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Will you still buy mohair, cashmere, silk and feather products?

Asos is banning mohair, cashmere, silk and feather products as they are deemed unethical.

The way these materials are produced could shock you.

Ethical fashion is being discussed more than ever, with many of us going the Stella McCartney route and boycotting materials like leather and fur.

However, what about other products that you might not realise are unethical? Asos has announced its plans to ban the sale of mohair, silk, cashmere, feathers and down on its site. As of January 2019, the e-commerce site won’t be stocking products containing any of these materials.

You might be surprised to hear that some of these products aren’t particularly ethical, but why is this the case?

Mohair

Asos is joining the likes of Topshop, H&M and Marks & Spencer in banning mohair. This is most likely down to an exposé that PETA published in May, showing the dark side of mohair production.

Mohair is most often used in fluffy jumpers and accessories. It’s taken from angora goats (which is different to angora wool, which comes from rabbits). PETA investigated treatment across 12 angora goat farms in South Africa, where most of the wool comes from. They say goats are roughly handled, mutilated, neglected and killed as soon as they’ve lived out their usefulness, but some South African angora farmers are disputing the allegations.

Cashmere

Cashmere wool and sweaters

Cashmere wool

Cashmere is synonymous with luxury – it comes from certain types of goat, and is largely produced in countries like China and Mongolia.

Even if the product might be high quality, PETA say the way that it is made is far from it. The popularity of cashmere means that production has increased. The NGO say plots of land are getting overcrowded with animals – and when the goats don’t have enough grass to eat, they will eat the fur of others down to the skin.

Not only this, but the goats are shorn in the middle of winter. As they have so little fat, this means that they’re not properly protected from the weather and can die of cold.

Silk

Thanks to fast fashion, it’s becoming increasingly easy to disconnect your new clothes to where they actually come from.

Silk is one of these products. Silkworms produce this fibre to make cocoons for their larvae. When it is taken from them, the insects inside are steamed alive. PETA says that around 3,000 silkworms die per pound of silk.

Luckily, there are a whole lot of ethical alternatives to silk, including nylon and rayon.

Feathers

This is one of the more obvious products on the list, as birds are often abused for their feathers. Not only is the plucking process painful and bloody for the animals, PETA say they’re often killed as soon as they’ve lived out their purpose.

What are your views?  Does this information make you think twice about what fabric you wear? Will it alter what you purchase in the future?

Will you still buy mohair, cashmere, silk and feather products?

148 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views?

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Onecott
9th Jul 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes it does make me think, perhaps label stating - this garment was made from animals being painfully slaughtered ,which will never happen, so I guess it is up to us to research how the clothes we buy are producec . And act upon the information accordingly where possible
Wilf
9th Jul 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I think your label idea is brilliant-a bit like the vivid warnings on cigarette packets about dangers of smoking. If it had this warning on lablels of clothers AND vivid photos on packaging people may think twice.
SSnells
28th Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I buy British-made and recycled also - there's many UK small businesses that re-use old cashmere etc.
Margaret2009
24th Jun 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
We are in a catch 22 situation with Political Correctness. When we object to such awful treatment to animals in the name of faith or religion we are told this is a historical course. We are to allow these beliefs to continue and not raise our objections otherwise we are seen as racist! Yes we are the silent objectors, because we no longer have the option of "free" speech. If we went to any other country in the world and built our own house of prayer and demanded our animals were killed in a certain way, I am certain we would soon be deported. Yet we have allowed this to happen in the UK and any objections we have are simply not taken into account to prevent upsetting those settling in the UK. So it is all very complex and frustrating in a country so small and so over crowned.
jeanmark
24th Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Sorry Margaret, I am not sure how the treatment of animals in other countries that are bred for fashion, has to do with 'political correctness' in the UK.
Margaret2009
24th Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Hi Jean, if you look into religion and the way animals are killed to feed those who partake in such religious beliefs. For example cutting as the throats of goats and leaving them to bleed to death. Such cruel treatment to livestock, I could give more details about other forms of animal slaughter but I do not wish to upset you or other readers. Sadly this does actually happens in the UK.
I was responding to questions raised by another member, that is why I came to elaborate on global behaviours towards animals. I apologise if I caused confusion.
jeanmark
24th Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Hi Margaret, I do appreciate that we believe halal slaughtered meat to be inhumane, the same as many people believe performing circumcision on young boys for 'religious' reasons to be inappropriate and cruel. Different religions believe different things. The point of this discussion is should animals suffer in the name of fashion.
Margaret2009
24th Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I see your point Jean. I will leave the conversation now as answering questions about the treatment and killing of animals in the UK and other countries has come a wider discussion with members whom I have had "private chats" with. As often the cast the topic has drawn in similarities somewhat removed from the current issue.
Lionel
24th Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Margaret, I was a farm stockman for many years. During that time I visited many abattoirs when taking my livestock there. I can tell you from first hand experience only pigs were stunned because they're the most hysterical of farm animals. Cattle and sheep were not stunned. They were put in a crush, their throats slit and within a very few seconds they were clinically dead, If you want the exact detail ... once the throat is slit they're on their knees unconscious in two seconds and clinical dead in five.

