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Asos Bans Mohair, Silk and Cashmere From its Apparel Products

Asos has joined many in the fashion flock to stop using mohair under pressure from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

An Asos spokesperson confirmed to Sourcing Journal on Tuesday that it has updated its animal welfare policy and will no longer be stocking products containing mohair, cashmere, silk, feathers, down, bone, teeth or shell, including mother-of-pearl.

The Asos Animal Welfare Policy applies to all products sold through any of ASOS’ websites, including ASOS Brand, brands and Marketplace traders, the spokesperson said. In addition, suppliers must not use any part of vulnerable, endangered, exotic or wild-caught species in their products, and they also can’t use fur, including Mongolian lamb’s fur or rabbit hair (angora). Asos will only source certain types of leather, wool and other animal hair as a by-product of the meat industry from suppliers with good animal husbandry.

Last month, Uniqlo and Zappos.com joined the more than 80 other major retailers worldwide that have banned mohair in response to PETA’s video exposé of the mohair industry in South Africa, the source of more than 50 percent of the world’s mohair. Zappos.com, the e-tail giant owned by Amazon, and Uniqlo, which has 2,000 stores in 19 markets worldwide, will no longer purchase products that contain the material.

PETA’s eyewitness exposé allegedly revealed that angora goat kids were treated cruelly during the sheering process. Some were also shown being killed.

Zappos and Uniqlo will be mohair-free by 2020 and counted among the dozens of retailers, including Anthropologie, Esprit, Express, Gap, H&M, Old Navy, Topshop and Zara, that have agreed not to use the raw material in their products. PETA is urging law enforcement agencies to investigate and file charges against Mohair producers in South Africa, since it believes the farms are violating the 1962 South Africa Animal Protection Act that protects animals against unethical raising and farming practices.

Last month, the South African Mohair Industry said it was “shocked” by the reports. Even though it denied the claims, it said it would investigate potential animal abuse.

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“We view these reports in a very serious light and are treating them with the greatest of urgency,” the South African Mohair Industry said at the time. “While we consider much of the report, and accompanying footage, to be factually incorrect and a misrepresentation of the South African Mohair Industry, some isolated issues have been raised and we have launched an investigation to address these issues directly and swiftly.”

According to the South African Mohair Industry, the industry took steps at the beginning of the year to ensure sustainable production practices are followed and that third-party audits were conducted. The organization said these third-party audits will be expanded and conducted in collaboration with animal protection organizations.