A new video exposing mohair production, released by animal rights organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), has prompted the major fashion brand Gap to ban mohair from its collections. Also following suit are fellow brands Topshop, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta.
Apparel brands owned by Inditex, such as Zara, and H&M Group’s eight sub-brands, say they will all be mohair-free by 2020.
Over half of the world’s mohair comes from South Africa. PETA’s video focused on twelve farms within the country’s mohair industry and claim the video is the first of its kind to shed light on mohair production. Mohair is made from the hair of Angora goats and is commonly used in middle-range and high-end fashion garments and accessories.
“Baby goats were left screaming in pain and fear on the shearing floor, all for mohair sweaters and scarves,” stated PETA’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Anne Brainard. “PETA is urging shoppers to check clothing labels carefully and, if it says ‘mohair,’ leave it on the rack.”
The video added how workers are paid by the volume, not the hour, meaning goats were often left “cut up and bleeding. Workers roughly stitched them up without giving them any pain relief.”
Following increased public awareness, many companies are opting to leave mohair out of upcoming collections. Many are also abandoning other animal products as well, such as leather and fur.
Last month, InStyle became the first major fashion magazine to officially ban fur from its pages.. Designer fashion brands DKNY and Donna Karan recently became fur-free, while Donatella, the head of famed Italian brand Versace, made a similar announcement; the designer said she won’t be using fur in upcoming designs.
Even influential events are making positive changes for animals. In January the New York Fashion Week event promoted vegan food and faux-fur fashion as legitimate luxuries in their own right. Further, a number of celebrities have been sharing posts across social media encouraging others to opt for cruelty-free alternatives to leather. Recently, Beyoncé’s sister Solange shared a snap of her vegan leather cowboy boot sneakers, and musician Noel Gallagher’s daughter Anaïs modeled vegan leather shorts for Nasty Gal’s latest festival collection.
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