Nine in 10 people would not wear real fur despite it making a comeback on the catwalk, according to research today.

In the poll for the RSPCA, 95 per cent of people said they would refuse to wear real fur and 93 per cent thought products should be clearly labelled as real or fake fur. More than half told the pollster TNS that would not buy an item without such labelling.

The RSPCA, Britain’s biggest animal charity, said it was “disappointed” so many designers used real mink, fox and raccoon dog furs at this year’s fashion shows in London, New York and Milan.

Burberry, Giles Deacon and Julien MacDonald all used real fur at London Fashion Week in February, with Mr MacDonald’s models sashaying down the catwalk in fox and goat fur.

The RSPCA released its poll as it launched this year’s Good Business Awards, which honour food and fashion companies for taking an ethical stance towards animals.

Shelly Vella, fashion director for Cosmopolitan and a judge, said: “One of the downsides to my job is seeing so much fur dominating the international catwalks every season. It was something I believed to be firmly out of fashion but it’s crept back into popularity with a vengeance.”

At last year’s event, awards were given to New Look, George at Asda, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and the organic box scheme Abel & Cole.

The Co-op won the People’s Choice award, sponsored by The Independent, for improving welfare for farm animals, including using only free-range eggs in own-brand food.

For the first time last year, Government statistics revealed in February, 50 per cent of UK eggs were laid by cage free hens, up on 45 per cent the year before.

Alice Clark, RSPCA farm animal scientist, said: “The RSPCA believes that all hens should be kept in properly managed free-range or barn systems. We are encouraging those in the food retail sector to introduce and improve their animal welfare policies and to enter the food category of the Good Business Awards.”

Entries are open for this year’s awards:


Caterers - event and contract

Independent retailer

Restaurant chain

Pub chain

Independent restaurant

Independent pub

People’s Choice supermarket

Supermarket innovation award

Judges: TV presenter Richard Johnson; Andrew Opie, food policy director at the British Retail Consortium, independent food consultant Dr Geoff Spriegel and Professor John Webster, professor emeritus of animal welfare at Bristol University.


Best Newcomer

Small Company (249 employees or less)

Large Company (250 employees or more)

Innovation Award

Judges: Lisa Armstrong, fashion editor of The Times, designer Wayne Hemingway, and Shelly Vella, fashion director of Cosmopolitan magazine.