This rumpus about halal killing is utter nonsense! We've fed well off livestock killed without stunning for at the very least 200 years. Consumers just didn't ask how the animal died.

It is not a matter of religious practice - that is press scare mongering. Brits have practiced the same method of killing for centuries. We've all eaten meat killed by slitting the animal's throat. That's from one who's been in the industry for a long time.

Just for information ... I'm a Jew. What you call Halal is our practice too! I converted to Christianity in my late teens. Christians may eat anything, alive or dead! In your option which is the worst?

I still eat kosher apart from the odd bacon rasher.
Margaret2009
23rd Jun 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I am very concerned about the ill treatment to animals across the world. We generally seem to have a kinder approach to farming animals in the UK. Therefore, should I require any animal based products in the future, I will do my upmost to ensure they are British or research the history of their origin before purchase. I refuse to support those mistreating animals even if they are small silk worms. We do have a choice where and how we spend our money. Let us all work harder at supporting the "Fair trade."
ArchieUK
24th Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
If we are so concerened about animal welfare in the world and in Britain in particular why do we allow Hal- Hal meat and poultry and their by-products to be marketed in this country?

It is time we stopped this barbaric practrice.
alisonmay
22nd Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I don't anyway as I am allergic .
Jeannie Camm
22nd Jun 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
I keep angora goats and I suggest people buy goods made from mohair in the UK. I challenge you to speak to producers in the UK and find out about how they are looked after. We love our goats, either shear them ourselves or by a shearer who is used to shearing angoras. They are shorn in January and June/July and after the January shearing they are kept in heated barns and if they need it in goat coats until their fleece has grown back a bit. They are kept inside in the winter anyway with deep straw bedding, lots of sweet-smelling hay and goat mix twice a day. They have their kids in March and go out with their kids at the end of April. They always have shelter outside as do all goats. If you get in touch with the British Angora Goat Society you will find all the information you need. I highly recommend these adorable animals. So the answer is to "buy British"
Lionel
22nd Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Best advice so far! And that's from a farm stockman.
Lorraine
22nd Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
In my ignorance I had assumed that these products were sustainable. Now that I have had my eyes opened I will change my shopping habits.
4
Thanks for voting!
I would rather ues natural products than man-made
Plastic is destroying the Earth
AnneS62
21st Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Hard one this. When you think about it most things come from animals. So where do you draw the line.
Lionel
21st Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
There's so little in this piece we should take to heart. It's designed and written as an anger maker, an emotional guilt trip where the profiteers are the P.A. who published it and the papers and websites that carried it.

Where are the facts? It's not referenced geographically, people named, photos to illustrate. It's an op-ed, an opinion editorial designed to stir readers but with no factual basis given.

