With myriad high-and not-so-high end brands including Jean Paul Gaultier, Michael Kors and Zara opting to fake the real deal, faux fur has never looked so stylish. Real fur, meanwhile, often comes in bright, eye-popping colours making it tricky to recognise.  

A garment’s price tag is no longer a reliable indicator of the fabrics it’s made from and, adding to the confusion for those after animal-friendly fashion, the fur trimming on a jacket or bag could be the real thing but in many cases isn’t clearly labelled or even mis-labelled as fake fur. 

For ethical fashionistas who want glamour without cruelty, don’t despair. Here are four handy hints to ensure your furry attire is of the Wear it Kind variety.   

  • The underwool test: Pull the upper hair of the fur slightly apart and see if you can detect the underwool. It’s made of fine, dense and fluffy hairs that keep animals warm in freezing temperatures.
  • The leather test: Real fur is processed together with leather. Pull the hairs carefully apart. You should be able to tell whether the material underneath is woven fabric or leather.
  • The wind test: Real fur moves in the slightest breeze. Blow very gently over the fur and if the hairs move, it probably came from a furry creature.
  • The scent test. Not to be tried in the store of course, but real hair will react very differently to a flame than imitation hair. If they crumble and you can smell burnt hair or skin, it’s real. Imitation fur gives off an artificial scent when burnt. These fibres melt into small hard lumps rather than ash.
The visible stitching on faux fur garments

The Fur Free Retailer program 
Did you know that FOUR PAWS is the official representative of the Fur Free retailer program in Australia, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and South Africa?  If you want to be sure that you’re not buying real fur by mistake, check the list of fashion labels with a fur-free policy published by the Fur Free Retailer initiative. Check out Shop Fur Free today!