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Online Retailer ASOS To Ditch Silk, Mohair And Cashmere

Another fashion industry heavyweight is moving forward in the fight against animal cruelty.

British online fashion retailer ASOS has announced it will no longer stock products containing silk, cashmere, mohair and feathers, joining a growing list of companies to ditch the materials.

As part of an updated animal welfare policy, the retailing giant confirmed that it will place no further orders for products containing these materials and that by January 2019, the site will be free of them.

Under the updated terms, mohair, cashmere and silk have been added to the list of banned materials which already included fur, including Mongolian lamb's fur or rabbit hair, feature/down, bone, horn, shell (including mother of pearl) and teeth.

ASOS also stated suppliers must avoid the use of any part of vulnerable, endangered, exotic or wild-caught species.

The animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) praised the decision.

"PETA applauds Asos for leading the charge for compassion in fashion," PETA's director of corporate projects, Yvonne Taylor said.

"In response to PETA's campaigns, consumers are changing the face of the industry by demanding that designers and retailers ditch animal-derived materials in favour of cruelty-free alternatives that look great without causing suffering."

ASOS isn't the first retailer to ban the sale of Mohair, with TopShop, H&M, Zara and Gap all pledging in May to stop using the material after a PETA campaign that revealed the cruel practices of the mohair industry.

Shot in South Africa, from which over half the world's supply of mohair originates, footage released by the organisation showed Angora goats being dragged by the horns and legs, pulled by the tail and thrown on the ground by shearers.

Silk production in Indonesia. Image: Getty

While ASOS is following a common trend in their decision to ban Mohair, silk is a material less commonly associated with animal cruelty.

However, silk is produced by boiling or gassing silk worms alive inside their cocoons, which then unravels so that workers can obtain the silk threads. According to PETA, some 6,600 silkworms are killed to make 1kg of silk.

An online fashion heavyweight, ASOS ships to over 200 countries worldwide and boasts 12.4 million active users.