Outside the gates of fashion week stand protestors spitting ‘shame’. Inside the hallows of the industry, designers are taking stock of their use fur. Marc Jacobs, Burberry and Gucci are just a few who have stopped using the material and now ASOS has joined their ranks.
The multi-brand website has made the decision to longer carry products made of mohair, cashmere, silk, down and feathers. ASOS, which stocks over 850 labels, will complete the ban by the end of January 2019.
‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) applauds ASOS for leading the charge for compassion in fashion,’ director of corporate projects, Yvonne Taylor, has said. ‘In response to PETA's campaigns, consumers are changing the face of the industry by demanding that designers and retailers ditch animal-derived materials in favour of cruelty-free alternatives that look great without causing suffering.’
This announcement places ASOS alongside Marks & Spencer, H&M and Topshop who have also pledged to rescind the sale of mohair. However, they have gone one step further to consider the cruelty that is behind the current trend for feathers.
‘All feathers used for fashion are stolen property, whether they were ripped out of the rightful owners while they were still alive or removed from their bodies after slaughter’, Elisa Allen, Director of PETA, told Grazia. ‘Contrary to popular perception, feathers described as "marabou" don't normally come from marabou storks but rather from factory-farmed turkeys and chickens, who live in their own waste before being hauled to the abattoir. Wearing bits and pieces of animal's bodies is an archaic practice that carries echoes of their suffering’.
Likewise, the production of mohair, silk, down and cashmere has been shadowed with controversy. Countless goats, ducks, geese and silkworms are exploited for the clothing industry each year. As the demand for fast fashion grows, and one look at our office post room shows there are no signs of it abating, ASOS are making a positive step towards championing cruelty-free materials.