Exploding Fur Industry Facing New Regulations


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Fur was all over the runways for fall/winter 2010. Designers, heedless of the wrath of PETA, showed fur vests, long fur coats and even fur-trimmed bags and shoes.

Two looks from the Chanel fall/winter 2010 runway. Images via Style.com

In fact, fur is an even bigger trend this year than in 2009 (which in and of itself was a banner year for the industry). “We’re finding that younger people are interested in fur again,” said the executive VP of the Fur Council of Canada to The Globe and Mail. This past July, the U.S. Fur Commission released last years’ numbers; according to the statement it was, “the second-largest annual crop [of mink pelts] this century, surpassed only by the 2.87 million pelts harvested in 2006.”

It’s about time, then, that the U.S. Senate passed a bill to regulate fur labeling. According to The Huffington Post, which reported on the news on Thursday, “Since the 1950s, any fur garment sold in the U.S. has had to include a label indicating the species of animal used and the country of origin, but there’s a gaping loophole in the current law that excludes fur-trimmed garments if the value of the fur is $150 or less.” This loophole allowed retailers to label fur items “faux-fur,” infuriating animal rights activists.

The new bill requires retailers to disclose what type of fur is on these garments. It now awaits President Obama’s signature before becoming law. It’s possible that the bill, once law, will lead to increased costs as brands turn to more expensive fur for trim in lieu of cheaper but less-attractive-to-consumer options like raccoon dog. At the very least, it will make shoppers more conscious of the source of their apparel.