UPDATE: WORLD: PVH issues ban on angora wool products
PVH Corp, owner of the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, has joined a number of apparel firms in banning the use of angora in all of its products after an investigation by animal rights group PETA exposed "shocking" conditions in the industry.
UK fashion retailers Ted Baker and Next have also joined the boycott. In a statement sent to just-style, Ted Baker said: "We have been assured by our angora suppliers that they source angora fibre from farms where the rabbits are shorn and plucking is prohibited.
"We are confident that our angora is from as humane a source as possible, but, as we aren't comfortable with the practice of shearing ourselves, we have decided that we will not produce any angora products in the future."
The ban will come into effect starting with the company's summer 2014 collections.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Next also said although it has not found any evidence of inhumane practices at its supplier farms, the retailer is not going to place any further orders for angora products.
The move comes after video footage taken by the animal rights group in China, where 90% of the world's angora fur is sourced, showed rabbits having their fur ripped out or being injured while the fur was cut or sheared.
A spokesperson for Primark said: "Following concern about animal welfare and the use of angora in clothing, the company has decided to cease ordering products that use angora while it continues to investigate the issue."
New Look added that while its supply chain audits and investigations have not identified its suppliers angora farms as party to these abuses, it has put its angora production on "immediate hold".
"Beyond our present stocks and consignments in transit, we have paused our angora production and will only continue when we are 100% happy with welfare standards," the company added.
Asos, Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Next have opted to halt production of angora products. As well as a ban on angora, online fashion retailer Asos has also removed from sale all products made with the fibre.
Although Gap Inc has been criticised for failing to take action, a spokesperson for the company said: "Gap Inc has a long-standing commitment to the ethical sourcing of our products, which includes the humane treatment of animals.
"We take the matter of animal welfare seriously and over the years have worked with stakeholders to take proactive steps to address these important issues."
Spanish retailer Inditex, owner of Zara, which has also faced mounting pressure to join the ban, said it requires suppliers to follow guidelines issued by various animal protection associations. Farms must also guarantee decent living conditions for their animals.
"In the wake of recent complaints, Inditex has recently reiterated this message to all suppliers. Its customers can rest assured that all its garments are manufactured responsibly and ethically and in keeping with the company's stringent policies in this regard."
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