Most recently, footage from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been having a similar effect on both people and companies, forcing both to take a good, hard look at their clothing choices and reconsider what they’re putting on or producing.
The footage I’m talking about is PETA’s heartbreaking and graphic undercover investigation of an angora wool farm in China where angora rabbits have their fur plucked while they are still alive – an extremely painful and undeniably cruel process. Arguably, this type of cruelty is probably seen on most angora rabbit fur farms since around 90 percent of all angora wool comes straight from China, where there is no regulation in place to monitor this type of treatment.
PETA’s investigation has been a wake-up call for the fashion industry, especially. H&M was one of the first to announce their decision to halt production of products using angora rabbit fur (until, as they say, they find farms that practice good animal husbandry, which most of us know is really not possible due to the very nature of exploitative animal practices).
Esprit and New Look soon after followed suit. And today, the number of fashion companies against the use of angora wool production is climbing. Recently, online retailer ASOS and PVH Corp. (the parent company of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, IZOD, ARROW, Van Heusen and others) confirmed that they will pull and ban any products made with angora from their shelves.
The U.K’s TopShop has also halted angora wool product production, but like H&M and Espirit, has not committed to a full-on ban of future “more humane” products. (Say, stores: how about just leaving the rabbits alone and using, oh, organic cotton or a similar less-invasive material?)
Zara also seems like they’ll be coming on board, too, thanks to a “Save the Bunnies” petition by corporate responsibility group Sumofus.org that was directed to Inditex, the parent company of Zara.
The Huffington Post recently reported that Inditex has “reiterated” its policy of “providing decent living conditions for animals to all its Angora suppliers” and that “those who buy clothing by Inditex ‘can rest assured that all its garments are manufactured responsibly and ethically.”
We should definitely applaud that companies who have taking a stance against cruel angora wool practices, but for those that still use it as long as it’s made under “humane” conditions, well, the message just seems inconsistent since “humane” is never really all that it seems to be in any animal industry.
Either way, it is nice to see companies (and consumers) wake-up for once. However, there are retailers who have yet to remove angora wool products from their shelves, like GAP, and a new petition has been started by PETA urging them to “stop squeezing profits from screaming rabbits.” Sign it here, and spread the word about angora wool cruelty to inspire others to keep it out of their wardrobes.
Update to article as of 12/20/13 at 3:45 pm EST:
H&M stops all production of angora products permanently. The stop is effective immediately. Read more here: http://t.co/lobLLAl90S
Image source: Alex Santosa / Flickr