Fur in Fashion

Fur in Fashion

Your family pet. The fox you see running through a field. The animals you see at the zoo. They are cute and fluffy. Their fur keeps them warm in the colder months just as Mother Nature had intended it to be. So why are so many designers and retailers using REAL fur in fashion? The answer is simple: because people are still buying real fur. Should the demand for real animal fur continue, than so will the killing of millions of innocent animals.

On fur factory farms around the world, millions of raccoon dogs, rabbits, foxes, mink, chinchillas, and other animals spend their lives in wire cages, only to be killed by anal electrocution, neck-breaking, or in gas chambers. Even more terrifying, raccoon dogs have been documented to be skinned alive. This type of fur is widely sold in the United States, commonly advertised falsely or labeled as either a different type of animal fur or faux fur. Oftentimes, it is not labeled at all. (1)

Although most dog and cat victims of the fur trade are raised and killed in China and other parts of Asia, their fur is exported for sale worldwide. Prompted by an HSUS investigation, the United States has banned the sale of dog and cat fur. However, recent investigations found that dog fur is still slipping into the country on unlabeled and falsely advertised jackets. But in the  United States, traps set for wild animals like foxes and bobcats maim or kill countless dogs and cats each year. (2)
Field Guide to Telling Animal Fur from Fake Fur (3)

With raccoon dogs being skinned alive and sold as faux fur on jackets, consumers and retailers need to check fur-trimmed products to ensure the material is really fake. Here are three tests that you can do to help identify questionable fur as real or fake. But, if you are ever in doubt, do not buy the item. This guide is not intended as a substitute for professional testing by experts in order to comply with applicable laws or for other reasons. Learn more at http://www.humanesociety.org/furfree.

1. Check the base of the fur for skin or fabric. Push apart the fur and look at the material at the base of the hairs. If the base material is not visible or unclear, and you own the garment, break the stitching and look at the non-hair side of the fur base, being sure to peel away all the layers of lining.


ANIMAL FUR: The surest sign of animal fur is leather/skin (usually white or tan, but possibly the color of the fur if it has been dyed).


FAKE FUR: The surest sign of fake fur is seeing the threadwork backing from which the “hairs” emerge.

2. Check the tips of the hairs for tapering. Both animal fur and fake fur come in many different colors and lengths.  However, if animal fur has not been sheared or cut to a uniform length or had the guard hairs plucked out, you may be able to examine the tips of the longest hairs and see that they taper into a fine point—like a cat's whisker or sewing needle.  Good lighting and a magnifying glass are helpful, as is holding the hairs up against a white surface.


ANIMAL FUR: Animal hairs—especially the thicker guard hairs (seen here)—can often be seen tapering to a point.
NOTE: This test can give a false negative for animal fur if the hairs have been sheared or plucked.


FAKE FUR: This image shows the straight across cut of a fake fur “hair.”
NOTE: Tapering has not been seen on any fake fur samples to date, but such a process may exist, or come into existence.

3. The Burn Test (only if you own the coat). Animal hair smells like human hair when burned; fake fur made from acrylic or polyester—the two most commonly used synthetics—does not. Carefully remove just a few hairs and then, holding them with tweezers above a dish or other non-flammable surface, ignite them with a cigarette lighter. Make sure to burn them away from the original garment and anything else flammable. Never conduct the burn test on hairs still attached to the jacket. The burn test should only be conducted by adults. 

Other testing methods and indicators not on this list—including the push pin test, the blow test, the finger roll test, the color of the fur, the length of the fur, and the relative softness of the fur—should not be relied upon.

Nowadays, there are far better and more chic alternatives to real fur. More designers and retailers are showing their compassion for the furry friends of the world. Below is a list of fur-free retailers, designers, and brands. Please go over the list before you make your next purchase. We want to support those who are doing better for the world. Leather is the skin for a lot of animals in the fashion world—they are also treated inhumanly with the killing and skinning of them for fashion. So next time you go to grab that new leather handbag or the coat with a fur trimming, think about what the animal felt before they died to make you look good. Go faux whenever possible.


  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • ActivewearUSA.com
  • Adolfo Dominguez*
  • aerie (American Eagle Outfitters)
  • aerie f.i.t. (American Eagle Outfitters)
  • Aéropostale
  • Alber Nipon (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Alloy (Delia's, Inc.)
  • Amanda Pearl
  • AK Anne Klein (Jones Apparel Group)
  • American Apparel*
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Analog Outerwear (Burton Snowboards)
  • Angelrox
  • Ann Taylor
  • Anne Klein New York (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Anthropologie
  • Apple Bottoms by Nelly
  • Ashley Paige
  • Ashley Watson
  • Athleta (The Gap, Inc.)
  • Axcess (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)
  • Axis (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Axist (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)


