Mohair is a luxury fibre produced from the long curly hair of angora goats and often found in high-end fashion products. But to produce these luxury products goats must repeatedly endure an often painful and stressful shearing process. They are forcefully pinned down while time-constricted workers rush to remove their coats with sharp shears that often cause injury. Injured animals are not provided with pain relief or treatment, and the wounds are prone to infection. Around 5,000 tonnes of mohair are produced each year, and millions of angora goats suffer greatly as part of this industry.
“We have seen video footage of shearers dragging goats by their horns, legs and even tails.”
Jessica Medcalf, Global Corporate Engagement Manager, FOUR PAWS
Goats do not have insulating layers of body fat to keep them warm after shearing. This makes them particularly vulnerable to developing pneumonia when sheared in cold and wet conditions and can die as a result.
They are also subject to painful mutilations without any anaesthetic. When just one to two weeks of age they are de-horned using a hot iron or a caustic chemical paste which can cause severe burns and even blindness if it touches the goat’s eyes. Male kid goats are given no pain relief during the painful and stressful castration process.
Mohair is evidence that animal furs and skins are not always a ‘by-product’ of the meat industry. Although many angora goats are eventually slaughtered for their meat, they are still an example of animals reared for fashion.
What are we doing?
FOUR PAWS refuses to allow this suffering to remain hidden. We are exposing the truth behind fashion, we are contributing to the development of animal welfare certification initiatives, and we are supporting them to make the changes needed to stop animals suffering in the name of fashion. And a growing number of people are standing with us.
Through our Wear it Kind programme, we are building a worldwide movement of people, designers, and brands who are demanding kindness to animals used in fashion.
How can you help?
- To make kinder fashion choices, you can avoid mohair and shop for animal-friendly alternatives. You could consider buying second-hand clothing from places such as charity shops, and 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
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.
Make a conscious choice about the clothes that you wear and #WearItKind by avoiding Mohair products.