Last week, we reported that H&M suspended the production of clothing made from angora wool, following PETA’s investigation into the cruel practices of the angora industry. And now, two other international clothing giants, Esprit and New Look, have followed suit!

Charles Dickinson, head of global quality management and sustainability with Esprit, says, “As long as the industry lacks credible certification and proof that it complies with according policies on animal welfare, Esprit imposes a ban on angora wool. Esprit does not accept methods such as live plucking within its production – neither on geese, ducks, or on rabbits.”

New Look, meanwhile, have echoed this statement in a press release of their own which reads, “We have a strong policy on animal welfare and will not support any cruelty to animals. Whilst our continuing supply chain audits and investigations have not identified our suppliers’ angora farms as party to these shocking abuses, as a precautionary measure, we have taken action and put our angora production on immediate hold.”

New Look’s policy document on animal-derived clothing materials already bans:

  • Fur (both farmed fur and by-products of the meat industry).
  • Mongolian lambs’ wool, as they must be slaughtered, rather than sheared, for their wool.
  • The use of endangered species.
  • Leather or skin products derived from unnatural abortions.
  • Leather or skin products derived from exotic and wild-caught animals.
  • Australian merino wool, because of the widespread practice of mulesing (the unanesthetized surgical removal of skin around a sheep’s backside, which can often cause the animal great pain). The intention behind mulesing is to prevent maggot infestation, but animal rights groups oppose the practice and say that more humane alternatives are available, such as breech clips.

Esprit, meanwhile, in keeping with the original vision of the company’s founders, are committed to using recycled, sustainable materials wherever possible – and their stunning pleather footwear earned them a Vegan Fashion Award from PETA Germany earlier this year!

Esprit and New Look’s latest decision to put the welfare of angora rabbits above their own profit margins is a heartening sign. And given the fact that Danish clothing giant IC Companys has also taken this decision, angora suppliers will have no choice but to sit up and take action!