A recent investigation by PETA into the mohair market found that the conditions goats who produce the wool are kept in are barbaric and cruel. After visiting 12 goat farms in South Africa, PETA revealed their findings, which have resulted in major brands like Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, TopShop, H&M and Zara deciding to no longer produce products that contain mohair.
Popular in the 1970s and again in the 1990s, mohair is the fuzzy wool that is still found in major retail chains today. Made from Angora goats, mohair gives wool items, often sweaters and jackets, a softer and fluffier feeling than traditional wool. But following PETA’s investigation, major chains have announced that they will no longer use the product in their clothing.
In the footage released by PETA (Warning: the video is very disturbing to watch), farm workers can be seen throwing goats, dragging the animals by their horns and legs, and lifting them by their tails. The video also shows goats screaming as they’re being shorn.
Although it’s unclear whether the farms PETA visited are the same farms that provide mohair for the fashion industry, the South African government claims the country produces half of the world’s mohair. For that reason, brands like H&M have decided to no longer produce items made from mohair, but the transition will take time. Helena Johansson, a spokeswoman for H&M Group, said, “The supply chain for mohair production is challenging to control — a credible standard does not exist — therefore we have decided to ban mohair fiber from our assortment by 2020 at the latest.”
Until mohair items are no longer available, PETA suggests that customers check the label before purchasing and avoid buying items that contain mohair.
This isn’t the first time an investigation by PETA has resulted in big changes in the fashion industry. Following the release of PETA’s video footage of rabbits being abused in China, major chains like Gap and Zara stopped selling Angora rabbit fur. Many high-end brands like Gucci and John Galiano have also recently pledged to go fur-free.