A goat in a field © Foto2rich/Shutterstock.com

Cashmere Clampdown: PETA Is Revolutionizing the Clothing Business

Issue 4|Autumn 2023

We know rescued goats who knock on the kitchen door when they want a cookie or a carrot. We also know goats who are in deep trouble. Goats recognize their friends’ calls and can tell how they’re feeling. They’re escape artists who break out of pens by testing and exploiting weaknesses. (Nearby goats watch their friends closely and learn their tricks, which has led to massive prison breaks.) But there are some situations they can’t escape from on their own – so PETA is right there, working to get them out.

It began in 2019, when PETA Asia first investigated goat farms and slaughterhouses in China and Mongolia – the countries responsible for 90% of the world’s cashmere production – and found workers ripping out goats’ hair with sharp metal combs so violently that they screamed in pain and some sustained bloody cuts. Now, PETA Asia’s new investigation, which you’ll read about inside, has revealed that suppliers to companies that tout their animal welfare “standards” have been pulling the wool over shoppers’ eyes.

PETA is determined to make sure animals are not seen as merely raw materials for the taking. Following our first cashmere exposé, Victoria’s Secret, Genesco, ASOS, Overstock, Australian Fashion Labels, and dozens of other companies went cashmere-free. Less than an hour after PETA fired off a letter to luxury knitwear company Naadam demanding that it stop falsely advertising its cashmere products as “cruelty-free,” the company removed those claims from its website.

PETA’s exposés are shaking up the entire industry. As a result of them, Ascena Retail Group – owner of Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Lane Bryant – doesn’t use down in any of its brands any more. Home goods retailers Room & Board, Lulu and Georgia, and Nathan Anthony have joined the herd of more than 150 other brands that have dropped mohair. Luxury fashion group Kering – think Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and others – has banned angora and rabbit felt.

Read on to find out how PETA is fashioning a brighter future for goats – and all animals.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind