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The production of clothing may use fibres that have been shorn from animals, but in some cases it may involve the death of the animal.

Wool in a basketAnimals that are shorn for their fibre:

  • Alpaca

  • Llama

  • Angora rabbit

  • Goats for cashmere and mohair

  • Sheep for wool


Clothing materials that involve the death of an animal:

  • Broadtail /Karakul - pregnant sheep are killed so their unborn and newborn Karakul lambs can be killed for their fur

  • Fur - 40 million animals are killed for their fur worldwide

  • Leather - created when an animal's skin/hide is treated with chemicals

  • Cultured pearls - farmed oysters are killed and the meat discarded or used

  • Silk - Silk moths are killed before they leave their cocoons


Clothing materials that may involve the death of an animal:

  • Down and feathers - 90% is obtained from the slaughter of intensively reared geese and ducks
  • Skin wool - a significant proportion of British wool is from slaughtered sheep
  • Felt - made from matted and compressed fibres such as wool or fur

Find out more

In-depth factsheetsYou can find out more about clothing materials, including information on animal welfare issues by reading the in-depth clothing factsheet.


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The Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom Limited, Parkdale, Dunham Road, Altrincham WA14 4QG
Registered Charity No. 259358 (England and Wales), Registered Company No. 00959115 (England and Wales)