Los Angeles–based retailer Forever 21 — the nation’s fifth largest specialty retailer — has joined other retailers in pledging to stop selling clothing made with mohair after allegations of animal abuse at goat farms in South Africa.
News of the ban, which has begun to reverberate across the fashion world, came Monday, June 4, after more than 71,000 people urged the company to nix the material.
“Forever 21 hereby confirms that it will begin to phase out all products containing mohair and pledges that it will be ‘mohair-free’ by the year 2020,” a spokesperson for the company tells L.A. Weekly.
The animal advocacy organization PETA, via one of its recent exposés, played a key role in rallying pressure on the company. In its investigation, PETA uncovered how young and adult goats in South Africa’s mohair industry are treated: Thousands of them are mutilated as they are sheared; noncompliant ones are routinely killed in bloody, horror-movie fashion.
“PETA's exposé pulled back the curtain on the gentle baby goats who cried out in fear as they were sheared until bloody for mohair sweaters and scarves,” says PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman. “Forever 21 has joined the quickly growing list of top retailers that recognize that today's shoppers don't support cruelty to animals.”
Monday's announcement regarding the mohair ban makes the fashion label one of nearly 110 brands around the world that have decided to ban the material, among them Topshop, Zara, Gap and H&M. Forever 21 has 600 stores in 13 countries.