As the latest two among a growing number of international brands and retailers, US teen fashion brand Forever 21 and British fashion retailer New Look decided to ban angora from their products after being contacted by Peta.
"Peta applauds New Look and Forever 21 for doing the right thing for animals and consumers," said Peta’s Yvonne Taylor. "Shoppers are horrified to discover that an 'angora' label means that live rabbits had the fur ripped from their bodies, and they're relieved when their favourite shops refuse to support this abuse,” she added.
The controversy around angora started at the end of November when Peta released a video filmed undercover at ten angora farms in China that showed fur being plucked from live angora rabbits and the animals screaming in pain. Since then, several fashion brands and retailers like H&M (including COS, & Other Stories and Monki) and IC Companys as the first ones as well as Asos, Boden, Cheap Monday, Marks & Spencer, Next, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger decided to ban angora from their products and shelves until questions of ethical sourcing and production are cleared up.
The remaining companies follow different strategies: Some like Coat, Debenhams, Gina Tricot, Hobbs, Next, Phase Eight, Primark, Ted Baker and Whistles have pledged to keep angora out of future collections but are still selling remaining stock, while others like the Arcadia Group (including Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge), C&A, Esprit, French Connection, Gap Inc., Zara and others have taken the first step and suspended angora production for the time being while selling remaining stock. They have also not yet committed to banning the material from future collections.
German producer of yarns and natural fibers Michael Dal Grande had criticized Peta for its one-sided and abridged presentation, pointing out that the video showed only rabbits of the hair type “spiky angora”, which represents a mere 10 percent of the worldwide angora production. However, the fact remains that 90 percent of all angora is produced in China where there are no penalties for animal abuse on rabbit farms and no standards that regulate the treatment of animals.