Following on from a damning PETA exposé on the abusive practices in mohair production, which led the likes of Topshop and Zara to boycott it, ASOS has gone one step further.
Not only is the e-tailer dropping all mohair products from its site, but it has vowed to also stop selling cashmere, silk, down or feathers by January 2019.
The move was applauded by PETA, with director of corporate projects Yvonne Taylor stating, ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) applauds Asos for leading the charge for compassion in fashion. 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.’
While many are now aware of the cruel practices used to obtain mohair (shearers leaving goats cut up and bleeding in their rush to get their wool), and brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Gucci have now banned fur, there still isn’t much awareness of practices used to obtain silk, cashmere and other luxe materials.
For example, according to PETA, 6,600 silkworms are killed (some boiled or gassed alive) to obtain one kilogram of silk, and cashmere goats, who are kept in China and Mongolia, where winters are bitterly cold, are often shorn in midwinter to keep up with demand, leading to deaths by exposure.
PETA also explains that most downs are obtained as a by-product to the meat and foie gras industries, which don’t always treat animals well.