Fur products

Real or Faux?

Tips to spot the difference


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.  So how can you be sure that you made the right ‘faux’ choice?

A garment’s price tag is no longer a reliable indicator of the fabric it is made from. What’s more, adding to the confusion for those after animal-friendly fashion, the fur trimming on a jacket or bag could be the real thing but 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 zhe 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 breez. 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.

Investigation shows real fur labelled as ‘faux’ in Australia

FOUR PAWS Australia and the Animal Justice Party (AJP) undertook a joint investigation into the sale of real fur products in Melbourne, Victoria. 

This investigation culminated with the successful motion to investigate illegal fur labelling by the Victorian State Government. FOUR PAWS Australia continues to work alongside the AJP to build on this momentum! 

In New South Wales (NSW), Sydney’s Inner West Council successfully passed a motion in favor of prohibiting the sale of animal fur and exotic skin products on Council property with near-unanimous support. The Council is also calling on the State Government to investigate the size and impact of illegal fur labelling in NSW. Further momentum is gaining in NSW, as City of Sydney has announced plans to ban the sale of fur and fur products, while Canterbury Bankstown council will undertake an investigation into both fur and exotic animal products, with plans to impose a ban.

Fake fur

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.

Posted on November 3, 2020 by Elise Burgess