PETA has proven that most angora seriously harms rabbits. But not if it’s from these ethical angora brands!
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
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!
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!
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.
Specialising in: Yarns, soft, fluffy basics
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.
Specialising in: Simple, ethically made winter accessories