Vancouver animal-rights activists demand Winners stores go fur-free

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      Local animal-rights activists say they’ve caught Winners selling real fur labelled as fake fur.

      The Vancouver Animal Defense League found jackets labelled as 100 percent polyester at Winners clothing stores in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Surrey. But the group says the fur trim on the jackets is actually from raccoon dogs.

      Marley Daviduk, an activist with VADL, told the Straight that Winners should recall the jackets.

      “We want Winners to adopt a fur-free policy,” Daviduk said by phone. “I think it’s extremely unethical that they’re one of Canada’s largest retailers of fur, but the majority of people that are buying it at Winners don’t know that it’s real because of the mislabelling.”

      Winners is owned by Massachusetts-based TJX Companies, the parent company of HomeSense, Marshalls, T. J. Maxx, and other retail chains.

      TJX says it is looking into the matter. Doreen Thompson, vice president of global communications for TJX, did not arrange an interview and instead emailed a prepared statement.

      According to Daviduk, the raccoon dog, which is native to Asia, is one of the most common sources of fur for the trim on jacket hoods “simply because of just how beautiful it is”.

      “It’s multicoloured,” Daviduk said. “It’s really long and luxurious. You see it more often on trim than you would on an actual fur coat.”

      Activists say the raccoon dog is one of the most common sources of fur trim.
      Vancouver Animal Defense League

      The activist noted that many shoppers assume that fur trim is only found on expensive jackets.

      “People are overestimating the cost of producing cheap fur,” Daviduk said. “Over 90 percent of the world’s fur comes from China. The fur for fur trim, we’re looking at sometimes $1 a pelt. It’s not more expensive than fake fur to produce it, so that’s why you’re seeing a lot of fur trim on cheap or less expensive jackets. People are assuming that the price, if it’s low, that it could not possibly be real fur.”

      Winners has more than 220 stores in Canada. In the 2013–14 fiscal year, TJX reported net income of US$2.1 billion on net sales of US$27.4 billion.

      Every Friday evening, VADL holds a fur protest outside Brooklyn Clothing (418 Davie Street) in Vancouver.




      Oct 1, 2014 at 11:44am

      It's odd that they don't have a problem with all the leather shoes and jackets that Winners sells.


      Oct 1, 2014 at 1:14pm

      Bradley...they do. Unfortunately it is only possible to focus on so many issues at once. You should get in contact with them to ask those questions rather than making ignorant comments online.

      Jon Q. Publik

      Oct 1, 2014 at 1:49pm

      If people really have problems with fur they should just leave Canada and go somewhere else, because last time I checked Canada was founded on the fur industry.


      Oct 1, 2014 at 2:57pm

      Let their customers decide what they want to buy. If you want to campaign to educate consumers of your position that is fine but do not lobby to limit consumer choices.

      Brandee dee

      Oct 1, 2014 at 3:14pm

      Canada was also found on genocide and colonialism.


      Oct 1, 2014 at 3:44pm

      Bleah. In principle, I guess fur is not intrinsically worse than leather, but as consumers we definitely need to be able to make a choice to buy it or not. Gross.


      Oct 1, 2014 at 4:01pm

      Just because a country was "founded" on the exploitation of animals (and let's not forget the exploitation of native peoples - funny how oppression of one species very much enables the oppression of another, and how the white man seems to always be at the helm of it) doesn't make it right that it happened that way, and it certainly doesn't make a case for it to continue. Would you say the same thing about Nazi's putting people in concentration camps and Germany's economy doing well as a result? Should we allow that to have a resurgence, then? Give your head a shake.


      Oct 1, 2014 at 4:26pm

      One if the local bars has the following sticker on the wall,
      "The reason more people protest fur than leather is that it is easier to trow paint on rich old ladies than bikers"

      These hippies need to get a life. They sit in their concrete and steel highrises, blogging on their I pad about how terrible mining, logging, oil, and hunting are. Without those of us working is primary industries, they would freeze in the dark instead of working to shut us down.


      Oct 1, 2014 at 7:21pm

      What's with the hippie hate? 'Concrete and steel highrises, blogging on their Ipad.' What are you talking about? I'm no hippie, but the ones I know live nothing like that. I'm afraid you are just perpetuating lies/false-stereotypes to make yourself feel better about your line of work. Look in a mirror, chump.


      Oct 1, 2014 at 9:10pm

      For what it's worth, the US was founded on slavery, would anyone seriously suggest that slavery is a good idea. For those who argue that wearing fur is an individual choice, you might want to remember that in some countries, beating your wife is also considered an individual choice. Hardly makes it right though.