Shocking undercover footage of alleged rabbit abuse in China may have prompted several of the world’s biggest apparel brands and retailers to declare a moratorium on sourcing angora products, but at least one bold-face name is still holding out. Despite a growing roster that includes ASOS, Boden, Calvin Klein, Esprit, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Primark, Topshop, and Stella McCartney, Zara, by far the largest of them all, remains deafeningly silent. More than 271,000 people have signed an online petition urging the Spanish brand to drop the fiber. At the same time, scores of consumers have been taking to Facebook to condemn its inaction.
PREVIOUSLY ON ECOUTERRE: H&M Halts Angora Production In Wake of PETA’s Rabbit-Abuse Exposé
Zara still has more than 60 angora items for sale on its website, according to SumOfUs.
“Workers in China were secretly filmed by [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] plucking angora rabbits of all their long, soft fur while they scream,” reads the petition. “Plucking a rabbit without causing harm takes up to two weeks of gently removing the loosened hair, but here it takes only a few, violent minutes. After this tortuous experience, which the rabbits endure every three months, many of them appeared to go into shock, lying motionless inside their tiny, filthy cages.”
Ninety percent of angora fur comes from China, where there are zero penalties for animal abuse on farms, according to PETA. “When you buy a sweater, hat, or other product that contains angora, the angora fur most likely originated in China, even if the finished product was assembled elsewhere,” the animal-rights organization says.
Update: Dec. 18, 2013
In a statement, Inditex insisted it had a policy of “zero tolerance” of cruelty to animals. “Inditex obliges its suppliers to follow the recommendations issued by various animal protection associations,” it added. “In the wake of recent complaints Inditex has reiterated this to all suppliers. Customers can rest assured all garments are manufactured responsibly and ethically.”
Update: Dec. 26, 2013
Zara has agreed to suspend orders for all products containing angora wool until each supplier has been inspected, according to Hanna Thomas from SumofUs. “It’s exciting to see the impact our community is having on our retailers,” she wrote in an email.
[Via Los Angeles Time]