It’s been a year since South African goat farmers came under scrutiny from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia. The films PETA released, alleging unethical and cruel practices in the mohair industry, led to hundreds of clothing and home furnishing retailers refusing to use South African angora wool.
Among them are some of the world’s biggest brands, and the trade group Mohair South Africa – in a country where about half of the world’s mohair supply is produced – responded swiftly with an investigation.
Now they’re working to ensure that their products are certified as sustainably and responsibly sourced through Textile Exchange, a global nonprofit serving the USD$1.7 trillion industry. Part of that process involves working on an international mohair standard, based on a previous version developed by TE.
The Responsible Wool Standard establishes protections for animal and farm management, while offering consumers the transparency they need to be confident that the clothing and other goods they buy are ethical to own from brands they can trust.
“Mohair South Africa is committed to continuously improve the mohair industry throughout the entire value chain, working alongside all sector stakeholders to provide clear and transparent evidence of an ethical and responsible industry,” said general manager Lindsay Humphreys in a recent statement.
Mohair SA also is reaching out to brands to communicate the progress they’re making, often inviting them to tour the goat farms themselves. “It was very encouraging to see that Mohair South Africa and the farms are working hard towards a responsible mohair standard,” said a Filippa K brand representative. “Knowing that all the farms have been audited, and that the next step is a third party accreditation, will bring us closer to a sustainable supply chain.”
Image: PETA Asia