Whether fur is fashionable is a decision for the runway, whether the sale of fur is legal is another question altogether. Kitson, a Los Angeles area boutique and online retailer came under attack by the Humane Society of the United States for the sale of three items incorrectly marked as faux fur.
The Fur Products Labeling Act, as amended by the Truth in Fur Labeling Act of 2010, requires that after March 2011, all animal fur wearing-apparel shall be advertised and labeled with the name of the animal fur and the country of origin, additionally including whether it was dyed and any other important information. This applies to all fur wearing-apparel regardless of its selling price or retail value. Failure to comply can carry a maximum penalty, per item, of $5,000.00 and one year in prison.
Two jackets and a bag were advertised and sold on the website as faux fur; but were, in fact, various canidae furs consisting of wolf, raccoon, and others. The Human Society posted images of the items found here.
Fur has become hot topic over the last year, especially after West Hollywood banned the sale of fur in retail locations. Pierre Gryzbowski, enforcement manager from the Free-Fur Campaign at the Humane Society, stated that “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.”
A simple mistake can cost your brand heavy fines and major PR challenges. How can you protect your brand? By establishing approvals and a proper review process for all marketing and advertising. After all, it will create a legal issue, and it is better to be proactive than reactive.