LONDON – Animal rights organisation, Peta, has once again cited the Higg MSI as it celebrates four more brands making the decision to end their use of alpaca fibres. Next, New Look, Ted Baker and Matalan have all opted to end the use of alpaca in their collections, although it would be a surprise if any of them – barring perhaps Ted Baker – used alpaca in their collections to any great degree.
PETA said in a statement that, “in addition to causing gentle alpacas immense suffering, the production of alpaca fibre is also terrible for the planet. The Higg Materials Sustainability Index ranked alpaca as the second most environmentally damaging material after silk, noting that it’s six times as harmful as polyester and more than four times as damaging as modal, viscose, rayon, lyocell, acrylic, and other vegan materials.”
Peta claims the brands made the decision after viewing a PETA exposé at Mallkini, the world’s largest privately owned alpaca farm in Peru. River Island, Hunter and Barbour have confirmed they already prohibited the use of the fibre.
“Consumers today want nothing to do with materials that animals were tormented for,” claimed PETA director of corporate projects Yvonne Taylor. “We urge all retailers to stand up for vulnerable alpacas by following these companies’ compassionate example and introducing a ban on this cruelly obtained material.”
The brands join luxury fashion house Valentino as well as Marks & Spencer and Esprit, which have all previously committed to phasing out the material. Gap Inc (which owns Banana Republic, Athleta, and other brands) and H&M Group (which owns eight brands) have cut ties with Mallkini’s parent company, the Michell Group.
The alpaca and silk industries are currently lobbying the SAC to have their respective Higg MSI scores removed, deeming them ‘unsafe’.