London - Online fashion giant Asos is set to stop selling cashmere, mohair, and silk as part of its updated animal welfare policy but will continue to sell leather and wool products.
The London-based etailer previously stop stocking products which contained feather & down, bone, shell, and teeth and has now added three new animals derived materials to its policy for third-party products as well as it's in-house Asos labels.
Asos updates its animal welfare policy following undercover PETA expose into the mohair industry
The decision comes after a recent expose into the mohair industry in South Africa was released by animal rights organisation PETA. Following the expose, in which shearers were caught on film abusing angora goats while shearing them, more than 140 international retailers have stopped buying products containing mohair.
"We won’t be buying in any new stock that does not fit in with this policy, and will sell through our existing commitment by January 2019," confirmed an Asos spokesperson to FashionUnited via email. Asos, which currently sells over 850 brands in addition to its in-house apparel and accessories brands, previously banned products containing fur, or materials from threatened and endangered species.
"We congratulate Asos on extending its animal welfare policy," said a spokesperson from Humane Society International UK to FashionUnited. "By no longer stocking animal parts like down, teeth and shell ASOS is making a strong statement alongside other future-focused designers and retailers who see that these products are unethical, unnecessary, and bad for business. We are delighted that the growing consumer demand for innovative, humane and environmentally friendly materials is encouraging more and more retailers to leave animals’ fur, feathers, teeth and other body parts with their rightful owners."
PETA's corporate department, who worked together with Asos on its updated animal welfare policy, also congratulated the retailer on its decision. "PETA applauds Asos for its decision to stop selling cruelly obtained mohair as well as silk, down, feathers, and cashmere," said Elisa Allen, PETA Director to FashionUnited. "The global online retail platform is reflecting a profound shift in public attitudes towards the rearing and killing of animals for fashion."
Although Asos has extended its animal welfare policy to cover mohair, cashmere, silk, angora and Mongolian lamb fur, it still will continue to source leather, wool, and other animal hair as long as it is a by-product of the meat industry and is from suppliers 'with good animal husbandry.' In its animal welfare policy, publicly shared online, Asos highlights the measures it has set in place to educate its buyers and suppliers to ensure they are sourcing higher animal welfare materials.
"In response to PETA's campaigns, consumers are changing the face of the industry by demanding that designers and retailers offer clothing and accessories that look beautiful without harming animals," added Allen. "These are exciting times, and it surely can't be long until we see a well-known fashion retailer also ditch leather and wool and go 100 percent vegan – a move that's sure to garner international plaudits and attract compassionate consumers in their droves."