Sheffield boutique admits “mistakenly” selling real fur, but can’t promise it won’t happen again

Say what you like about Sheffield’s activist community, you can never accuse them of being nesh.

Two separate groups braved the cold snap today to protest against bus fare increases and a local boutique caught selling real fur, respectively.

More (including video) from the bus protest a little later, but here’s what happened at Sa-kis.

Sheffield boutique admits to selling real fur coat
9th January 2009

Animal rights campaigners held a demonstration outside Sheffield boutique Sa-kis today, after it was revealed that they sold clothes made of real animal fur.

The shop, based in the city’s trendy Devonshire Quarter, sells a £340 coat lined with fur from a murmansky, a raccoon dog native to China, Korea, Japan and Russia. Although the murmansky is not endangered, there have been reports of chinese fur farms skinning the animals alive.

Protester James Douglas said: “They’re one of the only stores in Sheffield that are selling real fur, most places sell fake fur. The shop across the road sells second hand fur, which we disagree with on the grounds that it perpetuates the fashion of real fur, but Sa-kis is selling new real fur, which is worse.”

Sa-kis admit to stocking the coat, but claim to have been unaware the trim was made of real fur. They say they withdrew it from sale when they found out it was.

Despite this, the coat, designed by Norwegian label Parajumpers, is still for sale on the boutique’s website, with a listing which mentions its murmansky fur trim.

Assistant Manager Ian Theasby said: “When we bought it the agent didn’t specify that it was real fur, but then checking the label we found that yes, it was. So we had no problem in taking the fur off the display”

However, he said that the boutique would not make an official statement promising not to stock fur in the future, because if they made the same mistake again they could end up in court.

He said: “The stuff we buy is on a no return basis and we can’t risk losing £1,500. We’re only a small independent business. I think the real problem here is the big magazines like Vogue International. Anna Wintour always wears fur, and brought fur back into the realm of public consumption.

“They should go for the big guys, because we’re only talking 0.1% of the stock we’ve carried for this season that had a fur trim that can be removable. Fair play to them, freedom of speech, I’m all for it, but I should go perhaps to KFC and stand outside there. They’ve taken millions all over the world and we’re one small shop, in one small city, in one small corner of the world.”

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