Faux real? How to identify real and fake fur in stores

Knowing whether you’re looking at real or fake (faux) fur is constantly growing complicated in Canada. Technological advances in materials make fake fur look, feel, and move more realistic, and the variety of accessories that bear fur in trims or accents has also grown.

Despite not wanting to wear real fur, we regularly hear from individuals who aren’t sure if they’re looking at real or fake fur in a store, on a garment a friend has, or on an accessory they received as a gift. We’ve put together a few tips to help make compassionate choices – and Make Fur History.

  • Know Canada’s fur labelling laws. The only time fur needs to be labelled in Canada is when it’s been removed from the skin/hide – and that’s a highly uncommon occurrence. That means it’s entirely up to a manufacturer to disclose if a product has real fur, and even retailers don’t always know.
  • Don’t be fooled by colours or textures. Fashion designers and manufacturers who use real fur treat it many ways – by giving it strange shape or cuts, dying it bright or unusual colours, or even turning a hide into a bauble.
  • Look at the roots. Faux fur is typically sewn into a fabric, or in some similar way attached. If you spread apart the ‘fur’ on a garment or product you can frequently see some kind of stitching or that the fur seems to blend into the base (which is the skin/hide). This is not foolproof, but it’s often the fastest and easiest way to know if you’re looking at real or fake fur.

Of course, simply not buying any fur – including fake fur – is the only way to guarantee you won’t unintentionally support the brutal fur industry. With compassionate people like you, though, we know that we truly can #MakeFurHistory.


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Join The Fur-Bearers today and help us provide alternatives to fur and non-lethal solutions to wildlife conflict. We receive no government funding and rely entirely on donations from supporters like you. To become a monthly donor (for as little as $10/month – the cost of two lattes) please click here and help us save lives today.

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About Us

The Fur-Bearers is a national non-profit based in Vancouver. It was formed in 1953 and advocates on behalf of fur-bearing animals in the wild and in confinement, and promotes co-existence with wildlife. More about our history and campaigns can be found at thefurbearers.com.

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