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TK Maxx sells rabbit fur despite its own policy banning it

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Rabbit farm in China (left) and rabbit fur bags found in TK Maxx branches in the UK
Activists are demanding to know why real fur keeps hitting TK Maxx shops (Picture: Humane Society/Evolve Activism)

Coats, hats and handbags containing real animal trims are slipping through the net and making it onto shelves at TK Maxx.

Animal rights campaigners are asking why this keeps happening in branches across the country – despite the brand operating a no-fur policy.

It is thought stores have been unknowingly buying rabbit, fox and raccoon dog fur from other suppliers before selling them on to unwitting customers.

Campaign group Evolve Activism say the retailer’s public stance on fur will make shoppers lower their guards, assuming they couldn’t be buying the real thing.

TK Maxx selling raccoon and fox fur in shops across the UK picture: Evolve Activism METROGRAB
Shoppers say managers are quick to take animal trims off the shelves when they are pointed out (Picture: Evolve Activism)
TK Maxx selling raccoon and fox fur in shops across the UK
Pictures from a Finnish fur farm show the horrific conditions animals are kept in (Picture: Humane Society)

Its founder Emma Jade Easton told Metro.co.uk: ‘It’s not just a one off, it’s happening across the country.

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The activist says she’s spoken to a number of shoppers, all of whom alerted store managers and were told the coats, bags, hats and shoes in question would be taken off the shelves.

But Emma, 46, says it keeps on happening and that the problem is ‘not being addressed’.

She said customers need to be ‘confident’ they are actually buying faux fur trims – especially given the store’s policy, introduced in 2003.

A fur farm in China documented by the Humane Society
Roughly 14 million raccoon dogs are killed in Chinese fur farms every year (Picture: Humane Society)
TK Maxx selling raccoon and fox fur in shops across the UK picture: Evolve Activism METROGRAB
TK Maxx customers have flagged a number of items with staff (Picture: Evolve Activism)
TK Maxx selling raccoon and fox fur in shops across the UK
Footage seen by Metro.co.uk shows rabbits still squirming as they are hung upside down and sliced in the neck (Picture: Humane Society)

Evolve Activism’s latest findings come despite TK Maxx being exposed in a 2018 BBC Watchdog investigation.

Items spotted include Dolce and Gabbana leather handbag with rabbit fur pom-poms, found late last year in a branch in Hammersmith, west London.

A Colmar jacket which campaigners say was made using silver fox was spotted at a store in Epsom, Surrey.

Children’s shoes and a pink Grafea bag, both thought to contain rabbit fur, were found in Stratford and Cambridge, respectively.

A number of other cases have been reported online from shoppers cross the country.

TK Maxx selling raccoon and fox fur in shops across the UK
In the European Union around 42.6 million mink are killed for their fur (Picture: Humane Society)
TK Maxx selling raccoon and fox fur in shops across the UK picture: Evolve Activism METROGRAB
Activists say TK Maxx’s no-fur policy could put shoppers into a false sense of security (Picture: Evolve Activism)

After alerting staff to the dyed-red rabbit fur D&G bag, Emma said staff assured her it was not company policy to sell fur.

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She added: ‘That has been the common theme with everybody that I’ve spoken to. They say they will remove it from the shelves and tell head office but why is it still happening?

‘The customers have to know what they’re buying. I want to know what they’re going to do about it.’

Emma, who has been campaigning against animal fur since January 2017, is planning a protest against Dolce and Gabbana in London next month.

TK Maxx selling raccoon and fox fur in shops across the UK
Animals are kept in brutal and cramped conditions and are often found with injuries and deformities (Picture: Humane Society)

The single mum added: ‘If you get the designers and the fashion houses to drop fur that will filter down to the high street.’

According to the Humane Society International (HSI) 100 million animals including mink, foxes, rabbit, chinchilla and raccoon dogs are killed every year on intensive fur-farms.

Often before they are one year old, when their pelts are at their ‘best’, they are gassed, electrocuted and bludgeoned to death for the sake of fashion.

