House Of Fraser Accused Of Lacking ‘Moral Compass’ After Ditching Fur Ban

The change is believed to have occurred after Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct bought the department store.

House of Fraser has come under fire for selling clothing trimmed in real fur, with many accusing the retailer of U-turning on its previous no-fur pledge.

The department store previously told HuffPost UK it had a “strict no-fur policy”, but customers have posted images of coats trimmed with real rabbit fur on social media. Pom-pom hats using real racoon fur can also be found online.

The policy shift appears to have occurred after Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct bought House of Fraser out of administration last year.

House of Fraser selling rabbit fur trimmed coats for Christmas. Tell them what you think about this exploitation & cruelty for profit @houseoffraser @Animal_Watch @peta @PeterEgan6 @emeliobedelio

— dominic dyer (@domdyer70) November 18, 2019

The retailer had previously had a long-standing no-fur policy. Back in 2017, gloves with a real fur trim were discovered in a House of Fraser store and swiftly removed by the apologetic retailer.

“House of Fraser has a strict no-fur policy and we ensure all of our suppliers and brand partners are aware of this,” a spokesperson told HuffPost UK at the time.

Humane Society International/UK
Humane Society International/UK
Humane Society International/UK

“Our customers want assurances that House of Fraser is not complicit in such unnecessary suffering of animals and we take this issue very seriously and have communicated this to the brand in question.”

Since real fur products have been found in stores and online, the charity Humane Society International/UK (HSI/UK) has dubbed the retailer “House of Horrors” and says it has contacted Sports Direct and Mark Ashley to discuss the apparent policy change, but is yet to receive a response.

Coats trimmed with real rabbit fur, available in store.
Humane Society International/UK
Coats trimmed with real rabbit fur, available in store.

Posing as a customer, a staff member from HSI/UK asked House of Fraser’s customer care service why real fur products had appeared online.

In screenshots of their messages seen by HuffPost UK, the customer care advisor said: “Some brands will now have real fur products [...] This policy only recently changed.”

“We provide a breadth of products from a wide variety of brands and partners which meet our customers’ needs,” the retailer added. “We encourage our partners to ensure products [are] ethically sourced and offer our customers a variety of choices, allowing them to make an informed decision when making a purchase.”

A racoon fur pom-pom hat, available to buy online.
House of Fraser
A racoon fur pom-pom hat, available to buy online.

Claire Bass, executive director at HSI/UK, accused Mike Ashley of throwing away House of Fraser’s “moral compass”.

“By becoming one of the few retailers on the British high street still peddling fur, Mike Ashley has turned House of Fraser into a House of Horrors, tarnishing this once principled brand with a coat rack of cruelty that is vastly out of fashion,” she said.

“The vast majority of shoppers want nothing to do with the cruelty of the fur trade, so it’s highly unlikely that House of Fraser’s desperate financial times will be helped by filling its shelves with fur products from rabbits, raccoon dogs and foxes who’ve suffered a life of misery on fur farms, and coyotes trapped and shot to death in the wild.”

HuffPost UK has also contacted House of Fraser for comment and will update this piece if we receive a response.