Fairly typical of this type of lobbyist!
HappyHippie
21st Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I have never bought anything made from feathers, or silk, I did once by a cashmere jumper years ago, but mostly I buy cotton sweaters now.
PamelaP3
21st Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Ridiculous! I'm allergic to polyester and acrylics, and several of their related products. So I shall continue to keep warm in cashmere, wear cotton or silk in summer, and use my down and feather duvets. As to leather and fur, they were good enough for our ancestors several thousand years ago, and I shall continue to buy leather shoes, sheepskin boots, and avoid all "other materials".
jeanmark
21st Jun 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
So Pamela, do you have a problem with standard wools rather than cashmere, after all we do breed sheep. Cotton isn't a problem and neither is linen for summer clothing. Leather is usually a by-product of us meat eaters as are sheepskin products. As to our ancestors, well they didn't need to worry about animal welfare as they just survived on what natural products that were available and what they could personally kill.
PamelaP3
21st Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Jeanmark, I don't have problems with fine botany wool or merino, but what is marketed as "lambswool" makes me itch as does mohair. Never have a problem with cashmere but always hand wash it with special cashmere shampoo. I cannot use biological washing products either. Love linen, but can't wear it in very hot or humid countries as it does not "breathe" - stick with fine cotton. Seem to be OK with viscose (rayon) mixtures, and cotton/bamboo mixtures too. And, happily, we now are able to buy cotton/silk and cashmere/silk mixtures. What really annoys me is that so many manufacturers are adding between 5 and 10% elastane to cotton.... Why??? Just so some lazy people don't have to iron it?
jeanmark
21st Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Your body obviously only likes expensive materials, poor you (well maybe not so poor). I have never liked cashmere or silk but I do prefer naturally produced fabrics. I have never had a problem with light weight linens in hot climates but do prefer a nice soft cotton. I have no idea why manufacturers insist on putting elastane in cotton clothing, I also find this most annoying and when I the asked for the rationale, I was told it was to 'prevent sagging'. All I can say is it is a pity you can't add it to your body as you get older!
PamelaP3
21st Jun 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I so agree - but when the elastane loses its elasticity??? Face lift????
No, I am not rich, but look after my clothes - some of my cashmere is well over 20 years old! It is getting difficult now to find even cotton T-shirts for women, too. My previous sources, such as the supermarket chains which had nice designs at £5 or under, appear to be all viscose and elastane - there is nothing more unforgiving!
jeanmark
21st Jun 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Too true. I agree the old favourites seem to have disappeared. I also have the problem of being vertically challenged and now believe that if I was 6 foot tall and a size 6 I could find clothes that fit! I did have some good news, a young assistant informed me that petite clothing is now longer as short people are getting taller, I now measure myself every day waiting to see how tall I have grown......
PamelaP3
21st Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Love it! I am getting shorter! I used to be 5'7"... but last check-up said 5'4.5" - so maybe that's where my 2.5"inches have gone. And the fact that they don't appear to measure me in the same way!

When I was young I was considered VERY tall.
Now I'm a shortie! My late brother was 6'4.5" in his youth. And like most tall men, married a girl barely 5' tall. I spent most of my working life in Brussels, where I was known as "the tall English girl" - but feel a lot of this was my love of stilettos!

Life can be unkind sometimes. There have been moments when I have been horizontally challenged - but mainly around the bum! Loved those Belgian frites!
jeanmark
21st Jun 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Well, I just scrapped into nursing when there was a height restriction of 5', I had been rejected by the police force which was 5' 4". Fortunately, I remain at 5', loosing 2.5" would cause me real problems. My friends husband was 6' 5" when she met and married him but having developed osteoporosis in his 30's means he is now my height. Now that is a problem so I shouldn't complain.
kate33
21st Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I like to wear natural fibres if I can, rather than synthetic. And I would agree with IvorEg about most farmers' treatment of their animals, but I do wonder if it is actual farmers running some of these goat 'farms', or is it big business whose only interest is profit? It also seems to me to be very difficult to buy ethically, even if you don't wear silk/angora/cashmere - if we buy synthetic products can we guarantee that they're not being produced by exploited, underpaid, workers or even children?
IvorE9
21st Jun 2018
6
Thanks for voting!
I grew up on a Farm so my attitude towards Animals may be somewhat different. but no farmer is going to be deliberately cruel to his stock. they are his ''bread and butter ''. and for someone to suggest removing his way of life without replacing it with another source of Income is downright criminal. and certainly not going to help. before you go banning these products consider the consequences to the farmers.
Lionel
21st Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Ivor, I completely agree with you because I was a farm stockman for many years.

Once I had a run in with 'inspectors,' from Compassion in World Farming. They were on the farm illegally, so were trespassing, and dared to tell me how they wanted farm livestock to be kept. And that, when our farm vet was James Herriot (Alf Wight) or his son Jimmy!

It's interesting most of these groups that protest about animal welfare, including PETA, don't have experienced farm stockman or famers on their board! They're just hot heads with far too much access to the media.

I was out with my now ageing Blue Merle Border Collie walking across fields. That very day he had been through a thorough vet check where I was grilled about the way I kept him. We both passed muster. A young couple stopped us and at first praised the dog and then tore into me about the keeping of working dogs as pets and said my dog needed a wash! He had just emerged from a long swim in a local fishing lake.

