- Simone Preuss |
French fashion brand American Vintage has decided to ban angora from all its future collections and has announced this on social media. Already two years ago, animal rights organisation PETA had criticised the brand’s use of angora and showed how much angora rabbits suffer when their fur is harvested.
“We held countless online actions, bombarded the company’s social media posts with comments, urged supporters to call its headquarters and customer service with complaints, protested outside its stores in major cities around the globe, distributed leaflets and posters, and moved more than 320,000 compassionate supporters of PETA and our affiliates to e-mail the company with a call to ban angora,” remembers the animal rights organisation.
Now, according to its own account, PETA is doing cartwheels following the announcement that American Vintage will join hundreds of other brands like Gucci, Calvin Klein, Burberry and Alexa Chung and stop selling products with angora and no longer use angora in future collection.
In a letter signed by founder Michaël Azoulay and posted on Instagram, American Vintage recounts its version of events and explains how the brand - after accusations by animal rights groups concerning the mistreatment of angora rabbits - mandated independent external auditing companies to inspect the farms of its producers, carried out regular inspections of these farms, obtained guarantees from them to sign an ethical charter and personally visited production sites to verify the treatment of the angora rabbits.
“Taking a completely transparent approach, we then shared these results. Unfortunately, this did not stop the slanderous campaigns connecting our brand to shocking photos and videos spread by these associations – images that do not even involve our producers,” remembers American Vintage.
The brand talks of “written and verbal confrontations” by animal rights organisations: “Our employees receive threats and insults every day. Posted videos associate us with animal assassins.”
American Vintage took appropriate measures: “Faced with this daily pressure, we will not allow our personnel to undergo such incredible violence while awaiting a transition that cannot be made immediately. As a result, we have decided to accelerate the transition that we already initiated, concerning angora production,” confirms Azoulay.
Thus, the brand will replace angora by a (yet) unnamed “alternative material… just as respectful of animal welfare” starting with the autumn-winter 2021-2022 collection. “We are eager to present our new materials, which, rest assured, will uphold the same quality and high textile standards as all of our products,” concludes Azoulay.