ASOS to stop selling mohair, silk, and cashmere clothes because of animal cruelty concerns

ASOS has pledged to stop selling cashmere, silk, and other products. (Photo: Getty)
ASOS has pledged to stop selling cashmere, silk, and other products. (Photo: Getty)

ASOS has announced plans to ban the sale of all mohair, silk, cashmere, and feather products on its shopping platform.

The online giant had already pledged to stop selling mohair after PETA exposed the cruel techniques used in the industry via a video released in May. More than 140 brands, including Topshop and H&M, have issued similar mohair bans.

But ASOS has taken things to the next stage by banning the use of a number of other materials associated with animal cruelty.

For example, silk is the fiber that silkworms weave to make their cocoons. According to PETA, to obtain silk, distributors often boil the worms alive inside their cocoons. Some 6,600 silkworms are killed to make just 1 kilogram of silk.

And cashmere goats, who have little fat on their bodies, are often shorn in midwinter — when they most need their coats. The animals can die of cold stress as a result.

ASOS has pledged that by January 2019, nothing it sells will include any material that could be produced via cruel techniques.

The updated animal policy states: “ASOS firmly believes it is not acceptable for animals to suffer in the name of fashion or cosmetics. No animals should be slaughtered specifically to produce products sold through any of ASOS’s websites. All animal materials used must be by-products of the meat industry.

“ASOS is committed to working with industry expert groups to support the ongoing research, development, and implementation of animal welfare standards and transparency in the leather supply chain.

“ASOS is a member of the Leather Working Group and is working towards sourcing all skins from LWG-rated tanneries, to ensure good environmental compliance and traceability.”

The brand has already banned mohair. (Photo: Getty)
The brand has already banned mohair. (Photo: Getty)

The move has been widely praised by PETA.

“PETA applauds ASOS for leading the charge for compassion in fashion,” PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman said in a statement issued by the animal rights organization. “In response to PETA’s campaigns, consumers are changing the face of the industry by demanding that designers and retailers ditch animal-derived materials in favor of cruelty-free alternatives that look great without causing suffering.”

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