jacket, also for small children, were also advertised as embellished with fake fur but the analyses showed that all three items were made from fur most probably from the Canidae family.
The Canidae family counts the coyote, grey wolf, red and artic fox, raccoon dog, jackal and of course, domestic dog, among its list of members, all of which suffer brutal torture, according to Humane Society findings.
Methods such as neck-snaring, anal electrocution and skinning alive have all been reported as measures taken to produce fur for fashion purposes.
Genuine: The tests concluded that all three items contained fur from the Canidae family which includes coyotes, arctic foxes and domestic dogs among its members
Having been described on the Kitson website as a nylon and polyester jacket with a 'detachable faux fur hood', on purchase the purple Canada Goose 'Reese Bomber' carried an interior label that clearly stated the trim was made from coyote.
But while a Monnalisa 'Pink Puffy Jacket' also for infants had a similar product breakdown online, no reference was made to the fur detail on tags inside the item.
Microscopy revealed the fur was most likely from a raccoon dog.
And the pocket book by fashion brand, Street Level, proved also to be constructed from Canidae hair.
Pierre Grzybowski, research and enforcement manager of the Fur-Free Campaign at The HSUS, who discovered the errors, lamented: 'It’s troubling that a retailer in an area like West Hollywood, which recently passed a ban on the sale of fur, wouldn’t be more aware and diligent in protecting the public from being duped.
Correction: The Reese Bomber from Canada Goose was re-posted on the site after having been temporarily taken down with an accurate description of the coyote fur-trimmed hood
'Kitson should take immediate action to contact every customer who purchased these products and to ensure that unsuspecting consumers are not duped into supporting animal suffering in the future.'
The trendy boutique was quick to take down all three products from its website by Wednesday evening and in the ensuing polemic, issued a statement to assure consumers the mistake was entirely unintentional.
The release read: 'Kitson prides itself on its strong vendor partnerships and will continue to work with them to sell with integrity both online and in stores. Kitson thanks the Humane Society for its efforts and for bringing this issue to its attention.'
In anticipation of the 2013 ban, the statement continued by saying Kitson would 'work diligently and vigilantly to ensure content is correctly listed in the future, conducting additional research when information is omitted on products.'
Since 2011 all apparel using fur in the United States has had to be advertised and labeled with the name of the animal killed, the country of its origin and whether the fur was dyed.
Violations of these laws are punishable by fines of $5,000 and up to a year incarceration.