A PETA animal cruelty investigation has prompted apparel companies Arcadia Group, Gap Inc., H&M and Inditex to ban mohair products from their supply chains.
The animal rights activist group recently released a video exposé of the South African mohair industry highlighting 12 farms that showed workers engaging in unethical practices with the animals. According to PETA, farmers admitted that after shearing, most goats die from exposure to rough weather conditions and suffer cruel treatment at slaughterhouses.
PETA is urging law enforcement agencies to investigate and file charges, since it believes these farms are violating the 1962 South Africa Animal Protection Act that protects animals against unethical raising and farming practices.
Following the probe, PETA said Arcadia Group, Gap Inc., H&M and Inditex will work toward eliminating mohair in their apparel, accessories and footwear products. According to PETA, Gap Inc. said it will no longer source mohair products for its brands, including Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy. PETA also said Arcadia Group will discontinue buying mohair for its eight brands, including Topshop, while Inditex’s seven brands, including Zara, will phase out mohair products by 2020. PETA also said H&M will make its eight brands mohair free by 2020.
“For us, it is of utmost importance that animals are treated well and we have therefore decided to permanently ban mohair. We have been in close dialogue with PETA for several years and fully agree with them on this matter,” H&M said. “H&M group has an Animal Welfare Policy with strict requirements for all animal-deriving materials that we use in our products.”
The PETA probe comes on the heels of other animal welfare milestones, as the apparel industry continues to elevate its corporate social responsibility and material sourcing policies. Last year, many apparel companies and fashion brands went fur free, including Gucci, Michael Kors and VF Corp. Several cities, including Amsterdam and San Francisco, have also taken steps to ban the sale of fur.