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By Chere Di Boscio
We’ve shown you 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 actually fell, even over the Christmas season, and several major retailers, including ASOS, Cos, Mango and Calvin Klein have vowed to stop selling fashion containing angora wool.
However, there is no need to ban angora from your wardrobe entirely, as 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. 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 rabbits, there is always a strong supply of natural, ethical angora fibres. Still, Chinese fur farms are still the main suppliers of the material, so it’s critical to buy your winter wardrobe staples from a reputable producer, such as one of those below.
Based in Scotland, this brand blends angora with other natural fibres to create long-lasting pieces that are completely cruelty-free. The brand prides itself on using traditional motifs and patterns in its knitwear that reflect its Scottish heritage.
Hutches holding almost two dozen rabbits dominate the landscape at Ambika headquarters, where owner Ambika Conroy clips the fur of her angora bunnies every season. Conroy produces quirky pieces like angora legwarmers and earmuffs, with prices starting at just over £100. It’s not cheap, but it is guaranteed to be ethical.
This eco-friendly lingerie brand buys its angora from the ethical Italian producer Filati Biagioli Modesto. Rabbits are gently brushed to source the finest, fuzziest furs. In addition to gorgeously sustainable lingerie, LuvaHuva uses angora to make sexy little cardis and other luxury boudoir pieces.
True, this brand only produces basic, practical thermal goods, like longjohns, underwear, T-shirts and gloves, but it also sells yarn so you can knit your own awesome fashion, like these sweaters shown below.
This French label, run by a husband and wife team, are guardians of angora rabbits which they lovingly brush and groom themselves in order to obtain glossy angora fur.
Angoras and Co does create some angora products, but they are mainly for the home, such as cushion covers and blankets. However, if you’re handy (or if your grannie is), you can always try to make your own simple knits, such as those below, from the soft, ethical angora and alpaca yarn the company sells on their website.