Tips to shopping for fur-free fashion online

Behind the glamorous catwalks and glossy pages of high fashion magazines, there has been a solid debate circulating for years about the ethics surrounding using fur for fashion. Each year our catwalks are graced with the presence of huge designers showing their wares and promoting the next trend, and as winter once again approaches, fur will more than likely be on the wish list of many a fashionista.

Although the battle to ban fur in the fashion industry is a long and tiring one, there are certain websites such as ASOS Marketplace that hold strict policies on animal welfare. As they state, “ASOS firmly believe it is not acceptable for animals to suffer in the name of fashion or cosmetics…real fur or pelts must not be used in our products. This includes Karakul lambskin pelts from aborted or newborn lambs.”

The ASOS Marketplace Animal Welfare Policy also states that wool, cashmere, mohair, angora and other rabbit hair must be sourced from producers with good animal husbandry when used in their products.

Other online retailers such as H&M, John Lewis and Marks and Spencer have joined ASOS and ASOS Marketplace in pledging to remain fur free and have all registered to be recognised by the International Fur Free Retailer programme. Today, many fashion lovers are choosing to buy fake fur to keep up to the trends in an ethical way, but how can you be sure you are buying completely fur free? Our guide helps you to spot the real from the fake.
On the garment

Look at the lining detail: Real fur coats will usually have two linings whereas fake furs typically just have one. If you can see an outer shell followed by an inner lining with a wool or flannel material, the chances are the fur is real. This is hard to tell from a picture, but take a close look and see if you can see any giveaways.

Check for labels: After 1951, every genuine fur garment legally had to be labelled under the Federal Trade Commission laws for fur manufactured, imported and sold in the USA. The laws stated that a Fur Label Authority tag had to be displayed in a permanent, visible place on the garment to show the authenticity of the clothing. Look for any authentic labels or stamping which might suggest the fur is real.

Look at the print: If the print of the fur is completely symmetrical and all the lines are even, then it is more than likely fake. Real furs have imperfects and will never be 100% symmetrical.

Check the finish: Real furs aren’t terribly shiny and they don’t appear to be tangled or frayed. Faux furs can look a little matted, curled and even frayed on the edges.

On the website

Look for the Fur Free Retailer logo: The little curled up fox logo with a red border symbolises companies approved by the International Fur Free Retailer – this means the company has applied to be recognised as a fur free retailer and that they have been checked against strict guidelines to ensure that their policies are ethical.

Check the company policy on animal welfare: Reputable companies display their policies on animal welfare clearly. The policy for a fur free website should state that the company does not use fur, full stop. It should be a clear cut answer with no questionable areas.

Get in the blogosphere: Blogging has become the most popular way to share opinions and reviews on products and services, so use blogs to your advantage to help you find the retailers you want to shop with. Cruelty-free bloggers are savvy when it comes to sourcing the best products online so ask them for their advice and tips on where to shop.

Check the company out on PETA or Fur Free Retailer: Websites such as PETA and Fur Free Retailer provide lists of companies that have animal welfare policies in place and operate completely fur free. If the company is on the list, then you can be sure they’re cruelty free.


  • Reply Saroosh Wednesday 23rd April, 2014 at 11:21 am

    love animal prints but wouldn’t wanna wear a poor animal around me 🙁

  • Reply dj23249 Sunday 13th April, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Nice horse

  • Reply dj23249 Friday 28th February, 2014 at 7:01 am

    PETA do great work and have made a difference

  • judi1
    Reply judi1 Sunday 9th February, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Thank God for ASOS!!!

  • Reply Whatthe Friday 7th February, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I love animals but I wouldn’t have the guts to pose naked myself!

  • Reply amanda6393 Friday 7th February, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Beat me, but I see no problem with fur taken from animals which are being used for food anyway. Probably not the case though…

  • sommy7
    Reply sommy7 Thursday 6th February, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Not to my liking

  • Reply yslyenom Monday 3rd February, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Not into fur and animal prints.

  • Reply BellaB Saturday 1st February, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I don’t like fur, fake or real.

  • Reply dj23249 Friday 31st January, 2014 at 5:57 am

    Love Asos and no need to ever wear real fur

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