In 2007, the clothing company purportedly issued a press release proclaiming their plans to be completely fur-free by 2008, thereby joining the likes of animal-friendly (and PETA-supported) retailers like H&M, Guess, and Calvin Klein. The decision came not long after PETA dragged Bebe into the fray of its perpetual war against fur, encouraging customers to boycott shopping and to write letters to Bebe executives. The organization even went so far as to buy shares of Bebe‘s stock, so that they might have more leverage on convincing the company to go fuzz-free. (But they won’t be able to take any actual action until 2014.)
Never ones to rest on their laurels, PETA activists apparently decided to check up on Bebe‘s promise, and weren’t too pleased with what they discovered. Tags on multiple Bebe products list fur as a component, according to photographs taken by the investigators at a Denver store, and Martina Bernstein, head of PETA‘s litigation department, alleges that at least one company employee admitted during a phone call that fur items are available in Bebe stores.
Now they’ve issued a cease-and-desist order, citing Bebe‘s failure to make good on their vow as “contradictory.” The letter was delivered to CEO Steve Birkhold and states, none too kindly:
“Bebe cannot lawfully hold itself out to the public as a fur-free company while continuing selling [sic] products made from animal fur. We therefore request that Bebe immediately stop the sale of such products… We demand that Bebe cease and desist its false and misleading statements and that Bebe publish corrective disclosures informing the public that it has no fur-free policy, contrary to its previously disseminated intentions.”
It might be masked in lawyer lingo, but the implication is clear: PETA is calling BS. It’s unlikely that they can take much further action, since it’s legal to sell fur. But we’ll agree with PETA in that it’s not really okay to advertise one thing to your customers, and act the opposite.
Essentially pulling the non-local, unorganic, unethical, unsustainable wool over their eyes.