House of Fraser has faced a backlash for its decision to resume selling fur products.
The company previously released a statement in 2017 to say it had a “strict no-fur policy”.
But, now it has reportedly begun selling garments lined with fur again, a move which follows the company’s takeover by Sports Direct CEO Mike Ashley last year.
It has been called a “PR disaster” and “painfully out of touch” by the Humane Society International (HSI), while PETA director Elisa Allen has accused owner Ashley of “losing his mind”.
House of Fraser has resumed selling fur-containing items in-store. This is according to pictures shared on social media of coats with a rabbit fur trim sold by the retailer .
Twitter users have called the department store’s selling of fur “unacceptable”, while others have said they will boycott.
The retailer is also said to have sold two items by brand Pyrenex made with racoon fur – an “authentic shiny coat” and an “Aboa fur hat”, according to reports from the Daily Mail.
However, these two Pyrenex items appear to have been since removed from the website.
House of Fraser selling rabbit fur trimmed coats for Christmas. Tell them what you think about this exploitation & cruelty for profit @houseoffraser @Animal_Watch @peta @PeterEgan6 @emeliobedelio pic.twitter.com/U8Fy4CbWzL— dominic dyer (@domdyer70) November 18, 2019
UK banned fur farms nearly 20 yrs ago, knowing them to be unacceptable. How can we still import the victims' coats from foreign farms? Homegrown or imported, it is wrong. @houseoffraser should be ashamed. High end fashion houses have dropped fur with deserved disgust.— Jenni Goldsmith (@JenniGoldsmith) November 18, 2019
Please stop using fur from innocent beings! With so many alternatives there are absolutely no excuses for any animal suffering in this day and age. @houseoffraser lead by example and stop selling fur now.— Reconnect with Nature (@reconwithnature) November 18, 2019
I'm at a loss for words - I thought we were moving forwards, away from such barbaric cruelty. I hope this disgusting 'fashion' decision destroys House of Fraser. They're owned by Sports Direct - another company to add to the #Boycott list!— Girl Without A Face (@megwaf) November 21, 2019
Protestors also lined up outside shops on Monday this week to hold the store to account.
PETA Director Elisa Allen said in a statement to Yahoo UK: “Has House of Fraser's new owner lost his mind, or does he just not mind losing customers? At a time when designers, retailers, entire councils, and high-profile individuals – including Her Majesty the Queen – are turning their backs on real animal fur, the company's decision to start hawking it is both shameful and perplexing.
“Today's shoppers wouldn't be seen dead in the skins of animals who were confined to cramped, filthy cages for their entire lives before being killed by electrocution, bludgeoning, or other violent methods – or who were caught in steel-jaw traps in the woods and left to languish for days before being shot, stamped on, or bludgeoned to death.
“Ninety-five per cent of the British public refuses to wear animal fur, and PETA urges House of Fraser to come to its senses, do the decent thing, and reinstate its no-fur policy immediately. Otherwise, it'll find its shelves stocked but its stores empty of shoppers this winter.”
Claire Bass, executive director at HSI UK, said in a statement: “The vast majority of shoppers want nothing to do with the cruelty of the fur trade, so it’s highly unlikely that House of Fraser will be helped by filling its shelves with fur products from rabbits, raccoon dogs and foxes who’ve suffered a life of misery on fur farms, and coyotes trapped and shot to death in the wild.”
Earlier this month, the Queen announced her decision to switch to faux fur clothing and accessories in a move which has been praised and called a “sign of the times” by animal activists.
In recent years, the fashion industry has been held to account by animal rights activists for its use of real animal fur – with the likes of Gucci, Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo opting to go fur-free.
Last year, a group of female PETA supporters stormed Fashion Week to protest the industry’s use of fur, donning the painted slogan, ‘Wear Your Own Skin’, across their bodies.