They are killed after spending their entire lives in wire cages despite a natural instinct to dig, roam over large areas and swim.

A fur farm in Finland documented by the Humane Society
Cramped conditions mean animals often fight each other and self mutilate (Picture: Humane Society)
A rabbit fur farm in China documented by the Humane Society
Rabbits are killed while they are still young and their fur is at its prime (Picture: Humane Society)

Footage from a Chinese rabbit fur farm, which Metro.co.uk has decided is too distressing to publish, shows workers taking rabbits from cramped cages, hanging them on hooks and slitting their throats as they squirm in terror.

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While there are plenty of horror stories from countries with no animal rights laws such as China, the Humane Society is keen to point out examples in the European Union, where some 46 million animals are killed on fur farms every year.

A 2018 investigation into ‘high welfare’ Finnish facilities showed examples of foxes with deformed feet and diseased eyes, mink with open and infected wounds.

The HSI say the mental distress caused by harsh conditions and confined spaces have led to self-mutilation, fighting with cage mates and even cannibalism.

More creatures are caught in traps and killed for their fur in the wild – mainly in the US, Canada and Russia, where they are often left for days dying slowly in agonising pain.

TK Maxx selling raccoon and fox fur in shops across the UK picture: Evolve Activism METROGRAB
Product details of this D&G bag online say it contains real rabbit fur (Picture: Evolve Activism)

Humane Society International’s UK executive director, Claire Bass, said: ‘The vast majority of British shoppers want nothing to do with the cruel and outdated fur trade, so it’s massively disappointing when big-name brands expose shoppers to the risk of buying real fur mislabelled as fake fur.

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‘Fur from animals who have suffered miserable lives trapped in battery cages, and excruciating deaths through electrocution or gassing, is masquerading as fake fur on our high streets, creating a minefield for would-be ethical shoppers.

‘As long as animal fur can be legally sold here this problem of “fake fake fur” will persist, which is one of the reasons we’re calling on the UK government to ban the sale of animal fur, protecting consumers, and animals, from the cruelty and deception of the fur trade.’

A TKMaxx spokeswoman told Metro.co.uk: ‘At TK Maxx, operating with integrity is at the heart of our business.

‘TK Maxx has a longstanding no fur policy, and both our buyers and vendors understand that we do not knowingly purchase items containing fur.

‘A typical TK Maxx store and our online shop receive several deliveries a week with each delivery containing thousands of items.

‘Despite our robust processes, an error can occasionally occur. If an item containing real fur is found in our stores, we immediately remove the item from sale.

‘We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience and plan to reiterate our fur policies with our teams.

Dolce and Gabbana has been contacted for comment.

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Fashion

Crocs donates 200,000 shoes to NHS workers

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Two Crocs, one in white, one in black on a turquoise and white background
A favourite among hospital staff (Picture : Getty/Crocs)

They are favoured among chefs, middle-aged men and NHS workers thanks to their easy slip-in design.

We are, of course (if the image hasn’t already tipped you off) talking about Crocs.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the footwear company has donated 200,000 pairs of shoes to frontline workers in hospitals across the globe.

NHS staff in the UK will receive a select amount, along with Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the US, where the company is based.

The first drop of products for the NHS arrived last week, but there are more coming soon – which will be distributed to hospitals nationwide.

As of today, the company has also launched a new service that allows shoppers to personally support NHS workers by buying a pair of Classic Clogs for them.

This can be done in two ways; if you fancy taking part, you can either purchase the aforementioned item yourself at £10 or simply donate £10 directly to the company, and they will send out a pair of Crocs to frontline workers on your behalf.

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You don’t get to choose where it’s delivered though, so if you know a specific NHS worker whom you want to gift a pair, you’re better off buying them yourself.

‘Like everyone, we’ve been closely monitoring the news and working hard to map out a way to most effectively help where we can,’ said Andrew Rees, Crocs’ president and CEO.