Having a very short fuse with air heads I pointed out that I'd bred, raised, trained and worked Border Collies for what was then 35 years. I suggested I knew this breed better than they did, but not in such polite words.

These people are to be ignored; they've no useful purpose in life. Animals must be kept well but according to their species. They're not human and never will be.
PamelaP3
21st Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Well said. Too many ignorant do-gooders in this world. You stick to your guns, and your experience!
Lionel
21st Jun 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
Thank you so much Pamela. Yes, there are too many do-gooders in this world who actually do far too much harm. It's disproportionate to the good they hope to do.

I worked as a stockman on farms for almost twenty five years. If I'd ever hurt a month old calf that animal would remember me, When it weighed almost a ton, as compared to my ten stones, it would remember me, and hurt me. The same goes for pigs and sheep. There's nothing quite so frightening as a bull or a ram with norns on your case!

My problem with these do gooders is they're not in possession of facts, no, just propaganda. But the facts are very different. I know this, I've worked with animals for so long.

If the likes of PETA and CWF were allowed are reign, I wonder what sort of world this would be?
PamelaP3
22nd Jun 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I'm 100% with you on that. I was an international journalist based in Brussels for 25 years, Those people and organisations - including politicians - that made the most noise were always the ones that had the least ideas of the facts! It was ever thus!
Lionel
22nd Jun 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes, Pamela, that is most certainly true. Yet such people are given a media platform and don't they make the most of it?

I recall a Michael Parkinson TV interview in the early '80's when I was farming livestock and arable as well. Penelope Keith and Felicity Kendal, ambassadors for Compassion in World Farming. Yep! I detest CWF because of it's lies and half truths.

Parkinson, being a seasoned journalist, closely questioned them. When all was said and done they knew nothing of any substance, using lot of words and gestures in animated pleas but in the end, if any British farm has run his livestock in the fashion they claimed was so widespread here he would never pass a vet check and at market would struggle to sell his beasts.

Bunkum, sheer rot!
Needlecrafter
21st Jun 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
The ‘research’ was carried out by only one organisation with a clear bias against animal farming. Granted, the way some animals are treated leaves a great deal to be desired so shouldn’t we be aiming to educate those farmers rather than potentially putting them out of business?
Wilf
21st Jun 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
I dont think ASOS has a bias towards animal farming rather they are against cruelty which we should all be opposed to.
Lionel
21st Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I'd like to see the evidence.

I kept live stock for many years. I can say again on SS there's no point in animal cruelty. It just costs the farmer money in the long run.

A true farm stockman loves his animals, cares for them and brings them on in a kindness appropriate to their kind. That's how I got paid, by marketable results, not cruelty!
Lionel
21st Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I believe ASOS, along with other brands, are riding the crest of a populist wave. That wave is fuelled by the likes of PETA who, it seems have no idea whatsoever about the countryside economy, quite like Compassion in World Farming. It seems to be about market manipulation by guilt. Wow, there's big bucks in that!

I do so agree with you that we should all be opposed, and actively so, against animal cruelty. It's been my stance during so many years in farming. Most stockmen I've known are also like minded.

The danger I see with pressure groups such as PETA and CWF, among many others, is that they find one errant case and brand an entire industry thus warping public opinion. They do not deal in truth and therefore are liars!

We keep livestock according to their kind and it's needs. The skill of stock keeping is to recognise their needs and provide for them. It is not our job to anthropomorphise farm animals - that's for little old ladies with lap dogs who see Tricky-Woo as a human. In doing so they harm their dog far more than any farm stockman would countenance.

This last little while there's been so much in the press about farm cruelty. Fact or fiction? From many years experience I know 99% is fiction - it's sells copy.
JuneAA
21st Jun 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I have not bought these products for 35 years since I became a vegetarian. I don't buy leather either or toiletries that have been tested on animals or contain animal products. All my family are meat eaters and I don't push my views onto them, but this is just the way that I feel 🙂
ArchieUK
20th Jun 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
Lets get to the real problem, too many humanoids, using too many recources,now how about reduing the human population which will help to solve this problem.

