Luxury fashion retailer Farfetch has confirmed it will stop selling Angora wool from April 2022. Animal rights activists have applauded the move, and urged shoppers to opt for animal-free alternatives instead.
The ban follows pressure from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), purported to be the largest animal rights organization in the world.
This included disruptions of shareholder meetings and more than 100,000 appeals from supporters. Last year, actor Sadie Frost joined forces with PETA, and called on Farfetch to ban Angora for good.
What is Angora wool?
Angora wool is a fabric made from the soft, thick hair of Angora rabbits. It’s long been considered a luxury fiber, however, Angora wool is increasingly falling out of favor.
PETA says the Angora wool industry is rife with animal cruelty, naming it “barbaric.”
A PETA Asia undercover investigator inspected nearly a dozen rabbit farms in China, which produces 90 percent of the world’s Angora, the charity says.
There, the investigator found rabbits living in cramped, dirty cages.
When the animals were sheared or plucked, they were suspended in the air or held across boards with their feet bound. Rabbits were “screaming in pain and terror,” PETA says.
Animals in the Angora industry are first sheared or plucked at around 8 weeks old. Then, they experience the process every few months. After two to five years, the surviving animals are hung upside down where they get their throats slit, and are sold off for meat, PETA reports.
However, a farmer told the investigator that most (60 percent) of the rabbits die prematurely, after a year or two.
PETA Director of Corporate Projects Yvonne Taylor commended Farfetch’s decision.
“From high end to the high street, today’s retailers embrace fashion that leaves gentle rabbits in peace,” Taylor said in a statement. “PETA is celebrating this progressive decision by Farfetch, which will spare countless animals abuse.”
Farfetch – which has previously banned fur sales – joins an ever-growing list of brands taking a stance against the Angora trade. Gucci, Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, Roland Mouret, Tommy Hilfiger, and Stella McCartney have all committed to not selling Angora items.