Warning! This blog post features imagery some readers may find troubling.
Awareness of the animal cruelty, or at least animal involvement within the fur and leather trades is quite common-place today. However, as we move forward as a society and begin to move away from fashion derived from animals, many means of exploitation you probably don’t know about begin to appear. The fact is, all clothing derived from animals has blood on its hands. Numerous studies have shown farms in even countries with the strictest animal rights laws such as the United States and Australia aren’t free from cruelty, violence, and murder. In light of next week being National Animal Cruelty Awareness Week, here are five products to watch out for to make sure you stay informed.
Silk is a fibre taken from silkworms who produce the fibre to make their cocoons. The species undergoes the same stages of metamorphosis as moth’s do. However, as most silk is derived from the cocoons of larvae, most silk worms are steamed or gassed alive inside their cocoons before they even reach the pupal stage. Even worse, it takes a whopping 300 silkworms to make a single silk camisole.
Many consumers believe that “shearling” refers to sheared wool, meaning shaved off hair from sheep without the animal being killed in the process. However, this is a common misconception as shearling is actually the sheep’s skin tanned with the wool still attached to it. Therefore, shearling clothing is derived from a sheep shortly before slaughter, and up to a dozen sheep are necessary for just one single jacket.
Angora, often called “Angora Wool” is used in a wide variety of knitwear and accessories. Angora is derived from angora rabbits, of which 90% are farmed in China where there are no penalties for abuse of animals on farms and no standards to regulate the treatment of the animals. Their feet are often tightly tethered, they are often suspended in the air, and the sharp cutting tools inevitably wound them, not to mention the terror they face from the barbaric ordeal. Many consumers haven’t been educated on the origin of Angora and are often unaware of the animal abuse associated with it especially when written on its own. Essentially, if you have an Angora sweater which is made in china, it's inevitable that these cute, cuddly rabbits have been tortured to produce it.
Mohair, similarly to Angora, often misleads consumers who are unaware of its origin and do not realise it’s an animal product. The long, smooth fibre is derived from goats, and is most commonly farmed in South Africa. Numerous investigations have found workers in these farms (payed by volume, not by hour) drag goats by their horns and legs, cut their throats while conscious, throw them across the floor and mutilate them.
#5: Down Feather
Down Feathers, derived from ducks or geese, are the soft layer of feathers in the bird’s chest region. Down feathers are often removed during slaughter but birds in breeding flocks as well as those raised for meat and foie gras may even have their feathers plucked out repeatedly while they are still alive. Many consumers don’t realise that all down jackets, not just ones with a fur hood, are participatory in this abuse.
What you can do.
Always question the origin of your clothes and shop animal-free. Fashion should be fun, not fatal. Count on A.C.F for fashionable yet compassionate clothing. Shop our sustainable vegan alternatives.