Warning: distressing footage
A damning new investigation by PETA has led a number of brands including Topshop, Zara, H&M and Gap to drop mohair from their racks, as a PETA expose about abusive farm practices has quickly picked up speed.
While you might not be able to recall what mohair looks like off the top of your head, it’s used frequently in a lot of products that you’ll find both on the high street and in luxury boutiques. Crafted from the wool of angora goats (not angora rabbits), most of the world’s mohair is produced in South Africa – where PETA secretly investigated twelve leading farms and unravelled a string of alleged abuse.
In numerous videos filmed by witnesses, footage of farmers dragging terrified animals by their horns, tails and roughly using clippers to shear their wool were exposed.
A clip of the distressing footage can be watched below, however it isn’t for the faint-hearted.
PETA further elaborated on their site, ‘Shearers – who are paid by volume, not by the hour – worked quickly and carelessly, leaving goats cut up and bleeding. Workers roughly stitched them up without giving them any pain relief.’
In one case in the clip, a worker held a limp dead goat up by its tail and continued to shear it. Another clip revealed footage of a worker decapitating an animal outside with a knife.
PETA said, ‘Farmers admitted that after shearing, many goats die from exposure to the cold wind and rain – 40,000 reportedly died of exposure across South Africa in just one weekend.’
Dan Paden, PETA’s director of evidence analysis, said, ‘What’s ultimately going to keep more goats from going through this is when retailers pull their support for the industry, and informed consumers leave the mohair products on the shelves and buy something else that doesn’t have as much cruelty woven into it.’
Retailers confirmed to The Washington Post that they were either dropping or making plans to remove mohair from their fashion collections. Due to the nature of the production cycle, brands like Inditex (who own Zara) and H&M group have said they will ban all mohair pieces by 2020.
Helena Johansson of H&M Group told The Washington Post, ‘The supply chain for mohair production is challenging to control — a credible standard does not exist — therefore we have decided to ban mohair fiber from our assortment by 2020 at the latest.’
PETA also revealed that Gap Inc. ‘will no longer source mohair products’ for its numerous brands, which include Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta brands. Arcadia Group, which counts brands like Topshop underneath its umbrella, has also said it will no longer source mohair products for its future lines.