This Is What We Found When We Sent a ‘Faux-Fur’ Hat to the Lab

Posted by on June 17, 2015 | Permalink

When we were contacted by a PETA supporter about a supposedly “faux fur”–trimmed hat she had seen on sale that looked suspiciously like it was made from real animal fur, we hoped it wasn’t true – especially when we learned that the hat was on sale at her local Dobbies Garden Centres, which is owned by Tesco, a company that has marketed itself to kind consumers with a long-standing fur-free policy.

Emma, rocket the rabbit and hat

Emma, who was horrified at the thought that customers were unwittingly buying something made from a dead animal’s skin, informed Dobbies in writing immediately and called customer services, only to be fobbed off and told she was wrong. Still not convinced, she sent the hat to the PETA office so that we could take a closer look. We dispatched it to the lab for microscopic and DNA testing, and the results were conclusive – real fur was indeed being sold under a deceptive “faux” label.

Dobbies Hat Label Detail

After hearing from PETA, Tesco removed all the remaining hats from Dobbies’ shelves. We’ve also contacted Tesco Chief Executive Dave Lewis urging him to order a mandatory inspection of all “faux-fur” products across all Tesco subsidiaries. After all, it’s outrageous that consumers were misled by the label into purchasing cruelly produced items that they would never knowingly choose to buy.

Animals on fur farms spend their entire lives in cramped, filthy cages before they’re killed. And in China – where Tesco’s fur hat was sourced – animals, including cats and dogs, are sometimes skinned alive.

While PETA would like to applaud companies that have strict no-fur policies, such claims are meaningless if they’re not actually enforced. This disturbing case has shown that not only is Tesco’s current system of “random sampling checks” woefully lacking but also that the failure to act on customer complaints means that these hats were sold to unsuspecting consumers for several months. This is simply not good enough.

As opinion polls show that 95 per cent of the public would never dream of wearing real fur, we’re asking Tesco to order a company-wide inspection and act immediately to remove any real fur items from circulation.

Today, faux fur is so realistic that it’s easy to label real fur as fake. Please be vigilant when buying any items labelled as “faux fur”, and if you have any doubts, leave the item on the shelf.