If you were hoping for an angora sweater for Christmas, you may be disappointed. Fashion brands are increasingly choosing bunny happiness over Angora production and sales this season.
PETA has been reaching out to brands with a probably horrifying (I'm going to pass on watching but you can here if you want) video exposing the unethical ways in which rabbits are harvested for fur -- tied down, screaming in pain as their fur is ripped out. Most of this occurs in China, where 90% of angora comes from. H&M and Acne were the first to halt production of angora products following the video's release. H&M will even allow customers to return angora products for a full refund. Now, they're being joined by dozens of UK and U.S. brands including Stella McCartney, Topshop, Whistles, Calvin Klein and Marks & Spencer, The Sunday Times reports.
Brands that fail to get on the bandwagon at this point are going to look pretty bad. Gap, for instance, has not yet gotten on board, according to PETA. Not to mention the fact that tortured bunnies is a pretty powerful image -- perhaps enough to get a significant amount of consumers to stop shopping the fabric. Though, if you want to there's still a decent amount on sites like Net-a-Porter and Shopstyle.
So does this mean the end of angora? Not necessarily. Many brands said they would be making visits to angora facilities to conduct inspections.
As for a more ethical alternative, PETA also recommends avoiding wool, silk, shearling, alpaca, mohair and down. (See the organization's full vegan shopping guide here.) However, while it may not count as vegan, alpaca is emerging as a trendy and luxe new sweater fabric option. And, as this story details, the fabric is sourced sustainably and ethically in Peru.