Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pig skin lining in NINE WEST brand (South Africa)

The following article deals with the issue of pig skin leather contained in products made by the company known as Nine West...


Phone number: 1-(800) 999-1877

They make the following products

  • Nine West Sandals
  • Nine West Boot
  • Nine West Shoes
  • Nine West Handbags
  • Nine West Wallets
  • Nine West Watches
  • Nine West Jewelry
  • Nine West Sunglasses
  • Nine West Belts
  • Nine West Hoisery
  • Nine West Scarves

Anger over pig skin in shoes


Popular designer label Nine West has been forced to disclose that some of its local shoes contain pig lining following a complaint from a Muslim customer.

The luxury brand will now post disclaimers on shoes containing pig lining after a complaint and query lodged with the South African National Halaal Authority (Sanha) in March.

Sanha raised the matter with the shoe brand who confirmed that certain ranges of shoes contain traces of pig skin. It is strictly forbidden in Islam for Muslims to consume or use any products associated with pigs.

The confirmation prompted the watchdog body to issue an alert to Muslims.

The upmarket brand also has a selection of
handbags and wallets which retail in over 60 countries worldwide.

Pig lining is found only in some of the shoe range and not in any of the handbags or wallets.

Sanha spokesman Ebi Lockhat said they were alerted by a consumer. Sanha then engaged with the manufacturer and received confirmation that pig skin was used in the lining of some shoes.

Sanha issued a cautionary notice to the community last month, which is still in effect.

"As South Africa is the rainbow nation with its diverse people, cultures and religious beliefs, it implores all manufacturers to be candid in their labelling to avoid trampling on religious sensitivities. Labelling should be done voluntarily rather than having it imposed by government."

Nine West brand manager Mandy Mota Pais said while the company complied with current label legislation, they will label those shoes that contain pig skin lining on the boxes.

"All staff are trained on which products do and don't contain pig skin and will advise customers accordingly. We have sourced, with the assistance of Nine West international, a significantly larger amount of products that do not contain pig skin.

"As a responsible and well-respected international brand, retailed in over 60 countries, Nine West recognises and respects the values of its diverse customer base," she said.

The brand is sold in Islamic counties like Dubai and Saudi Arabia. However the range there excludes pig lining.

Consumers who discovered that some of Nine West shoes contained pig leather posted their complaints on popular consumer website HelloPeter.

Complaints from South Africans have been lodged on consumer website HelloPeter for the past three months. Muslims posted their grievances after finding out that the shoe contained traces of the animal, which is considered haraam (offensive and forbidden) in their religion.

Nine West South Africa addressed each complaint on the website.

One Johannesburg customer said she recently bought a pair of boots for R1295 from Nine West last year.

"I visited the store today and they confirmed that the boot has pig skin lining which is forbidden in Islam. I feel that Nine West should have informed me that its boots contained pig skin. This is a serious issue for me as we are forbidden to wear or even touch anything associated with a pig."

Another customer said she purchased black patent leather pumps from a Nine West Johannesburg store and found out that they had pig skin lining.

"Please, could you advise on this. Surely, it should be stated somewhere that the inners are made of pig skin? I am so deeply disturbed as I may have been committing a huge sin."

Nine West responded to the customer saying they would put stickers on all of the shoe boxes which contain pig skin.

One customer, who posted her complaint on the site, was told by Nine West that they would give her a refund on her purchase.

The customer, who purchased a pair of shoes last month for R999, posted that because the shoes contained pig lining she would not be able to use them.

"In fact, there may be other people of other faiths where usage of pig leather is forbidden. Nine West in no ways mention this on the label or at the store by way of information to the consumer."

Gender activist Shabnam Palesa Mohamed said it was a positive thing that consumers were now both aware and proactive.

She added that it was "interesting that Nine West chose pig lining as it is controversial".

"I don't know if it was proven to be intentional, but there is a definite responsibility of providing this sensitive information to consumers, particularly in the Muslim and Jewish communities. If Muslim women who have Nine West shoes with pig lining and are not comfortable with them, they should give them away to someone who wouldn't mind the lining or preferably to charity."

Hindu Maha Sabha's Ashwin Trikamjee said while some Hindus abstained from pork, it did not cut across to wearing anything relating to pigs.

However, he said it was troubling that manufacturers did not inform the public when it came to food and clothing.

"They are aware of the sensitivities of certain religious groups, and not informing the public borders on misleading them for commercial gain."

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