Animal rights activists got the world’s biggest fashion retailer to stop selling rabbit wool

Good news, guys.
Good news, guys.
Image: Flickr/Dennis Harper (cropped from original)
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Inditex, the parent company of Zara and Massimo Dutti, told the Guardian that it will stop selling products made from angora—the wool spun from the under-hairs of angora rabbits that’s often knit into fuzzy sweaters and accessories. The material got a lot of attention in 2013 after the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released graphic videos of screaming rabbits having their hair ripped out.

Inditex, which operates nearly 6,500 stores worldwide, says its suppliers were not rabbit torturers, but the company will cease the use of angora nonetheless. The company’s animal welfare policy on its website now promises that “Inditex does not sell products containing angora wool.” Quartz has contacted Inditex for comment, and will update this post if we hear back.

Zara joins the fashion companies H&M, Marks & Spencer, Topshop, and Primark, which have already agreed to stop selling angora. The Guardian reports that Zara will donate the thousands of angora coats, sweaters, and hats already in its warehouses to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, where, according to the United Nations, thousands are suffering punishing winter storms with heavy snows, winds, and rain. (Let’s hope those trendy cardigans are actually warm.)

Angora isn’t always the product of extreme cruelty. Some small-scale rabbit breeders extract the fibers to spin into wool by combing or trimming the rabbits’ fur with scissors or clippers.

“We found no evidence of cruel practices at the farms providing angora wool to our suppliers,” Inditex told the Guardian. “But after consultation with animal welfare organisations to explore more sustainable ways to produce angora and help develop better standards within the industry, we have decided that banning angora production was the right decision.”