Forced to give a FCUK: Retailer bans angora fur from Manchester store after social media pressure

Clothes retailer French Connection (FCUK) have banned angora fur products after a Manchester group’s social media campaign ‘got’ to them.

Warning: Extreme animal cruelty captured by undercover PETA animal rights activist in China below. 

The campaign kickstarted when FCUK resumed selling angora products after a brief halt last year after PETA had already tackled other international retailers on the ‘cruel and unethical treatment’ of angora rabbits.

And a group of Manchester animal activists have claimed that they got under the skin of big businesses by using social media.

Isobel McNally, head of Manchester Animal Action (MAA) told MM: “The people running the social media campaign did a really good job and that’s the kind of thing that really gets to companies like that.

“It all gets people thinking about the way that animals are used for fashion, so hopefully we should have a bit more awareness.”

CRUEL: Rabbit being tethered for Angora fur shearing

MAA are currently in their second year of protest against Harvey Nichols, after their decision to reintroduce real animal fur to their fashion ranges.

And fellow animal protest group PETA have hailed FCUK’s u-turn as the latest success for animal rights after 10,000 angry emails from supporters bombarded the retailer.

“We are delighted that French Connection has listened to its customers and joined ASOS, Calvin Klein, AllSaints, Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger, Mango and numerous other global fashion retailers by committing to a permanent ban on vile angora wool,” said PETA UK Director Mimi Bekhechi.

Last year, PETA obtained shocking footage which showed that angora rabbits suffered immensely during the shearing process.

In order to obtain the wool, the animals’ front and back legs are strapped down while stretching their live body over a board.

Mancunians were among the animal lovers who were infuriated by the process and slammed FCUK for retailing angora products.

“Shoppers now know that if a label says ‘angora’, it means that defenceless bunnies were subjected to having the fur ripped out of their bodies or were suspended in the air as sharp clippers cut into their sensitive skin,” said PETA’s Bekhechi.

“Any cruel designers who continue to use this product of rabbit torture can expect to see their profits nose-dive and shoppers head for the door.”

TORTUROUS: Angora rabbit enduring fur ripping

The angora farming industry also subjects angora rabbits to spend years of isolation in small, unsanitary wire cages, preventing the intelligent and sociable animals from exercising and interacting with each other.

There is no responsible or ethical way of obtaining angora wool, which is why many leading companies choose to switch to more humane and readily available, animal-free fabrics.

French Connection reported the decision to ditch angora in a statement on their website.

The statement read: “We have always maintained the highest standards in our supply chain and have taken steps to ensure that the angora used in French Connection clothing is carefully collected by shearing and that the rabbits are not mistreated.

“We would never allow or condone the plucking of fur from live rabbits.

“As a fashion brand we are responsive to our customers and to trends in the market and, despite the steps we have taken to ensure high standards in angora production, we recognise some customers have concerns about the continued inclusion of these fabrics in our ranges.”

Warning: Extreme animal cruelty captured by undercover PETA animal rights activist in China below. 


Pictures and video footage courtesy of PETA UK, with thanks

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook. 

Image courtesy of PETA via YouTube with thanks

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