Major fashion brands including Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton, have been accused of sourcing cashmere from farms that have been abusing their animals.

The claims come as a new undercover investigation into operations in Mongolia reveals goats screaming in pain and terror as their hair is violently ripped out for cashmere.

PETA Asia, who collected the hidden-camera footage from inside the farms between April 2022 and February 2023, says the footage shows workers tie goats’ legs together, violently pin the animals down, and tear out their hair with sharp metal combs. This ‘shearing’ process can take up to an hour, PETA Asia explains.

Investigators also reported other distressing incidents. One herder who was performing castrations on the animals was found to be using an unsterilized knife to cut open goats’ scrotums, and pulled out baby goat’s testicles with his bare hands and without pain relief. Elsewhere, goats were left to suffer from bleeding wounds, and pieces of the animals’ skin were pulled away with the cashmere.

All of the incidents are linked to a supplier to Lanificio Colombo, whose clients include some of the world’s biggest and prestigious fashion houses, including Chanel, Gucci, Dior, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Burberry, Bottega Veneta, Naadam and Max Mara.

“Goats suffer in agony so that these particular designer brands can sell their hair as cashmere sweaters and scarves to customers who have no idea of the cruelty involved,” said PETA Vice President Tracy Reiman.

Two of the herding operations implicated in the investigation are said to supply companies who sell their cashmere products with a “Sustainable Fibre Alliance” (SFA) membership label, something which PETA dismisses as a “misleading label” to boost sales. PETA says that the SFA guidelines don’t require annual farm audits, and don’t require pain relief for animals during castration or for injuries.

“PETA is calling on these and other high-end brands to stop hiding behind misleading labels and switch to cozy, luxurious, and 100% animal-friendly vegan cashmere”, added Reiman.

Cruelty-free cashmere

Animal-free cashmere is a relatively new innovation that has been developed to help keep animal cruelty out of the fashion industry.

Vegetable Cashmere, for example, is a soy-based cashmere alternative created by KD New York, that mimics the soft silky feel of animal cashmere. The brand features a collection of tops, hoodies, leggings, and more, all made using the innovative material, which showcases the potential of vegan fabrics and how they can mimic and improve on fabrics that have been traditionally made using animal skins or furs.

Original source: https://www.speciesunite.com