High-street shops including Topshop, Primark, Warehouse, Oasis, and Whistles have pledged to ban the use of all down feathers in their garments after the barbaric conditions of the birds has been exposed by animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Down feathers is a layer of finer, softer feathers that are found on game birds under the tougher exterior feathers; meaning that harsh force is exuberated on the birds in order access them. PETA released a video earlier this year titled ‘Down in 60 Seconds’ which portrayed the terrible treatment that these birds endure – while alive – all for the sake of their feathers. The video gained global recognition and stunned consumers; making it clear to the world that animal cruelty continues to prevail.
This is not the first time that Topshop has come under scrutiny for the misuse of animal by-products in their garments. Sir Phillip Green, Chairman of Topshop, was shunned by the public for using Angora rabbit hair in their 2014 Autumn/Winter collections. As a result, sales figures quickly plummeted to match the angry customer backlash.
Other retailers including Asos, Boohoo, Hobbs, Miss Selfridge, and Wallis have also recently pledged to avoid the use of unethical materials. How can you avoid buying unethical clothes? Become garment-savvy and check your tags for any obvious sign of fur; faux or otherwise.