Gap isn’t as fur-free as it claims to be, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The animal-rights group has dispatched a cease-and-a-desist letter to the retail giant accusing it of not only violating its own code of conduct but also deceiving customers by continuing to sell fur through its Intermix brand. PETA is demanding an end to Gap’s alleged false advertising—a violation of both state and federal laws—as well as the immediate removal of all fur-related products from its physical and virtual shelves.
“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.”
PETA says that Gap, whose online policy reads, “We do not use…real fur,” has been caught misleading consumers before. In 2014, animal activists slammed Piperlime, the retailer’s now-defunct online marketplace, for hawking items made with rabbit, fox, and other furs.
Intermix, PETA adds, has been selling fur from rabbits, coyotes, foxes, minks, and Asiatic raccoon dogs—animals that are often slammed to the ground and bludgeoned with metals rods, “causing convulsions and broken bones but not always immediate death.” Many are even skinned alive before they’re tossed onto a heap of carcasses, it adds.
PETA has created an online petition urging Gap to join dozens of retailers, including Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, and Zara, in banning fur from its collections.
The petition has garnered more than 132,000 signatures as of last Friday.