Ralph Lauren came face-to-face with mounting pressure from one of its shareholders, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), during its annual meeting yesterday over its use of cashmere in certain products.
The animal rights organisation raised concerns around the American brand’s use of the material following a PETA Asia investigation, which found evidence of abuse against goats in the supply chain.
In a release, PETA executive vice president, Tracy Reiman, said: “Every day in the cashmere industry, terrified goats are mutilated and violently slaughtered just to make a few sweaters.
“PETA is calling on Ralph Lauren to make the responsible and compassionate decision to get cashmere out of its stores.”
In its enquiry, PETA noted that the Ralph Lauren Corporation had pledged to create through responsible sourcing as stated in its values, where it had also outlined the mission to enable past and future products to “live on responsibly by 2030”.
PETA then highlighted findings from its recent investigation into operations that had been certified to produce “responsible” cashmere, where it said it had found evidence of animal abuse against goats in slaughterhouses after they are no longer needed to produce cashmere.
It must be noted that PETA did not state whether or not locations that it had investigated were linked to Ralph Lauren’s supply chain.
Its enquiry concluded: “Ralph Lauren believes that true luxury encompasses how a product was made.
“Given the abject cruelty uncovered in this investigation, when will Ralph Lauren embrace its own definition of true luxury and drop cashmere?”