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New sanctions for retailers selling real fur as faux

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UK clothing retailers have been told they face penalties if they are found to be misleading customers about the origin of fur on their products.

The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) has said retailers must make sure they are not advertising real fur as faux.

After 11 February those failing to comply will face sanctions that could include being referred to Trading Standards.

Companies have been warned to take a stricter approach to checking their supply chains and the accuracy of claims before putting the items up for sale, possibly by using a laboratory.

They should not make assumptions based on the cost of an item, CAP added, as faux fur is not necessarily always cheaper.

Last week the Advertising Standards Authority criticised two retailers for “misleading” customers over the origin of their fur.

The articles concerned were a pompom jumper by online fashion site Boohoo and a pompom headband sold on Amazon by Zacharia Jewellers.

Both had been advertised as faux fur.

Activists calling for a ban on the use of animal fur outside the Victoria Beckham London Fashion Week SS19 show in Dover Street, London
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Many shoppers do not agree with animals being used for clothing

ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: “Consumers shouldn’t be misled into buying a faux fur product in good conscience only for it to turn out to be made from a real animal.

“That’s not just misleading, it can also be deeply upsetting.”

CAP director Shahriar Coupal said such misleading advertising was “always unfair” to consumers and to competing businesses.

“For companies that continue to mislead, we won’t hesitate to apply sanctions, including referral to our Trading Standards backstop.”

Humane Society International UK executive director Claire Bass said: “Fur is a product of animal suffering that most British consumers want nothing to do with, and they have the right to be confident that when they buy faux fur they are not being duped into buying the exact animal cruelty they are trying to avoid.”

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