Who wants to go first?.
Wilf
20th Jun 2018
-2
Thanks for voting!
The human population will keep growing but after 2100 according to United Nations predictions it will start to fall. It is alreadly falling in some countries-japan and Russia
Margaret Hart
20th Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
As I am allergic to many irritable products I don’t buy all of these now but I will probably still buy silk for special occasions and there are. Many silk mixtures with other yarn.

If they carry on we’ll be dressed in sack cloth.
MrsPat
19th Jun 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I hate crulty to all animals even our little friends like Ants they all have just as much right to be here as we do in fact more so as they are useful to the world. We should stamp out cruelty wherever it is to animals and I say good on ASOS for doing this and taking a lead. My daughter buys a lot from them and I will tell her and her friends to buy even more. I may even start buying from them myself even at my ripe old age.
Pam1960
19th Jun 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
I believe there is a difference in killing animals to eat and killing and mistreating them in the name of vanity. I do eat meat a couple of times a week so maybe it is a bit hypocritical of me to say I wouldn't buy mohair, cashmere etc because animals are mistreated. I am not an animal lover in fact I have a phobia against all animals but I don't think that with all the advances in producing man made materials it is necessary to use animal fur and skin.
ElainePeony
19th Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Of course! I am not a vegan and never will be, so there is no difference between eating and wearing animal or insect products. When I am dead everyone can ban lovely products, invent new ones and wear garments made out of microchips and semi conductors and eat artificial microbial diets....They won't know any different!
Wilf
19th Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
But we should never be cruel to animals Elaine-I agree there is no difference between eating and wearing animals but we really should stop doing both if we can.
jeanmark
19th Jun 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
How sad Elaine that you can not see a difference between ethical animal farming for food and unethical animal breeding for fashion. You do not have to be vegan to see the difference, just compassionate.
viking
20th Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Very nice if we all lived in a world where there was plenty of everything for everybody !
Take away these "farmers" scorce of income by not buying their product and our readers will only add to the problems that the world now suffers from;- starvation !!
If the likes of ASOS were to send teams into these areas of alleged cruelty, and show that if it continues then there will be a gradual withdrawl of business from these alleged cruel farmers.
To suddenly cut off income from deprived areas............no.
Wilf
21st Jun 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
But surely its better to stop being cruel to animals-there is no justification for it
Lionel
21st Jun 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Wilf, may respectfully I ask why? Why should we cease eating animals and wearing animal byproducts?
Lionel
21st Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
The trouble is, Elaine, such pressure groups as CWF and PETA find one errant farm and brand the entire worldwide industry accordingly.

This is emotional marketing on a grand scale and people are falling for it.
Wilf
21st Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I think the word is cruelty Lionel...so long as we are not cruel its ok. If we raise animals in a natural way -ie not factory faming-thats fine but its things like factory farming-keeping pigs and cows penned up for life to fatten them...keeping artic foxs x3 times overweight so their fur is greater and keeping them in wire cages...none of this can be right. In years to come people will look back on these practices as barbaric I think. Of course the issue is many of these methods make cheaper food. My view would be we should eat less and have healthier lifestyles..me included by the way.
Lionel
21st Jun 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Wilf, I think you know I have the deepest of respect for your views. We're seldom in disagreement.

Over many years with livestock, as I was pressured to produce more and more to meet demand, I came to the conclusion there were two driving factors in this.

One, population size relative to capacity to produce food and by products. Second, egalitarianism. Perhaps I should use a rather inelegant term, consumer egalitarianism. By that I mean perhaps because a Kardashian (forgive me, I can't even spell their name) has an Arctic Fox fur then every aspiring Kardashian wants two! Worse, their boots must be trimmed with the same. Because bacon sarnies - I shouldn't eat bacon really - are so very popular producers of baconers (overweight pigs) are under pressure to deliver more and more.

Egalitarianism is fine in moderation. It's allowed us both to move to a place we wished to be. But to insist that because so and so has this or that I must have it is pure greed.

There will always be rich and poor people. The rich can afford Arctic Fox fur and the poor can afford what they have. In such circumstances consumer demand is answered according to product availability and therefore the price setting. To assume my dear wife, or yours for that matter, is entitled to dress and dine as a massively wealthy person is an error because I don't think you're massively wealthy and most certainly I'm not.

Whilst social mobility is to be applauded I don't think every aspiration should be satisfied, particularly where animals are concerned.
Wilf
22nd Jun 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Very elequently put Lionel and very good points-I agree!

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