ASOS carries more than 850 labels in addition to its own-brand stuff, and just announcing that it will stop selling mohair, feathers, silk and cashmere by the end of January 2019 is quite a big deal! The brand is well on their way to clearing out these fabrics.
Mohair, the hair of the fluffy angora goats, is collected through shearing, but a report from PETA revealed that many shearers work carelessly and quickly as they’re paid by the volume of hair they can collect rather than by the hour. Goats were found to be left with severe injuries due to this practice. PETA also discovered that angora goats reared for the industry went through the extreme pain of having their sensitive ears branded.
Cashmere goats need their coats to protect them from the cold in China and Mongolia. But because of high demand, many are sheared in the winter – leaving the goats to freeze to death.
Down products are often a byproduct of the meat and foie gras industries. PETA revealed video evidence of birds being pinned to the ground by workers who yank fistfuls of feathers out of the birds’ skin, causing extreme pain.
As for silk, it is produced by silkworms when they form cocoons. In the production of silk fabric, silkworms are boiled or gassed alive. PETA reports that approximately 6,600 silkworms die to make one kilogram of silk.
PETA applauds ASOS for leading the charge for compassion in fashion,’ said PETA Director of Corporate Projects Yvonne Taylor. ‘In response to PETA’s campaigns, consumers are changing the face of the industry by demanding that designers and retailers ditch animal-derived materials in favour of cruelty-free alternatives that look great without causing suffering.
More than 100 major brands including Topshop, H&M, Marks & Spencer, and Zara, have already banned the sale of mohair. Let’s see if they follow in ASOS’s footsteps and ditch other ethically problematic materials too. The good news remains -if there’s any good about it- that items with these four animal sources are on huge discounts as we speak..