Ethical Angora Brands…And Why We Need Them!

PETA has proven that most angora seriously harms rabbits. But not if it’s from these ethical angora brands!

By Chere Di Boscio

You’ve likely seen the harrowing video of Chinese workers pulling the fur and skin off live angora rabbits in order to harvest their hair for angora fashion products. As a result of that PETA video going viral, sales of angora sweaters, hats and other products have thankfully fallen. And several major retailers, including ASOS, Cos, Mango and Calvin Klein have vowed to stop selling fashion containing angora wool.

Yet, however heinous the treatment of bunnies by Chinese workers may be, there is no need to ban angora from your wardrobe entirely. If you’re very careful, that is. There are a handful of ethical angora brands that create soft, warm winter clothing without hurting bunnies. In fact, the owners claim their rabbits love a nice haircut every now and then!

And we can understand why. The truth is, Angora rabbits’ extremely long hair can actually cause them to choke on their own hair balls if their fur isn’t cut regularly. So, with ethical keepers of Angora rabbits, there is always a strong supply of natural, ethical fibres.

Nonetheless, sadly, Chinese fur farms are still the main suppliers of the material around the world. If you’re buying angora from any high street store, you can pretty much be guaranteed animals were harmed in the process of making that garment.

Which means it’s critical to buy your winter wardrobe staples from reputable, ethical angora brands. While these do exist, they’re few and far between. But buying from ethical angora brands, such as those below, it should be clear what angora truly is: a rare luxury that should be considered a delightful treat, not a wardrobe staple.

Ethical Angora Brands That Don’t Harm Bunnies

Ambika ethical angora brand

1. Ambika

Hutches holding almost two dozen rabbits dominate the landscape at Ambika headquarters, where owner Ambika Conroy carefully clips the luxurious fur of her angora bunnies once a season. Conroy then produces quirky pieces like angora leg warmers and earmuffs, as well as sumptuous sweaters and hats. Prices starting at over $100. It’s not cheap, but it is guaranteed to be ethical. And as mentioned above, angora is a luxury, not a right!

But that’s not all. Ambika is keen to educate the public with respect to rabbit care. If you’ve always wanted to keep a bunny, but weren’t sure how to care for one, Ambika gives you the chance! They allow you to ‘rent’ a rabbit. No, it’s not what you’d imagine: the bunny is kept at the Keshini Fiber Farm in upstate NY in the Catskills. Here, you’ll come to visit, cuddle and bond with the little creature, not only to learn rabbit care, but also how to spin and crochet angora, if you so desire. You can even make your own handmade winter wear.

Cuddling with bunnies, brushing their hair and using it for sweaters? Sounds like a plan! Sign us up!

Based: USA

Specialising in: This is the best of all the ethical angora brands for stunning sweaters, luxurious accessories, and teaching the public how to care for Angora bunnies!

Ambika angora

2. Orkney Angora

True, this is one of those ethical angora brands that mainly focuses on practical thermal goods, like underwear, T-shirts and gloves. But it also sells yarn so you can knit your own awesome fashion, like these sweaters shown below.

You can rest assured that when you order from Orkney Angora, you’re buying from a small, family-run business situated in the UK. Since the natural resource most freely available here is wind energy, that’s how the company gets its energy. Orkney Angora makes use of clean, wind generated power for all their business activities such as the hand dyeing and the hank and ball winding operations.

The family running the brand does everything by hand. And that’s true whether it means caring gently for the bunnies, washing the hanks, hand dyeing fibres, drying the hanks, or winding them on to cones then finally into small balls or ‘cakes’ of fluffy yarn.

Based: UK

Specialising in: Yarns, soft, fluffy basics

ethical angora brands

3. Ethical Angora

This is one of our favourite ethical angora brands – and one that’s definitely appropriately named!

It all started with a rather fluffy jumper. Once the founder of the brand was gifted with her first angora sweater, she decided she wanted to get into the business of making them. However, after seeing videos of how the Chinese torture Angora rabbits, she decided she would ethically and kindly source the wool herself.

That goal just happened to coincide with her long term plan to live on a low impact, sustainable farm. After finding 12.5 verdant acres in rural mid Wales, she built a zero carbon house, powered by renewable energy, and got 21 gorgeous Angora rabbits. 

With lots of friends, food directly from their own veggie garden, a safe enclosure and plenty of space to hop about, these are pretty much the happiest bunnies in Great Britain! 

After they’re brushed, the fibres from their grooming is collected to make fluffy hats, scarves, ponchos, gloves and more.

Based: UK

Specialising in: Simple, ethically made winter accessories

Chere Di Boscio
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6 thoughts on “Ethical Angora Brands…And Why We Need Them!”

  1. Some people will never be happy. I applaud the efforts of these producers to improve the raising and keeping of these animals, and the harvesting of their fur. I imagine the people complaining in the comments have never once cared for an animal in any capacity, and can’t imagine that some who disagrees with them could possibly care for the animals they raise.

    1. Hear hear! Whilst we’re totally against industrial angora rabbit farms, obviously, keeping pets and brushing them, then using that fur as a cottage industry? All fine by us! In fact, I was thinking of making wool from my cat’s fur, but decided against it as I might torture people with cat allergies if I wore a cat hair sweater…

  2. Ask yourself, is the ideal situation for a rabbit (or any animal) to be owned because their body is a commodity, and to be bred to further their use as a commodity (this is why angoras “must” be combed, they were not discovered in the wild crying for humans to free them from their miserable state), or to be cared and loved because they are an individual with valid emotions and a desire to experience life.

  3. This article sends a very bad message: May I ask what happens to these animals once their fur production drops and also how are they kept? Let me help you out, they have their throats slit and are sold for pet meat. They are also kept in squalid conditions and restrained while they have their fur ‘gently’ combed out. Just because these animals do not have their hair pulled out by the roots does not make it ethical. It seems you are just trying to justify something you want to be true. All it takes for evil to exist is for good people to do nothing.

    1. Mr Bailey have you visited the farms in the article? I wasn’t going to buy mohair for the same reason until I found a company that can trace the source. No I can’t go to South Africa to see thr goats and I trust the company that did. They’ve visited randomly and that’s what I’m planning to do with angora. Rabbits don’t live long in the wild. Also there is an ethical standard being set in the industry. It’s a step in the right direction imo.

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