Fashion, Design & Beauty

Global Apparal Giant VF Corporation Commits to Cashmere-Free Products

VF Corporation, the parent company of popular fashion brands Timberland, The North Face, Vans, and Jansport, has announced its decision to discontinue the use of cashmere in its products, as announced by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The company has confirmed that none of its core products across its brand portfolio currently contain goat hair, and there are no plans to introduce new cashmere-containing items. While there may still be items containing cashmere in stores, no new products will be produced using the material. 

Phasing out cashmere

VF Corporation joins a growing list of fashion industry players, such as Victoria’s Secret, ASOS, Supreme, PINK, Le Château, and others, that have already phased out cashmere from their products. Notably, Victoria’s Secret ceased using cashmere in its source materials last year after pressure from PETA, while Overstock.com, a major US furniture retailer, received PETA’s Compassionate Business Award for discontinuing cashmere products.

Cashmere sweaters
© Evrymmnt – stock.adobe.com

PETA’s executive vice president, Tracy Reiman, acknowledged VF Corporation’s commitment as a positive step for animal welfare, stating, “VF Corporation’s decision is a significant move in favor of the goats who would otherwise endure the distressing process of having their hair repeatedly extracted.”

This development comes after PETA’s recent exposé revealed alarming conditions in the cashmere goat industry in Mongolia, highlighting instances of cruelty and violence inflicted on these animals by workers. 

PETA’s ongoing campaign against animal textiles

PETA has also emphasized the availability of alternative vegan fabrics, including soy cashmere, recycled polyester, organic and sustainably farmed hemp and bamboo, as well as Tencel, made from sustainably harvested wood.

The organization’s ongoing campaign against animal textiles encompasses various materials, including alpaca fleece and wool. Last year, PETA offered a $1 million prize for market-ready vegan wool that meets or surpasses the visual, textural, and functional qualities of sheep’s wool, with the winner set to be announced this year.

peta campaign for vegan wool featuring a woman dressed with plants
© PETA

While some companies, like H&M, aim to incorporate cashmere certified under the “Good Cashmere Standard” (GCS), concerns persist regarding oversight, as it only requires 10% of certified farms to be audited once per year. PETA is actively urging brands who continue to rely on cashmere, like Prada, Chanel, and Burberry, to explore cruelty-free alternatives. 

Reiman concludes, “PETA encourages other companies to follow suit and eliminate cashmere from their offerings.”

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