Popular online retailer ASOS, which sells more than 850 labels as well as its own-brand clothing and accessories, has confirmed that it will ban cashmere, silk, down, and feathers across its entire platform by the end of January 2019.
The move has come following a dramatic expose of the Mohair industry in South Africa —the source of over 50 per cent of the world’s mohair according to PETA – has prompted more than 150 top international retailers, including Topshop, H&M, and Forever 21, to ban the cruelly-obtained material. Each year, the mohair, cashmere, down and silk industries exploit countless goats, geese, ducks and silkworms, causing the sentient beings unnecessary pain and suffering. It's worth noting that many brands do use angora, merino, cashmere, mohair and other wool in safe, animal-friendly ways (it's important for an animal to be sheared in hot weather!), but it can be time-consuming and in an industry such as this, time is money.
"ASOS firmly believes it is not acceptable for animals to suffer in the name of fashion or cosmetics", it says on the ASOS website. "No animals should be slaughtered specifically to produce products sold through any of ASOS’ websites. All animal materials used must be by-products of the meat industry," it continued.
A seismic shift is happening and consumers are more aware and conscious than ever about where their garments come from and how they came to be. As a result, brands are becoming more conscious about minimising the damage done to our planet. Some are choosing to produce garments using recyclable materials, some are going fur-free and some are changing their entire business models to ensure the clothing industry starts saving the planet, instead of harming it and the life it contains.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), who is known to uncover radical stories of animal-cruelty within the food, fashion and entertainment industries, congratulated the e-retailer on their official website for showing compassion in the industry.
ASOS joins a growing number of fashion houses and retailers who are actively committing to safer, less harmful garment production.