Nasturfasern, a German leader in sourcing natural fibers, recently debuted the world’s first responsible angora fiber, called Caregora.
The fiber is said to be just as soft as cashmere, lightweight and delicate. Nasturfasern said the new angora has the highest heat retention and best moisture-wicking properties of any natural fiber. Because of these qualities, it is used in the production of luxury underwear, knitwear, and outerwear.
Caregora is certified by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a testing organization committed to ensuring that the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of textile fabrics comply with all safety standards, according to Yarns and Fibers.
Nasturfasern’s angora fiber was developed in compliance with UL standards and ensures the fiber quality and care of the angora rabbits are of primary concern.
After PETA released a video last year depicting the mistreatment of rabbits at angora farms, it sparked many brands to ban the material in their own production. The video specifically showed the most inhumane method of gathering a certain type of angora called, “spiky angora,” which is collected by plucking the rabbit. Spiky angora is mostly gathered in China and accounts for less than 10 percent of China’s annual angora fiber production, which, as of September 2013, totaled 4,500 tons.
Though Nasturfasern claimed the video was one-sided and unfair for its ill-representation of the overall angora industry, various brands and retailers have since banned the use of angora. Arcadia Group brands Topshop and Topman, H&M, Forever21, Debenhams, Lands’ End, Marks & Spencer, New Look, Next and Primark, among others, have all vowed to keep angora fiber out of future collections, but some are still continuing the sale of existing angora stock, according to PETA.
C&A, Espirit, French Connection, Gap and Zara have all taken first steps toward suspending angora production, but some are still selling angora products, and have not yet committed to eliminating the fiber from future production.