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We can ignore it all we want, but winter is fast approaching. With the weather getting colder, many of us are pulling out our winter wardrobe and bundling up. But how often do people purchase clothes in the pursuit of warmth and hesitate to consider what it’s made of, (wool, fur, leather) where it came from (animals) or even where it was assembled (sweatshops)?

There is a cruel reality that many choose to ignore when purchasing their garments. In particular, the abuse and senseless killing of animals who are thought of as nothing more than mere commodities in the fashion industry. Sadly, because of this, their pain and torture too often goes unnoticed. Although various retailers have publicly stated they only accept products from farms that have “good animal husbandry” techniques, vast amounts of materials pass through the hands of brokers prior to reaching the actual retail facility, making it difficult to track exactly where it originated.

Angora wool, known to be softer than cashmere, is one of the most sought after materials for those soft, warm sweaters so many people desire. The fine fibers come from the domestic Angora rabbit. Although its history is contentious, the Angora rabbit has been bred for centuries throughout Europe and was only recently brought to the United States in the 1920’s.

These docile and clean animals spend their lives on angora wool farms in tiny filthy cages surrounded by their own excrements. With cages so small and conditions so repulsive it’s no wonder the angora wool industry wants to keep the truth of how their garments are produced a secret. In 2013, PETA released footage from their undercover investigations of ten angora farms in China. The investigations showed workers tying severely distressed rabbits down and ripping the fur from their bodies. The footage is graphic, but it is heartbreakingly real.

While you might be inclined to reach for a soft angora sweater this season, you should consider the pain and suffering that occurred to make that sweater possible. Here are 5 facts you NEED to know about the angora wool trade:

1. Today, 90 percent of angora wool being sold has been imported from China. Notorious in the animal rights community, China is known for their lax animal welfare laws and negligence when prosecuting those who have perpetrated animal abuse.

5 Facts You Need to Know About the Angora Wool TradeNick Bramhall/Flickr

2. Angora rabbits are sheared every three months for two to three years. As they age, the rabbits yield less fur and are ultimately strung up and inhumanely killed before they’re sold to market for their meat.

5 Facts You Need to Know About the Angora Wool Trade

3. The male Angora rabbit has a fur yield that is only 80 percent to that of the female. They’re routinely killed immediately after birth since they’re not profitable to the breeder.

5 Facts You Need to Know About the Angora Wool TradePETA

4. The trade value of angora wool is $27 to $35 for every two pounds. Longer hairs are worth more, which are achieved by plucking directly from the skin rather than shearing.

5 Facts You Need to Know About the Angora Wool TradePETA

5. It’s estimated that there are 50 million rabbits being farmed for their wool in China, each one producing on average one pound of fur per year.

5 Facts You Need to Know About the Angora Wool TradePETA

What Can You Do

Popular retailers H&M, ASOS, French Connection, Forever 21, Eddie Bauer, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger have published statements voicing their opposition to the angora wool trade and affirmed that they would cease production of any products made with angora wool; but some consumers have commented that they’re still finding garments made with angora online and in stores.

Harvesting angora wool without harming the rabbit requires slow labor that isn’t congruent with the industry. Angora wool farms, like so many others similar to it, only continue to exist because of supply and demand. The fashion industry systematically attempts to conceal the abuse and killing of animals for their products as much as possible – if consumers knew the truth, after all, it could hurt sales. But, a portion of the public need to take some of the blame as well for their refusal to acknowledge the abuse in the products they purchase. We need to join together and let major retailers selling products made with angora wool know we will not purchase from them while millions of rabbits continue to suffer in cruel and deplorable conditions!

For a better way to keep warm this winter, check out this list of 7 Fabulous Cruelty-Free Fashion Brands.

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31 comments on “5 Shocking Reasons You Should Skip Angora Wool This Winter”

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Eric
2 Years Ago

The only thing I wonder is whether peta paid these guys to do this or if they got some of their own people to do it. Peta is worse than the farmers they \'expose\'. If they can\'t find a story to sensationalize they create one. That this website credits anything that peta has their hands in reduces your credibility.


Reply
Jessica Cole
3 Years Ago

Nicole Guerrera


Reply
Isaa Vitalis
3 Years Ago

Sarah Schets


Reply
Alycia Hilton
3 Years Ago

Check this out Nikki Brennan


Reply
Tonya Means
3 Years Ago

Bad hair day


Reply
Kathy Carlin
3 Years Ago

Don't wear it


Reply
Debbie Hurtado
3 Years Ago

People say synthetic materials are bad for the environment and that may be. But if the choice is one synthetic coat for me and some harm to the environment versus a lifetime of suffering for these animals, I'm sorry but it's the environment that's going to take the hit. That being said I try to buy cruelty free natural products, but if I have to make the tough choice on synthetics the animals win.


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Nancy Jourdain
3 Years Ago

I try to be as kind as possible but the wool question is not a clear one for me. I don't doubt that there are kinder products than what you are showing here. I still have a problem with fleece which is a petroleum based product. I n my opinion, I would select a humanely collected wool over synthetic fibres which are not as warm as wool.


Reply
Fiona Katherine Imanpour
3 Years Ago

Sick!


Reply
Rebecca Fowler
3 Years Ago

Don't buy angora products!


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