(FASHION/FUR CLOTHING) DrJays, a clothing line based in New York City, is famous for its high status in street fashion. Established in 1975, the iconic store in South Bronx, New York began selling online in 2000. There are now 19 stores across the New York Metro area.

However, DrJays is being slammed for false advertising of its products both online and in stores, along with popular retail stores Neiman Marcus and Eminent.

According to reports made by the Humane Society of the United State’s (HSUS) Fur-Free Campaign, Neiman Marcus, Eminent, and DrJays falsely advertised fur on certain articles of clothing. Items were marked as faux fur, yet upon further inspection, it was discovered that many products were real rabbit and raccoon fur.

raccoon, raccoon dogs, fur, fashion, mink, fur trade
Raccoon dog fur is often harvested to pass off as mink. Recently, raccoon dog fur has also been found in products labeled as “faux fur.” Photo Credit: scienceblogs.com

“The lines between real and fake have gotten really blurry,” Dan Mathews, senior vice president with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), told the New York Times.

“In this global marketplace, there are fur farms in China that raise dogs for clothing that is labeled as fake fur here in the U.S. because that’s what the market best responds to.”

The HSUS promptly filed a petition to investigate the falsification of labels.

In mid-March, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a settlement with the companies. The retailers will be subject to significant fines if they mislabel fur again in the next 20 years.

The HSUS has been investigating retailers since 2006, when an anonymous informant claimed a clothing store was going to be advertising real fur as faux fur.

Since the incident in 2006, the HSUS examines websites and stores for mislabeled products. If they suspect an article is falsely labeled, they send it to a lab to be tested.

“We continue to find animal fur sold as faux fur every single season,” said Pierre Grzybowski, the research and enforcement manager of the Fur-Free campaign for the HSUS.

The cages injure the rabbit's feet and the insanitary conditions see many of them, such as this one, suffer infections and illness. Photo Credit: PETA
Cages injure rabbits’ feet and the unsanitary conditions often lead to infections and illness. Photo Credit: PETA

Animals in the fur industry suffer immensely. Many are skinned alive and forced to live in tiny cages for their entire lives. More than 75 million animals, including raccoons and rabbits, are killed every year by the fur trade.

According to recent polls, more than a third of Americans believe purchasing fur is immoral. Regardless of one’s stance in the fur-trade debate, consumers still deserve the right to be confident in their purchases, and not question the authenticity of labels. Simply put, selling real animal fur as “faux” is a violation of trust between corporations and consumers.

Click here for an updated list of animal-friendly retailers.

— Kayla Newcomer, exclusive to Global Animal