The HSUS bought coats from high-end stores that were labelled with "faux" or "fake" fur. After testing the fibers for protein sequences, they discovered that the fur was real, and that a lot of it came from domesticated dogs.
The brands that sold the coats included Tommy Hilfiger (a personal friend of Beyonce, another fur whore) and Andrew Marc.
Many of the retailers (including Nordstrom) are allowing buyers to return the vests and coats because they were mislabelled as fake. The HSUS is pleased with the reactions from the retailers.
This is absolutely disgusting. As if fur wasn't bad enough, regular people who are trying to make a difference by not wearing animals are wearing them without knowing. The only 100% accurate way to check if fur is real or not is to do protein analysis. And if you are in a store, that's not really possible. However, if you are a savvy consumer, there are other ways to make sure aren't wearing Fifi or Fido. (Personally I do not like fur, real OR fake)
Other retailers the Humane Society said sold mislabeled raccoon dog fur
included Lord & Taylor, BergdorfGoodman.com and Neiman Marcus.com. Designers
whose clothes were mismarked included Donna Karan’s DKNY and Michael Kors. A
coat from Oscar de la Renta advertised as raccoon had raccoon dog fur.
Marcus, which owns Bergdorf Goodman, said it removed Bogner and Andrew Marc
coats from its Web sites. Michael Kors said it was investigating, and a DKNY
spokeswoman said the label was unaware that raccoon dog fur had been
used. (To read the full article on MSNBC.com, click here.)
Here is an eBay guide on how to tell the difference between faux and real fur, even though it is sort of guided towards those who wish to purchase real fur, it still will help you to tell the difference.
Sometimes though, it is hard to do some of those things to a garment you see in a store. Also, not everyone can be sure of checking a garment by how it looks if they are not very experienced. If that is the case, snip a tiny amount of fur from the item and go into the mall bathroom and burn it to check the scent if it is real or not. Real fur will smell like burning human hair when burned.
Another idea not mentioned in the guide is that real fur smells like formaldehyde and other chemicals used to preserve it. While faux fur is still synthetic chemicals, it will not smell like an embalmer's office!
The easiest way not to make a mistake? Don't buy real or fake fur! Even fake fur (though it may look chic) still sends the message that animal pelt is "cool", even if it is not real.