Angora wool is a soft fibre largely used in high-end fashion, produced from the thick luxurious coats of gentle, intelligent and highly social angora rabbits.
90% of the 2500+ tonnes of angora wool produced every year comes from China where millions of rabbits endure a lifetime of suffering, hidden from view.
Rabbits are kept in tiny wire mesh cages unable to express natural behaviours such as hopping, digging, and gnawing. The cages are so small that rabbits can’t sit upright leading to painful spinal deformities.
Every three months or so, rabbits are pinned down and their fur is removed using sharp cutting tools or, worse, it is ripped off by hand without any pain relief. Some rabbits die from heart failure due to the stress of the process.
Out of stress and boredom, rabbits demonstrate high levels of aggression. Injuries are common and usually left untreated.
Rabbits are intentionally bred to have fluffy wool, and this can lead to impaired sight, eye disease and other health and welfare issues.
In the wild, Angora rabbits can live to up to 12 years. In the angora industry they are deemed unprofitable at around two years of age and, after a lifetime of misery, they are often slaughtered and sold for meat.
What are we doing?
FOUR PAWS is fighting to stop this cruelty. We are exposing the truth behind the angora industry and, through our Wear it Kind programme, we are building a global movement of people who demand better for animals.
We do more than point out the problem – we are part of the solution by engaging with designers, brands and retailers and supporting them to make vital changes to their supply chains, calling on companies to ban the use of Angora wool.
Recently, we celebrated the end of any pet food containing rabbit meat appearing on the shelves of UK retailers, however, angora rabbits are still suffering immensely due to being kept in such cruel conditions for their fur.
Together we can make long-lasting change for the bunnies that suffer for Angora wool, and prevent the suffering of millions of animals used in fashion.
How can you help?
- To make more sustainable and animal-friendly choices, you could consider buying second-hand clothing from places such as charity shops
- To help protect angora rabbits from this cruelty, you can avoid angora wool, and feel comfortable in the knowledge that no rabbit had to suffer in order to make your clothing. Here is a list of brands that are based in, or have a strong presence in, the UK and have banned angora
- If you are buying brand new, there are several sustainable alternatives you can choose when out shopping:
1) Recycled acrylic - made from recycled plastic. This is the most widely used fabric for a wool alternative
2) Recycled polyester – made from recycled plastic bottles. Also widely used and requires only 30% of the energy that polyester does
3) Organic cotton – no use of chemicals of GMOs. Organic cotton products are produced without using harmful synthetic chemicals or additives
4) TENCEL™ Lyocell – made from wood pulp. This is manufactured through an environmentally-friendly process and is biodegradable and recyclable
- Take the Wear it Kind pledge and commit to never buying angora because there is simply no cruelty-free way to farm Angora rabbits.
- Your voice really can make a difference. Politely speak, or write, to the management of any store selling angora.
- Use our Wear it Kind Shopping Guide to help you make kind fashion choices.
Over six billion animals are exploited for fashion and textiles every single year. Animal-free clothing is the ultimate kind and cruelty-free fashion and making carefully considered decisions is a great step towards achieving a kinder wardrobe.
There is no cruelty-free way of keeping Angora rabbits. Make a conscious choice about the clothes that you wear and #WearItKind by avoiding Angora wool products.