white cashmere goat on bluffs

Buyer, Beware! ‘Responsible Cashmere’ Makes Goats Scream

Issue 4|Autumn 2023

Clothing Brands Set Out to Dupe You

When PETA released footage in 2019 showing frightened goats in China and Mongolia crying out in pain as their hair was ripped out with metal combs, consumers were appalled and companies were left scrambling. Dozens of brands cut ties with the cashmere industry, but others devised ways to keep right on selling it, hiding behind sham animal welfare “standards.”

PETA Asia recently returned to Mongolia to expose lies behind “sustainable” and “responsible” cashmere, and some of the world’s biggest fashion brands – including Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton – were implicated. The investigation into a supplier to leading cashmere producer Lanificio Colombo – whose clients also include Prada, Burberry, Bottega Veneta, and Max Mara – and luxury knitwear company Naadam shows that workers still tie goats’ legs together, violently pinning the animals down so they can tear out their hair with sharp metal combs. This grueling process causes goats to scream in pain and terror, and some of their skin is torn off along with their hair.

Kid Goats Castrated Without Painkillers

PETA Asia filmed a worker castrating kid goats without pain relief, cutting a goat’s scrotum with a dirty knife before yanking his testicles out with his bare hands. One wounded goat who was denied veterinary care was found dead the next day. During the harsh Mongolian winter, PETA Asia’s investigators found young goats who likely had died from extreme cold or hunger. A contact from a herding family told them that smaller goats were often trampled to death by bigger ones as they rushed to find shelter at night.

‘Spent’ Goats Sent to Slaughter

Once the adult goats are no longer considered profitable because they grow less hair, they’re violently killed. PETA Asia’s investigators visited slaughterhouses where workers dragged goats to the bloody kill floor, hit them over the head with a hammer, and slit their throats, leaving them to twitch for over four minutes as they bled out on top of other dead or dying goats whose throats had also been cut.

Goats being led to slaughter
At the slaughterhouse, workers hit goats with hammers and slit their throats.

Sham ‘Standards’ Support Goats’ Suffering

In the wake of PETA Asia’s first cashmere investigation, clothing companies claimed that they would follow and support certain animal welfare “standards,” including by signing on to the Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA), an organization that certifies two of the cashmere suppliers implicated in PETA Asia’s new investigation. These standards are practically meaningless.

The SFA’s Code of Practice recommends that combing be used to collect cashmere, even though animal welfare experts oppose it. The Australian Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says combing can “cause unnecessary and extended pain, suffering and distress in goats.” Even the Good Cashmere Standard – an oxymoron if ever there was one – indicates that combing goats causes them to endure “stress and injury.”

A limping goat
This injured goat was denied vet care and was found dead the next day.

SFA guidelines don’t require pain relief during castration or for injuries sustained during violent restraining and combing – and even consider treating animals “humanely” prior to slaughter to be a recommendation, not a requirement.

There is no compassionately obtained cashmere – all cashmere comes from goats whose hair was violently stolen from them before they were slaughtered. If you want the feel and look of the material, buy vegan cashmere made from soybeans, viscose, bamboo, or other plants.

Be Part of It! 

Tell Naadam, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Prada, Gucci, and other brands to stop hiding behind phony standards and embrace luxurious vegan materials.


A gorgeous vegan cashmere coat takes the guesswork out of achieving a stylish, cruelty-free look – and you could win one. Modeled by activist Ashley Jackson, the Belle de Jour is just one of the coats offered by PETA Business Friend Unreal Fur. For your chance to win a voucher redeemable for any one of the coats at UnrealFur.com (subject to availability) and free shipping and handling, e-mail your name and contact information to [email protected] by December 31, 2023. By entering, you agree to the contest rules below. The prize redeemed by the voucher is valued at approximately $500.

This is just the beginning. Find more cruelty-free fashions at the PETA Mall. 

Ashley Jackson wearing a vegan fur coat by Unreal Fur

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Open to US residents only. PETA will choose one winner at random by January 5, 2024, and will announce the winner the same day. PETA’s decision is final. Contact details and other information that you provide in your entry may be shared with other PETA entities and other third parties. By submitting your entry, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to PETA’s contest terms and conditions and privacy policy.

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