On Nov. 27, clothing company H&M announced that it would stop making products with angora rabbit fur after conditions in Chinese rabbit cages were exposed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Angora fiber is the soft coat produced by the angora rabbit. Because of its silky texture and fluffiness, many clothing companies use the fiber for high-priced products. It is possible to shear angora fur in a humane manner, but some factories pluck the fur in a fashion that is painful and scarring to the animals.
A recent undercover investigation has revealed that a Chinese angora farm plucks the fur from live rabbits, harming them immensely. In video that PETA posted online, rabbits are shown being tortured and by workers who pluck their fur and keep them in dirty, disease-ridden conditions.
According to the data presented by Natural Fibres, there are more than 50 million angora rabbits in China and 90% of angora fur in the world comes from there. PETA is urging shoppers to boycott angora products to stop the abuse.
H&M, which is based in Sweden, has quickly reacted after the video’s publication. Camilla Emission Falk, spokeswoman of H&M, publicly announced that the company would halt its angora products. Although the company is not removing angora products already distributed to the retail stores, there will not be any further production of angora goods until the ethics of fur suppliers are proven.
In the US, some consumers expressed their pleasure in immediate action and expressed willingness to shop more often at H&M.
“I am glad to see one of my favorite clothing brands to advocate for animal rights. If I wear something made from animals’ fur, I want to at least know that the animals were not harmed during the process,” said Natasha Lee, a senior at Woodbridge High School.
However, some think the announcement may be for marketing purposes.
“For the company to openly advocate for animal rights so suddenly seems to be no more than another marketing gimmick,” stated Kimmie Hang, a senior at Woodbridge.
Since H&M’s November announcement, several other fashion firms have also announced angora boycotts.