For Immediate Release
International Retailer Urban Outfitters Admits to Deceptive Mislabeling of Real Fur as Fake
Uncovered by PINNACLE: Reinvent the Icon’s Joshua Katcher
International retail chain Urban Outfitters has admitted in an official letter to the marketing of a garment trimmed in real fur as fake, a violation of The Truth in Fur Labeling Act, signed into law by President Obama in December 2010 and going into effect in March 2011. The admission comes after the misleading marketing was revealed by Joshua Katcher, whose PINNACLE: Reinvent the Icon campaign aims to give a new face to the anti-fur movement and educate the style-savvy about the true cruelties of the fur trade. Urban Outfitters had committed in 2009 to no longer offering any fur items for sale, and is included on the Human Society of the United States (HSUS) website’s list of “Fur-free Retailers, Designers, an Brands.” Katcher’s findings and request for an apology from Urban Outfitters are documented extensively in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMvfnLks2_Y&feature=player_embedded.
In a letter addressed to Joshua Katcher, the retailer's representative stated, "We sincerely apologize for this unacceptable mistake. We take our agreement with PETA to stop selling fur seriously and want to uphold our promise." They explained that the deception had originated with the product vendor's factory.
The apology comes during New York City's Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week, an event that is expected to reveal that the world's top fashion designers are again embracing real fur, with little or no regard for the cruelty necessary in its production.
On January 24, 2011 Katcher announced via the PINNACLE blog that according to his findings (originally discovered by fashion blogger La Belle Nuage), Urban Outfitters seemed to be “breaking the law by violating the Truth in Fur Labeling Act” by selling a women’s cardigan that appeared to be trimmed in real fur, while describing its content as only including “cotton, acrylic, polyester.” Katcher wrote, “Someone, or several people, are not doing their job…. These laws are set up to protect both fashion consumers and animals, and when a huge store like Urban Outfitters, who makes millions marketing the aesthetics of cool, counter-culture youth, can not keep track of what they are selling, it reinforces my desire to never shop there.” He encouraged readers to contact the company and voice their complaints. To provide evidence of his statement, he ordered the item in question from the Urban Outfitters website.
Following extensive coverage of Katcher’s revelation by Change.org’s Annie Hartnett, Urban Outfitters denied the allegations in email statements, and pulled the item from their online store. Upon receipt of the item, Katcher’s suspicions were proven, and the item was confirmed to contain real fur. The retailer's letter states, "Unfortunately, the information we’d initially gathered led us to believe that the collar trim was indeed faux fur. After further investigation we were able to confirm your assertion that the trim in question was in fact real fur."
Katcher's response to the apology was positive, "It's fantastic that Urban Outfitters has admitted to the mistake, apologized, and agreed to maintain their anti-fur position. Consumers need to be more vigilant than ever with so much fur coming from China where no animal welfare regulations exist and labeling loopholes create problems like this. Thankfully, people who are as shocked by fur production as I am can once again feel confident shopping at Urban Outfitters."
Joshua Katcher founded The Discerning Brute blog (www.thediscerningbrute.com) in 2008 as a resource for intelligent men who want to make ethical, informed decisions concerning their lifestyles. He has been deemed, "The New Sexy Vegan" by UK's The Guardian and a "Vegan superstar" by Oprah.com.
For further information or to request an interview with Joshua Katcher, please contact:
Maya Gottfried at Girl and the World: (347) 885-9051 / email@example.com