Friday, January 28, 2022

Edinburgh Woollen Mill cleared of mislabelling charges

Edinburgh Woollen Mill has been cleared of charges of mislabeling on its cashemere scarves.

Last month the retailer was accused of mislabeling scarves on two accounts, claiming they were 100 per cent cashmere.

After facing a four-day court battle Sheriff George Jamieson concluded the retailer had not breached any regulations.

“The accused have presented evidence which would persuade me there is no breach,” he said.

“This is clearly a highly-skilled area, so while not impugning Crown witnesses, I think the defence evidence would persuade me.

“I find the accused not guilty of both charges.”

READ MORE: Edinburgh Woollen Mill faces court battle over “100% cashmere” scarves

The retailer was brought into court after local council member Alison Irving purchased the two scarves on at different stores and sent them both off to the lab for testing. 

The initial results of her tests had shown that one came back 84.4 per cent cashmere and the other 61.1 per cent.

It was revealed that she had been acting on acting on a tip-off from the Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute who were suspicious over the low prices of the scarves. 

The group had reportedly already made a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority which was not upheld.  

Defence witness Dr Philip Greaves later tested these scarves at his own facility and found them to be 96.7 per cent and 97.2 per cent pure cashmere, hypothesising that bleaching the materials can make it hard to identify them as cashmere.

He said this meant they were “commercially pure” and that they did not breach the unavoidable five per cent margin.

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