  • Bahar Shahpar
  • Banana Republic (The Gap, Inc.)
  • Bandolino (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Bandolinoblu (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Baracuta
  • BCBG Max Azria
  • BCBG//Attitude (BCBG Max Azria)
  • BCBGenerations (BCBG Max Azria)
  • Bealls
  • bebe (bebe stores, Inc.)
  • bebe O (bebe stores, Inc.)
  • BEBE SPORT (bebe stores, Inc.)
  • Belstaff
  • Benetton
  • Benjamin Cho
  • Betsey Johnson
  • Bettie Page Clothing
  • Billabong
  • Black Label (Polo by Ralph Lauren)
  • Blue Label (Polo by Ralph Lauren)
  • Bongo (Kenneth Cole)
  • Boston Proper
  • Burton Snowboards


  • C & C California (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Caché
  • Callaway Golf (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Calvin Klein
  • Calvin Klein Collection (Calvin Klein)
  • Calvin Klein Jeans (Calvin Klein)
  • Carhartt
  • Catherines
  • CCS (Delia's, Inc.)
  • Champs Sports (Foot Locker, Inc.)
  • Chaps (Polo by Ralph Lauren)
  • Charlotte Ronson
  • Charlotte Russe
  • Cherry Berry
  • Chico's
  • ck Calvin Klein (Calvin Klein)
  • Claiborne by John Bartlett (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)
  • Club Monaco (Polo by Ralph Lauren)
  • Coldwater Creek
  • Coldwater Creek's Sport Catalog (Coldwater Creek)
  • Cole Haan (Nike)
  • COLLECTION bebe (bebe stores, Inc.)
  • Columbia Sportswear Company
  • Concepts by Claiborne (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)
  • Converse, Inc. (Nike)
  • Creem Collection
  • Cri de Coeur
  • Cubavera


  • Daffy's
  • Dana Buchman (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)
  • Del Forte Denim
  • Delia's
  • DKNY Active (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)
  • DKNY Jeans (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)
  • DKNY Men (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)
  • Dockers (Levi's)
  • Dollhouse
  • Donna Salyers' Fabulous-Furs*
  • Dorotennis (BCBG Max Azria)
  • Diesel (Black Gold, Denim, Diesel Kid, Diesel Lifestyle)
  • Dress Barn
  • Duckie Brown


  • Eastbay (Foot Locker, Inc.)
  • Easy Spirit (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Ecoganik
  • ecoSkin
  • Ed Hardy
  • edc by esprit (Esprit)
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Edun
  • Eileen Fisher
  • Elan International
  • Element (Billabong)
  • Ella Moss
  • Elliot Gant (Gant)
  • Energie (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Energie (Sixty SpA)
  • Enzo Angiolini (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Erika (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Esprit*
  • Evan-Picone (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Express (Limited Brands)


  • Farah
  • Fashion Bug
  • Foot Locker
  • Footaction (Foot Locker, Inc.)
  • Forever 21
  • Free People (Urban Outfitters)


  • G by Guess (Guess?, Inc.)
  • G.N.H. (Gant)
  • G-lish Fashions
  • Gant
  • Gary Harvey Eco
  • Girl Star (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • GLO Jeans (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Gloria Vanderbilt (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Goody's
  • GoLite (Timberland)
  • Gotcha (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Grand Slam (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Grane (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Guess?


  • H&M*
  • Hard Tail
  • Helly Hansen*
  • Henri Bendel  (Limited Brands)
  • Hervé Léger by Max Azria (BCBG Max Azria)
  • Hervé Léger Couture (BCBG Max Azria)
  • Hilfiger Denim (Tommy Hilfinger)
  • Hilfiger Sport (Tommy Hilfinger)
  • Hollister Co. (Abercrombie & Fitch)
  • Honolua Surf Co. (Billabong)
  • howies (Timberland)
  • HSN (Home Shopping Network)
  • Hurley International LLC (Nike)


  • Imitation by Imitation of Christ
  • iPath (Timberland)
  • Iron Fist


  • J. Crew
  • J. Jill (The Talbots, Inc.)
  • Jag (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • James & Joy
  • Jantzen (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Jay McCarroll
  • Jeanstar (Jones Apparel Group)
  • JCPenney
  • Jimmy'Z (Aéropostale)
  • Joan & David (Jones Apparel Group)
  • John Bartlett
  • John Henry (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • John Varvatos
  • Jones Apparel Group
  • Jones New York Collection (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Jones New York Dress (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Jones New York Signature (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Jones New York Sport (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Juleselin
  • Juicy Couture (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)


  • Karen Walker
  • Kasper (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Kate Spade (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)
  • Katharine Hamnett
  • Kenneth Cole
  • Kenneth Cole New York (Kenneth Cole)
  • Kenneth Cole Reaction (Kenneth Cole)
  • Kensie (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)
  • Kensiegirl (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)
  • Kids Foot Locker (Foot Locker, Inc.)
  • Killah
  • Killer Loop (Benetton)
  • Kustom (Billabong)


  • l.e.i. (Jones Apparel Group)
  • La Senza (Limited Brands)
  • Lacoste
  • Lady Foot Locker (Foot Locker, Inc.)
  • Lands' End
  • Lane Bryant
  • Lara Miller
  • Laundry by Shelli Segal (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Lauren by Ralph Lauren (Polo by Ralph Lauren)
  • Lauren Conrad Collection
  • Leanne Marshall
  • Levi's
  • Le Suit (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Lilla P
  • Limited Brands
  • Linda Loudermilk
  • Liz & Co. (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)
  • Liz Claiborne New York (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)
  • Loyale Clothing
  • Lucky Brand (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)


