Tuesday 28 January 2014

Image source: fiberwild.com
When buying clothes do you consider where the fabric is from? I didn't until I began working in a clothes shop last year. Angora was all the rage last year and we had many jumpers made of the material. It was only until I did my research that I found out about the horror behind making these jumpers and obtaining the wool from Angora rabbits. Some of what I'm going to talk about may be upsetting so please don't read on if you don't want to see distressing images.

Footage has become available, shot by PETA Asia, of the horrific cruelty to Angora rabbits. To begin telling you about this abuse I want to start by explaining a bit about these rabbits and why their fur is so important.

What is an Angora rabbit?

Image source: Wikipedia
The Angora rabbit is bred for its long, soft wool, which is usually removed through shearing, combing or plucking. There are many different breeds of this rabbit: English, French, Giant and Satin (along with some others). Their wool is so in demand because it is only 11 microns in diameter (Wikipedia tells me) so is finer and softer than cashmere, and you know how popular and expensive cashmere is. The rabbit in the picture is of English breed and is incredibly furry. Usually, they'd be sheared every 3/4 months.

What is the controversy?

Around 90% of the world's Angora wool is produced in China. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) visited 10 farms and documented their findings into this video. BE WARNED: this is very distressing.

If you're unable to watch the video I'll sum it up: the rabbits are tied up and the fur is pulled from their bodies whilst they scream in pain.

An article on The Guardian informs me that it is inhumane not to remove some of the fur because 'the animal becomes too hot, gets covered in thick clumps and tends to lick off any moulting hairs, which accumulate in its stomach.' The article is debating whether the production of Angora is ever ethical. PETA claims that when done on a smaller scale it is indeed ethical - putting your fingers through their coat or combing away the fur.

How has this effected stores?

Petitions cropped up online shortly after the release of the video to stop stores like Topshop and H&M selling Angora. Companies like the Arcadia Group, New Look and Whistles (amongst others) have pledged to not sell any items made of the wool. However, it has been rumoured they are still selling the stock they have left. Zara, Gap and Accessorize have halted selling their products to investigate.

There is a great concern for the protection of animals in China. It is acknowledged that there is a massive problem with dog and cat slaughter, and now it seems the spotlight is turning on them regarding the production of Angora wool. Frankly, I think it's disgusting that they can treat animals like that and get away with it. I won't be buying Angora any time soon, and I'm ashamed to say I work in a shop that sells it.

PETA are trying to urge the Chinese government to ban cruelty to rabbits by getting YOU to send a note to the China's ambassador to the US. If you'd like to get involved, you can do so here.

What is your opinion on this issue? Let me know in the comments! I'd love to read them. 

love, Cally


  1. i am involved already and its great you posted this to get the awareness out there
    hi 5 hun

    1. thank you! :) I think it's really important to raise awareness on things like this. It's so surprising how many people don't know about it xx

  2. absolutely awful! I've never worn angora because I'm allergic to it, but until these videos came out I didn't realise how cruel it was. What a horrible thing for those poor bunnies to have to go through :(

    Hannah xx

    1. I know, it's so awful. I also can't wear angora because it makes me skin feel itchy. Watching the video is traumatic, I don't know how people can get away with such cruelty xx

  3. I was and still am absolutely disgusted in how these animals have been treated, no dignity had been left when the fur had been ripped away :( so distressing to watch.
    I have already signed a petition to it and encouraged others I work with to sign it too.
    Great idea to raise awareness to those who may not be aware!

    xxx | PixiRella

    1. It is truly horrendous to see how they're being treated. Ah that's awesome :) I'm glad you're also raising awareness, it's so important xxx

  4. My mum recently bought me a jumper with angora (unaware of the horrendous back story) and I immediately asked her to return it, I couldn't even bring myself to try it on.
    It is so upsetting and it needs to stop!

    Emmie xx

    1. I don't think I'd buy any Angora now just in case of its source. It's good more people are finding out about it though, it's so important to get the word out xx