LONDON — French Connection is the latest fashion label to stop using angora in the production of its clothes and accessories, with the British retailer saying Thursday that it has ended its use of the product “with immediate effect.” French Connection’s move follows labels including Hennes & Mauritz AB, Topshop and Next through to Calvin Klein and Stella McCartney having banned the product.
The labels took action following reports by animal rights activists that rabbits are routinely abused in Chinese angora farms.
The retailer said that while it had initially “taken steps to ensure that the angora used in French Connection clothing is carefully collected by shearling and…the rabbits are not mistreated,” the firm ultimately decided to stop using the material. “Despite the steps we have taken…we recognize some customers have concerns about the continued inclusion of these fabrics in our ranges,” the retailer said.
Mimi Bekhechi, U.K. director of animal rights group PETA — which has posted videos on its Web site of rabbits having their fur torn out and their skins cut by workers — commented: “We are delighted that French Connection has listened to its customers and joined…numerous other global fashion retailers by committing to a permanent ban on…angora wool,” she said. PETA said French Connection had received over 100,000 emails from PETA’s supporters complaining about its use of angora wool.