Sean Jean Sells Dog Fur Jacket as “Faux”

The Humane Society has issued the results of their tests on a supposedly “faux” fur Sean Jean jacket sold at Macys. From the Press Release:

    “First these jackets were falsely advertised as faux fur, and then it turned out that the fur came from a type of dog,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “This is an industry-wide problem, and our investigation demonstrates that retailers and designers aren’t paying close enough attention to composition of the fur trim they are selling. It’s especially problematic when the fur is sourced from China where domestic dogs and cats and raccoon dogs are killed in gruesome ways, even skinned alive. The safest course of action is for Sean Combs and other designers and retailers to stop using fur trim. That single act would solve the problems we have uncovered.”

Sean Jean is the clothing label of Sean “puffy” Combs, P. Diddy, whatever. That guy. The above photo is of the type of dog used in the coat.—MEGHANN MARCO

Full Press Release inside.

    Diddy in Doghouse Over Fur Coat Fiasco

    The Humane Society of the United States Investigation Reveals that Sean John Jacket, Advertised as “Faux Fur” at Macy’s, is Fur from Canines

    WASHINGTON (December 22, 2006) – The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released the results of a mass spectrometry test today conducted on a Sean John Hooded Snorkel Jacket sold on Macys.com that was originally advertised as having an “imitation rabbit fur collar” and materials identified as “faux fur.”

    The jacket, part of a clothing line by Sean “Diddy” Combs, was labeled as containing “raccoon” fur, but has now been found to be fur from a canine species known as “raccoon dog.” Macy’s informed The HSUS that the company has pulled the mislabeled Sean John garments from its department stores and online shop. The group is urging all retailers to follow the lead of Macy’s.

    “First these jackets were falsely advertised as faux fur, and then it turned out that the fur came from a type of dog,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “This is an industry-wide problem, and our investigation demonstrates that retailers and designers aren’t paying close enough attention to composition of the fur trim they are selling. It’s especially problematic when the fur is sourced from China where domestic dogs and cats and raccoon dogs are killed in gruesome ways, even skinned alive. The safest course of action is for Sean Combs and other designers and retailers to stop using fur trim. That single act would solve the problems we have uncovered.”

    The news comes on the heels of other mass spectrometry tests conducted by The HSUS on a range of fur-trimmed jackets – from retailers such as Burlington Coat Factory, Bloomingdale’s, J.C. Penney, Macy’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue, and from designers and clothing lines such as Baby Phat, Andrew Marc, MaxMara, and Calvin Klein – revealing that most of the jackets labeled as “raccoon” or “coyote” from China in fact contain fur from raccoon dogs. Of the ten garments tested by The HSUS, nine tested positive as raccoon dog fur and were mislabeled, a violation of federal law.

    Due to the lack of animal welfare laws and prevalence of garment factories, China currently ranks as the leading exporter of fur and supplies half of all of the fur products that enter the United States for sale. Animals documented being raised and killed in China – in barbaric ways – include dogs, cats, foxes, mink, and, of particular note, raccoon dogs, a species of canine whose fur resembles raccoon. An HSUS investigation in China in 1998 revealed that fur sellers in China will attach almost any label their customers want on their coats.

    The Fur Products Labeling Act prohibits the advertising or sale of any fur product that is falsely or misleadingly labeled, and authorizes the Federal Trade Commission to seek criminal penalties, impose fines of up to $5,000 per violation and to seize mislabeled products.

    The HSUS is also calling on Congress to amend the Dog and Cat Protection Act – which bans the sale of dog or cat fur in the United States – to include raccoon dog, since the animals are so inhumanely killed and the species is similar to domesticated dogs. Raccoon dogs are indigenous to Asia, including eastern Siberia and Japan, and are sometimes called Asiatic raccoons, Finn raccoons, or tanuki. “It would be jarring to the public to shop in a marketplace where dog and cat fur is banned, but coats labeled as ‘raccoon dog’ are still legally sold,” added Pacelle.

    Each year, over 50 million animals worldwide, such as dogs, cats, raccoon dogs, mink, foxes, bobcats, beavers, raccoons, and lynx, are killed for their fur. By supporting fur-free designers, sponsoring fashion design contests and advertising in industry publications, The HSUS’s Fur-Free Campaign works with both consumers and the fashion industry to encourage decisions that reject the use of fur and instead promote warm and fashionable alternatives. To learn about The HSUS’s Fur-Free Campaign and what you can do to take action, visit our website http://www.furfree.hsus.org .

    Media Contact: Karen L. Allanach (301) 548-7778, kallanach@hsus.org