Were you hoping to rug up in a mohair coat this winter? You won’t find what you’re looking for at ASOS. The online fashion retailer has updated their animal welfare policy to ban the sale of products made from mohair, feathers, silk and cashmere. According to the new policy, third parties will no longer be able to supply ASOS with items containing these materials.
From now on, the only animal products on sale at ASOS will be those sourced from certain types of leather, wool, and other types of animal hair obtained as a by-product from the meat industry (ASOS has stated they will only work with meat industry establishments who can prove high standards of animal husbandry).
As the issue of animal welfare continues to gain traction, ASOS isn’t the only one changing their tune. A number of clothing retailers have revealed plans to stop using mohair in their products, including Topshop, H&M, and Marks & Spencer. Even high-end fashion houses are jumping on the animal welfare bandwagon, with labels like Versace and Hugo Boss vowing to ban fur from their collections.
But what about search engines and social media? You might not be able to stock up on silk shirts and cashmere jumpers at ASOS anymore, but that doesn’t mean these items can’t be found elsewhere on the internet. They may not design fur coats, but companies like Facebook and Google play a big part in facilitating the sale of animal products.
No matter how many fashion retailers commit to cruelty-free policies, animal products will remain readily available online unless the internet’s largest corporations decide to take a stand. Obviously restricting the sale of animal products would mean a loss of revenue for both advertisers and manufacturers, so it’s unlikely this will happen on a large scale anytime soon.
However, as the tide of public opinion continues to turn against those who make and sell animal products, it’s not impossible to imagine a world where these items can no longer be bought online.
Google already enforces strict rules regarding what you can and can’t promote on their advertising channels. Banned products include:
Certain products are also banned from Facebook’s advertising platform. You won’t see any of the following items on sale in your news feed:
Given how much content is already excluded from online advertising, adding animal products to the banned list doesn’t seem like such a far-fetched idea. But at the end of the day, consumers are the only ones who have the power to encourage policy changes. Banning animal products online will be a lot easier if people put their money where their mouth is and stop buying those items in the first place.