Is The Gap As Fur-Free As It Claims?

Gap Inc. Denounced For Allowing Its Brands to Sell Fur

The Gap is well known for being a fur-free retailer. It has taken a serious stance on animal welfare in the past, but according to animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the store is selling fur through its retailer INTERMIX. PETA slammed the move as false advertising and called on the clothing manufacturer to halt the sale of fur by any of its brands.

“Gap Inc. has used its fur-free policy to lure in kind consumers who otherwise would never have supported a company that subjects animals to beatings, miserable confinement, and live skinning,” Tracy Reiman, PETA executive vice president, said in a statement. “PETA is demanding that the company drop fur from all its brands immediately, for the good of animals and consumers.”

The Gap does have a pretty extensive animal welfare policy according to the company’s website:

We are deeply committed to the ethical sourcing of our product, which includes the humane treatment of animals. We expect all suppliers to make our branded and private label products in an ethical and responsible way. We require suppliers to only use skins, down and feathers that come from animals bred for food. In addition:

We do not use angora or real fur.
We oppose mulesing, and are phasing out the use of mulesed wool.
We prohibit feathers and down plucked from live birds.
We do not allow animal testing on our personal care products.

But PETA said that the Gap brand INTERMIX has been selling fur from rabbits, coyotes, foxes, minks, and Asiatic raccoon dogs. These animals are often killed in a particularly violent manner, according to PETA, “As documented by PETA, eyewitness investigations have revealed that in China—the world’s largest exporter of fur and where INTERMIX may currently obtain much of its fur—rabbits are hung upside down, screaming and kicking, and forced to watch those ahead of them die violently before their own throats are cut.”

Ecouterre reports that PETA currently has an online petition urging retailers like The Gap, Calvin Klein, Zara, and J. Crew to stop any sales of fur products. Thus far, 132,000 people have signed the petition.

According to The Dodo, the Gap has been slammed for this before. “In 2006, the company launched its franchise Piperlime, a chain that offered private-label and branded apparel, jewelry and handbags. Piperlime offers several items that feature real fur. Fox, mink and rabbit are among the furs offered.”

If you’re concerned about the sale of fur, you can make an impact with your dollars. Choose fur-free retailers and don’t buy fur. Once, you understand the pain these animals go through, it becomes more difficult to choose a product that could directly harm them–especially, when it’s so unnecessary. Fake fur looks just as good as real fur, if you can’t seem to part with it.

Related on EcoSalon:

Angora Wool is Finally on the Decline: Fashion Brands Ditching Cruelty

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Now Jon Stewart Can Add Farm Animal Savior to His Resume

Image: Mike Mozart