PETA Exposé About Cruelty of Mohair Production Spurs Retail Bans
A growing number of retailers are banning angora goat hair.
UNIQLO, Zappos and 80 other retailers are banning mohair clothing after PETA released a video exposé May 1 about its inhumane production.
An eyewitness filmed the production process at 12 farms in South Africa, where half of the world’s mohair is produced, according to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Mohair is made from smooth fibers taken from angora goats, often used in fluffy items like hats and sweaters.
Employees, who are paid by volume and not by the hour, quickly shear off the soft inner coats of young goats, cutting the animals in the process without any pain killers. The video — which has a warning for viewers — depicts goats being thrown around wood floors, dunked in poisonous cleaning solution or having their ears mutilated with pliers. Without their natural coats, many baby goats die from cold temperatures. Others are killed when they’re no longer wanted — employees are shown cutting goats’ throats, breaking their necks, electrically shocking them and beheading them.
A horde of retailers, including Anthropologie, Banana Republic, Express, Gap, H&M, Old Navy, Topshop and Zara announced they will no longer use mohair. Now Amazon’s Zappos and UNIQLO say they will be mohair-free by 2020. Update: on July 30, Ralph Lauren announced it would also ban mohair.
"Every single mohair sweater or scarf represents the terror, blood and cries of gentle baby goats," said PETA director of corporate affairs Anne Brainard in a statement. "PETA applauds UNIQLO, Zappos and the other brands that have made the compassionate decision to drop mohair and is calling on all other retailers to join them."
H&M Group released a statement reading, "It is of utmost importance that animals are treated well and we have therefore we decided to permanently ban mohair. We have been in close dialogue with PETA for several years and fully agree with them on this matter. As a company we want to act ethically, transparently and responsibly, which includes ethical treatment of animals." H&M will sell mohair products that have already been produced, but offer no mohair items after 2020.
As recently as September 2017, model Gigi Hadid was pictured wearing Tommy Hilfiger's Tommy Flag Mohair Blend Sweater, which is still listed online.
The decision follows many moves in the fashion world to produce more sustainable and ethical items. Versace, Gucci, Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors and Rent the Runway have all said they will not use fur. Melania Trump has decided not to wear fur, while Anjelica Huston donated her furs to PETA, which then gave them to homeless individuals and orphaned wildlife. PETA even bought $4,000 worth of shares of Canada Goose last year to try to sway the company to stop using coyote fur and down.
PETA’s website is now asking people to demand Forever 21 drop mohair immediately for cruelty-free alternatives. The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to UNIQLO, Zappos, Tommy Hilfiger and Forever 21 for comment.