When fake fur is real

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Do you have faux fur on your holiday wish list – maybe a jacket, hat or throw? It turns out that some faux fur is actually real fur, but manufacturers and retailers say it’s fake. And misleading people is against the law.

Both the federal Fur Act and the FTC’s Fur Rule (yes, there’s a Fur Act and a Fur Rule) say that companies have to give shoppers accurate information about what they’re buying – whether in a store, online, or in advertising. And, if it’s a real fur product, the law says it has to be labeled with the type of animal and the country where the fur comes from.

As you’re shopping, here are some ways make sure you’re getting the kind of fur – real or faux – that you’re after:

  • Don’t go by feel and color alone. Some fake fur is actually softer than some real fur. Also, fake fur can be dyed.
  • Separate the fur and look at the base. Fake fur usually has a mesh or threaded backing, while real fur usually is on a backing of skin or leather.
  • Look at the tips of the hairs. Unless they’ve been sheared or cut, the tips of animal fur taper to a fine point – like a sewing needle or sharpened pencil. The tips of faux fur don’t taper.   

Do you think you’ve spotted a company selling real fur as fake? Report it to the FTC. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies put an end to unfair and misleading business practices.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


If personal consumer complaints submitted to FTC are not investigated and the companies who are in violation are not held accountable by the FTC, then what process does the consumers have to hold the FTC accountable?

Colleen this is a wonderful, wonderful work you are doing, congratulations my dear, you are a very conscious environmentalist and a professional one to give alerts to everybody NOT TO make animals suffer. It would be wonderful if you give some report on labels which we could check and see that no animals were treated bad, no harm to the species. They need their furr!

This is a surprising story to me. Is there anyone out there that can explain why a business would try to sell real fur as faux fur?

I'm really curious to know why this would be done. The other direction, I can understand (selling faux fur as real fur).

Because real fur is cheaper than manufacturing fake synthetic fur.

I have seen many items that I have checked and there is no labelling at all...so no claim. I have checked to see whether it was real or fake and found both ot be the case. IS there a requirement that items label whether fake or not? I DO NOT want to purchase real fur as I cannot abide the cruelty and no species should suffer and be exploited. I can tell the difference, but many people can't and if there is no label, how does that help consumers trying to make an ethical choice in purchasing?

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