  • Mac & Jac (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)
  • Madewell (J.Crew)
  • Malan Breton
  • Manhattan (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Manoukian (BCBG Max Azria)
  • Marmot
  • Marc Bouwer
  • Marciano (Guess?, Inc.)
  • Martin + Osa (American Eagle Outfitters)
  • Matt and Nat
  • Maurices (Dress Barn)
  • Max and cleo (BCBG Max Azria)
  • Max Azria Atelier (BCBG Max Azria)
  • Max Rave (BCBG Max Azria)
  • MCD (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Mexx (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)
  • Mion footwear (Timberland)
  • Miss Me
  • Miss Sixty
  • Mondo di Marco (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Montrail Footwear (Columbia Sportswear Company)
  • Mountain Hardwear (Columbia Sportswear Company)
  • Munsingwear (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Murphy & Nye


  • Natural Issue (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Naturesville
  • Naturevsfuture
  • Nautica
  • New York & Company
  • Nicole Miller
  • Nicole Miller Ltd.
  • Nike
  • Nike Swim (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Nine West (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Nixon (Billabong)
  • Northcountry catalog (Coldwater Creek)
  • NSF Clothing


  • Oakley
  • Old Navy (The Gap, Inc.)
  • Olsen Haus
  • Organic by John Partrick
  • Original Penguin by Munsingwear (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Overstock.com


  • Pacific Trail (Columbia Sportswear Company)
  • Palais Royal
  • Palmers Surf (Billabong)
  • Papaya
  • Pappagallo (Jones Apparel Group)
  • Patagonia
  • Paul Frank
  • Payless ShoeSource
  • Peebles
  • Perry Ellis America (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Perry Ellis International, Inc.
  • Perry Ellis Portfolio (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • PGA Tour (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Piperlime (The Gap, Inc.)
  • Playlife (Benetton)
  • Polo by Ralph Lauren
  • Polo Jeans Co. (Polo by Ralph Lauren)
  • prAna
  • Pro Player (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)


  • Ralph Lauren (Polo by Ralph Lauren)
  • Ralph Lauren Purple Label (Polo by Ralph Lauren)
  • Raphael
  • Rebecca Beeson
  • Rebecca Taylor
  • Redsand (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • RefrigiWare
  • Reiss
  • Richlu
  • RL Childrenswear (Polo by Ralph Lauren)
  • RLX (Polo by Ralph Lauren)
  • Ro & Co.
  • Robert Rodriguez (Jones Apparel Group)
  • RRL (Polo by Ralph Lauren)
  • Rugby (Polo by Ralph Lauren)
  • Rugger (Gant)
  • Ryann Ryann's


  • Samuel Dong
  • Savane (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Scapegoat  (prAna)
  • SDN
  • Sheila Frank
  • Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. (Levi's)
  • Sisley (Benetton)
  • Sixty SpA
  • Sorel (Columbia Sportswear Company)
  • Spirit (Coldwater Creek)
  • Splendid
  • Stage
  • Stella McCartney
  • Steve Madden
  • Stewart + Brown
  • Street Beat (BCBG Max Azria)
  • Suede
  • Sworn Virgins


  • Talbots
  • Tex by Max Azria (BCBG Max Azria)
  • The Andira Rain Tee Collection
  • The Gap
  • The Havanera Co. (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • The Limited
  • The North Face
  • Three Dots
  • Tigerlily (Billabong)
  • Timberland
  • Timberland PRO (Timberland)
  • Todd Oldham
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Topshop (mainly U.K.-based; one NYC store)*
  • Tribeca (Kenneth Cole)
  • Tricots St. (Perry Ellis International, Inc.)
  • Trovata
  • True Religion


  • Umbro Ltd. (Nike)
  • Undercolors (Benetton)
  • Uniqlo
  • United Colors of Benetton (Benetton)
  • Unlisted (Kenneth Cole)
  • Urban Outfitters


  • Vans
  • Vaute Couture
  • Vava by Joy Han
  • Victoria Bartlett/VPL
  • Victoria's Secret (Limited Brands)
  • Von Zipper (Billabong)
  • Voom by Joy Han


  • Wet Seal
  • Weatherproof Garment Company
  • White House/Black Market
  • William Rast


  • Xcel (Billabong)
  • XCVI


  • YMI Jeanswear


  • Zappos.com

*Indicates a company that has committed in writing to be fur-free through the international "Consumers for a Fur Free Society" program.


Go forth my fellow fashionanistas and shop FUR FREE because we want to keep these amazing animals alive for as long as we can!  Encourage your favorite designers and retailers to go ANIMAL free!  In todays world - it's more than possible!  Animals don't wear us - why wear them?  Stand up for what's right!  If you see anyone that needs to be added or taken of the list, please contact us at creatures@isfoundation.net.



(1) http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/fur_production/

(2) http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/dogs_cats_fur/

(3) http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/fur/field-guide-on-real-vs-fake-fur-final.pdf

(4) http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/fur_fashion/tips/fur-free_shopping.html