‘Over the past few weeks, we have spoken to healthcare workers, their facilities and even their family and friends, and they have specifically asked for our shoes in an effort to provide ease on their feet, as well as ease of mind as they need the ability to easily clean up before they go home to their families.’

But it’s not just companies who are donating products to the NHS.

A five-year-old boy in Warrington gathered up 70 chocolate Easter eggs, and had these delivered to Whiston hospital in Lancashire, so that NHS workers wouldn’t miss out on seasonal treats.

We hope the Easter bunny brings him something lovely as well.

Do you have a story you want to share with us?

Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

MORE: The Body Shop donates 225,000 products to NHS workers

MORE: Five-year-old boy donates 70 Easter eggs to doctors and nurses tackling the coronavirus pandemic

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MORE: KFC Crocs are here for those moments you want your feet to look like buckets of chicken

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Oasis closes all stores in London and Republic of Ireland amid Covid-19 crisis

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LONDON, ENGLAND- MAY 13: A general view of the Oasis fashion retail outlet in Argyll Street on May 13, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
The clothing retailer said it will be closing all stores in the capital and Ireland from tomorrow (Picture: Getty)

Fashion retailer Oasis has decided to shut its doors in London and the Republic of Ireland in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

In a statement from the company’s chief executive, Oasis announced it will indefinitely close its 10 stores in the capital and another 10 in the Republic from the end of the day tomorrow. Shoppers can still order online and those that are self-isolating can receive their packages contact-free.

CEO Hash Ladha acknowledged ‘we are facing an unprecedented shift in how we live our lives’ and have reacted to the government’s advice on social distancing and working from home where possible.

The statement went on: ‘We continue to monitor and take guidance from the Home Office and World Health Organisation (WHO) daily, hourly even, to ensure we are being proactive and taking the appropriate steps and precautions to ensure the safety of all our valued employees, customers and the wider community.

LONDON STANSTED, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/09/29: Oasis logo seen at their store in London Stansted Airport. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The fashion retailer will close until further notice (Picture: SOPA)

‘Following government advice, our head office teams are working remotely. In London and the Republic of Ireland our stores will be closed from the end of the day tomorrow until further notice.

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For all the latest news and updates on Coronavirus, click here.

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‘Our website remains open and we are delivering parcels as normal with updated delivery options upon checkout. Our delivery partners will allow you to request that items are delivered contact-free if you are self-isolating.

‘Your conversation means a lot to us, and we will continue to post on our social platforms to provide some level of normality. From everyone at Oasis we hope you stay safe and look after yourself and your loved ones.’

Travellers who had been aboard the Braemar cruise ship, operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, and wearing face masks as a precautionary measure against covid-19, react as they arrive at Heathrow Airport in London on March 19, 2020, after being flown back from Cuba. - The MS Braemar had more than 1,000 people aboard including five confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 50 people in isolation due to showing flu-like symptoms. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / various sources / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images)
The public have been urged to stick to social distancing (Picture: AFP)

On Thursday, the number of UK deaths rose by 40 to 144, and the total of confirmed cases jumped to 3,229. As of 9am, 64,581 people had been tested for the virus.

NHS England said the patients who died after testing positive, were aged between 47 and 96 years old and they all had underlying health conditions.

The statement came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the British public to follow government guidelines, adding that ‘we can turn the tide’ of the outbreak within 12 weeks if everyone takes action. He refused to rule out a London-wide lockdown and said officials will ‘certainly’ go further to restrict the public, if advice isn’t taken more seriously.

Meanwhile, the Republic of Ireland saw the number of confirmed cases rise by 191, bringing the total to 557. Three people have died after testing positive for the virus.

People in gloves and face masks walk down Regent Street the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on people to stay away from pubs, clubs and theatres, work from home if possible and avoid all non-essential contacts and travel in order to reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 17, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Cases have continued to rise in the Republic and the UK (Picture: PA)

Chief Medical Officer in the Department of Health, Dr Tony Holohan, said following the hike in numbers ‘the importance of social distancing cannot be underestimated’.

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‘Everyone must play their role. We need to continue maximising our efforts to interrupt new transmission chains and keep clusters under control,’ he said.

