Mohair, silk-like fabric made by rearing the Angora goat, is now officially banned by a slew of global fashion brands permanently.
The move is led by GAP Inc. (that comprises of GAP, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta) and is now being followed by major groups like Inditex (owner of six brands including Zara and Pull&Bear). Arcadia Group (owner of eight high street brands like Topshop and Dorothy Perkins) as well as the eight labels under H&M have also pledged to be mohair-free by 2020.
This sudden move towards a more ethical future is all because of a video recently released by animal-protection group ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)’. The clip revealed the cruelty bested upon angora goats and their offspring while harvesting mohair.
Shot in South Africa earlier this year, the country that exports over 50% of the world’s mohair, the video shows the brutalisation taking place in 12 farms where workers are dragging goats by their horns and lifting them by their tails as the animals wail loudly in pain.
PETA believes that such practices are a violation of South Africa’s Animals Protection Act, 1962 and appropriate charges must be filed against the offenders.
The non-profit further revealed a gruelling data that reports the death of over 40,000 goats because of exposure to rain and cold wind after shearing. Since shearers are paid by volume and not their time, conditions where time to market is preferred over ethical practices are commonplace.
“Shoppers need to check clothing labels carefully and, if it says ‘mohair,’ leave it on the rack,” strongly puts Anne Brainard, Director of Corporate Affairs, PETA.
While we do not know if any of the brands that announced a ‘mohair-ban’ sourced from the farms covered in PETA’s documentary but the ban declarations are spreading fast from fashion’s largest retailers. Markedly, mohair is still on shelves, it remains to be seen how quickly it is wiped out by these giants.