- A recent investigation in the U.K. found retail stores selling clothing and footwear advertised as faux fur that were in fact made with real fur, Sourcing Journal reported.
- Among the retailers named in the investigation were Amazon, Boohoo, and TK Maxx. The fur was found in products such as earrings, coats and even key chains.
- The retailers have since apologized and promised to clean up their supply chains, according to Sourcing Journal.
The notion that retailers were mislabeling their fur products as "faux" when in actuality they were "real" is unconscionable. Blaming it on problems in the supply chain is at best a poor excuse and at worse a fraudulent attempt to fool customers.
This is, at its core, a supply chain issue that may or may not have roots in poor sourcing, cost pressures, customer demand or a marketing gimmick. Somewhere, somehow, decisions were made at the supply level to substitute real fur for fake, and another decision was made to hoodwink the customer.
Perhaps that customer was the retailer who was unaware of the switch. Or the retailer was fully aware of the switch and was trying to pass one over on the shopper — that to me is worse.
It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode about the fat free yogurt not being fat free at all, causing both weight gain for the gang and bankruptcy for the lying store owner. It seemed too good to be true, and it was. Aficionados will remember it even changed the outcome of the NYC mayoral election.
The root of this story is not about animal welfare, yet as a dog owner, I understand its importance. The essence is deceit, pure and simple. And now that these retailers were caught, the apologies ring out and they promise to do a better job with their suppliers.
These apologies sound hollow, and the alleged changes in process, are reactive and not proactive. It leads us to ask what other products are they cheating on.
The message is clear: catch us if you can. And when you do, we will not only be contrite, we will casually blame it on the supplier.