‘Reduce your social contacts to those in your closest family network. Practice social distancing. Stop shaking hands and hugging when you say hello.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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Sexist Missguided advert banned for showing side of model’s breast

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Missguided advert banned
The advert sparked complaints that it was ‘overly sexualised’ and ‘objectified women’ (Picture: ASA/SWNS)

An advert for online fashion retailer Missguided has been banned for being sexist.

The poster featured a model wearing sheer tights, high heels and a blazer with nothing underneath, exposing the side of one of her breasts.

The ad was displayed at train station platforms last November, prompting complaints from three parents – which were upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) – that it was ‘overly sexualised’ and ‘objectified women’.

Missguided bosses told the ASA they ‘strongly contested’ claims that the poster objectified women.

The clothing retailer argued it was ‘in keeping’ with similar adverts in the industry.

The fashion company insisted that promoting ‘female empowerment’ was ‘extremely important’ to them and they designed collections to allow customers to ‘stand out from the crowd’.

***EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 GMT, WED MATCH 4TH*** See National story NNsexist; A "sexist" ad for online fashion retailer Missguided has been banned for "objectifying" women. See National story NNsexist; The poster featured a model wearing sheer tights, high heels and a blazer with nothing underneath, exposing the side of one of her breasts. Complaints from three parents that the ad, seen on railway station platforms last November, was "overly sexualised" and "objectified women" were upheld by watchdogs. The Manchester-based firm was ordered not to use advertising that objectified women again. It is the second time Missguided has been in trouble with watchdogs in five months. A TV ad screened on ITV during Love Island for the retailer - which "presented women as sexual objects" - was banned after being branded "irresponsible" and "highly sexualised" by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) last October.
The poster featured a model wearing sheer tights, high heels and a blazer with nothing underneath (Picture: ASA/SWNS)

The Manchester-based firm added that the ad was based on those ‘positive’ themes.

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But the advertising watchdog ruled that the poster breached ‘harm and offence’ rules and banned it.

An ASA spokesman said: ‘The model was wearing a blazer with nothing underneath, which exposed the side of her breast, and which was coupled with sheer tights, sheer gloves and underwear.

‘We considered she would be seen as being in a state of undress and that the focus was on her chest area and lower abdomen rather than the clothing being advertised.

***EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 GMT, WED MATCH 4TH*** See National story NNsexist; A "sexist" ad for online fashion retailer Missguided has been banned for "objectifying" women. See National story NNsexist; The poster featured a model wearing sheer tights, high heels and a blazer with nothing underneath, exposing the side of one of her breasts. Complaints from three parents that the ad, seen on railway station platforms last November, was "overly sexualised" and "objectified women" were upheld by watchdogs. The Manchester-based firm was ordered not to use advertising that objectified women again. It is the second time Missguided has been in trouble with watchdogs in five months. A TV ad screened on ITV during Love Island for the retailer - which "presented women as sexual objects" - was banned after being branded "irresponsible" and "highly sexualised" by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) last October.
A second advert for the online fashion retailer was cleared of breaching rules (Picture: ASA/SWNS)

‘We also noted that her head was tilted back, with her mouth slightly open, and her leg was bent and raised, which we considered was likely to be seen as a sexually suggestive pose.

‘We considered that the sexually suggestive styling and pose would be seen as presenting women as sexual objects. Because the ad objectified women, we concluded that it was likely to cause serious offence.

‘It must not appear again in its current form. We told Missguided Ltd not to use advertising that objectified women and which was likely to cause serious offence.’

A second advert for the online fashion retailer, which featured the same model wearing a pink wrap mini-dress showing her legs and cleavage, was cleared of breaching rules.

The advertising regulator said the poster was ‘no more than mildly sexual’.

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It comes after Missguided had another poster banned by the ASA last October.

A television advert for the clothing retailer broadcast on ITV during Love Island which ‘presented women as sexual objects’ was branded ‘irresponsible’ and ‘highly sexualised’ by the watchdog.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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