Urban Outfitters Sells Real Fur as “Faux,” Gets Outed by Discerning Brute

by , 02/11/11   filed under: Animal Cruelty, Eco-Fashion News

After several denials to the contrary, Urban Outfitters has finally copped to selling real fur as faux. Vegan activist Joshua Katcher, who blogs at The Discerning Brute, called the hipster label out on Thursday after purchasing the offending garment—the “S Loves C by Spring & Clifton Faux Fur Cardigan”—and running a gamut of visual and smell tests on camera. Besides running foul of the Truth in Fur Labeling Act that will take effect next month, Urban Outfitters also reneged on a 2009 agreement with PETA to stop selling fur in its stores. In fact, the company is named as a fur-free retailer on the Humane Society of the United States’ website. What’s an animal lover to do?

Spring and Clifton, Urban Outfitters, fur, faux fur, animal cruelty, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, the Discerning Brute


In a letter addressed to Katcher on Friday, a spokesman for Urban Outfitters apologized for the “unacceptable mistake,” adding that the error originated from the product vendor’s factory. “We sincerely apologize for this unacceptable mistake,” the company says. “We take our agreement with PETA to stop selling fur seriously and want to uphold our promise.”

In 2009, Urban Outfitters told PETA that it would stop selling animal fur.

Katcher, for one, is buying it. “It’s fantastic that Urban Outfitters has admitted to the mistake, apologized, and agreed to maintain their anti-fur position,” he says on the blog of his Pinnacle: Reinvent the Icon campaign. “Consumers need to be more vigilant than ever with so much fur coming from China where no animal welfare regulations exist and labeling loopholes create problems like this. Thankfully, people who are as shocked by fur production as I am can once again feel confident shopping at Urban Outfitters.”


1. Push apart the fur and look at the base of the hairs: Faux fur generally has a mesh or threaded backing, while the genuine article protrudes from skin or leather.

2. Check the tips of the hairs: Unless the fur has been sheared or cut, animal hairs taper to a fine point. Tapering has not been observed, however, in any faux-fur samples to date.

3. The burn test (only if you own the coat): Remove a few hairs and hold them with tweezers over a non-flammable surface. Then, light them with a match or cigarette lighter. Animal hair smells like human hair when burned. Fake fur, which is commonly made from acrylic or polyester, gives off the whiff of melting plastic.

+ The Discerning Brute

+ Pinnacle: Reinvent the Icon

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4 Responses to “Urban Outfitters Sells Real Fur as “Faux,” Gets Outed by Discerning Brute”

  1. RadicalOmnivore says:

    They should stick to keeping fur real, renewable, recyclable and eco-friendly. Faux fur is nasty petro-chemical crap.

  2. pagecorgi says:

    Hey Radical – why don’t you check out the list of chemicals that goes into preserving real fur. Why don’t you do your research on the fur farms, esp. in China, where 10’s of thousands of animals are killed each month for fashion and ego, and the waste that is produced that goes into the water system.

    Edited by moderator for incendiary language

  3. Dexter says:

    From their lies about ingredients listing on food exports to their ghost cities they build to stimulate their economic growth, it does not surprise me they would do this too. What’s sad is that we absolutely HAVE to do business with China because of our economic partnership with them. It doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t be more critical of their imports… until they get it right. Who’s in charge of that stuff anyways?

  4. OliOX says:

    hehe “renewable fur”bless the innocence I guess ignorance is bliss eh? Great post and glad to have the knowledge to check and think twice before buying. You coulda warned us about the cruelty at the end of the vid though – I won’t sleep tonite worrying about the poor bunnies.

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