The Manchester retailer pledged to boycott goat hair following a PETA investigation
As far as ethical fashion goes, Boohoo has always seemed dubious. Its customers can pay as little as £15 for a dress, leading the more conscious consumers to wonder just how the etailer manages to keep prices so questionably low - if you’re not paying the full cost of your purchase, then who on the supply chain is?
But now the turbo-speed fast fashion retailer is making a new step towards a more ethical offering. Boohoo is one of dozens of high street brands that has pledged to ban the use of mohair in its products, after a shocking investigation from PETA revealed the cruelty goats face at mohair farms.
Topshop, Marks & Spencer, Next, Primark, Mango, Gap, H&M, and Zara have also all agreed to end the use of mohair in their products.
Mohair is farmed from angora goats. It's long, smooth fibres have a fluffy nature and are often used in jumpers, scarfs, hats and gloves.
Boohoo's mohair jumpers:
In PETA's video exposé, workers drag goats by the horns and legs and lift them off the floor by the tail, potentially breaking their spines. Goat kids who are being shorn for the first time cry out in fear, before being thrown across the floor by workers. The eye-witness investigation, which is the first of its kind, lead PETA to visit twelve farms in South Africa - the source of more than 50 percent of the world's mohair. Shearers are paid by goat sheared not by hour, causing them to work quickly and carelessly and often leave the goats cut up and bleeding.
Farmers admitted that after shearing, many goats die from exposure to the cold, wind and rain – 40,000 reportedly died of exposure across South Africa in just one weekend. Unwanted goats also died in agonising ways; on one farm, a worker slowly cut the throats of fully conscious goats with a dull knife and then broke their necks, hacking one animal's head right off. Other goats were hauled to an abattoir, where they were electrically shocked, hung upside down, and slashed across the throat.
Boohoo.com plc – which includes the brands boohoo.com, boohooMAN, PrettyLittleThing, and Nasty Gal – told PETA that the company is "committing to not using mohair in future collections and… working to amend [its] processes in line with this decision".
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to wear" – notes that many goats' sensitive ears were mutilated with tattoo pliers, which left them screaming in pain.
"Boohoo recognises that no jumper or scarf is worth the blood, fear, and cries of gentle baby goats – and all other retailers should, too," says PETA Director of Corporate Projects Yvonne Taylor. "PETA is reminding shoppers to check clothing labels carefully and to leave any item with mohair in it on the rack."
Whilst ethical advocates praise the brand for protecting animal rights, Boohoo still has a long way to go before it truly becomes an ethical retailer. But, this is certainly a step in the right direction.