Sean “Diddy” Combs has apologized for unwittingly selling garments in his Sean John line made with dog fur.
The HSUS had discovered the fur after a series of tests on several items by various manufacturers. After the results were made public, a Sean John Hooded Snorkel Jacket sold at Macy’s stores and at macys.com and advertised as sporting an “imitation rabbit fur collar” was yanked from store shelves.
“I was completely unaware of the nature of this material, but as soon as we were alerted, the garments were pulled off the Macy’s floor and website,” Combs said in a statement. “I have instructed our outerwear licensee to cease the production of any garments using this material immediately. I appreciate the tireless work that the Humane Society does and would like to thank them for bringing attention to this issue.”
Sean John wasn’t the only label found to contain raccoon dog fur, which comes from a type of dog bred in China. Eight other fur-lined garments from the likes of Calvin Klein, Baby Phat and MaxMara sold by such retailers as Bloomingdale’s, JCPenney, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Burlington Coat Factory were also tested and found to have raccoon dog fur.
“First these jackets were falsely advertised as faux fur, and then it turned out that the fur came from a type of dog,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO, in a statement. “This is an industry-wide problem, and our investigation demonstrates that retailers and designers aren’t paying close enough attention to the composition of the fur trim they are selling. It’s especially problematic when the fur is sourced from China, where domestic dogs and cats and raccoon dogs are killed in gruesome ways, even skinned alive.”
According to the HSUS, Combs’ apparel violated the Fur Products Labeling Act, which prohibits the advertising or sale of any fur product that is falsely or misleadingly labeled and could lead the Federal Trade Commission to impose criminal penalties such as fines of up to $5,000 per violation and the seizure of products.
Pacelle said he hoped the scandal prompts Congress to take action by amending the Dog and Cat Protection Act, which prohibits the selling of dog or cat fur in the U.S., to also include raccoon dogs, which are bred in China, where animal-welfare laws are lax.