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Angora and Faux Fur: Is It Bad for the Environment?

Most, if not all, animal lovers abhor the fur trade industry and wouldn’t dream of wearing a fur coat or any item of clothing with fur trim.

But for many, Angora fur and faux fur offer a more humane alternative, as no animals get killed or harmed during production. But is this the case?

What is Angora Wool?

Angora and faux fur premium photo on our endangered world

Angora wool is a soft, fluffy wool that comes from the Angora rabbit. It’s often used in luxury clothing and accessories because of its unique texture and feel. While mohair is also a type of fur, you won’t find it on your coat or hat—it comes from goats instead of rabbits.

Although angora wool is a natural fiber, it’s not eco-friendly for several reasons:

Angora Rabbits

3 English Angora rabbits

Angora rabbits are bred for their fur. Their long and soft coats make them ideal for spinning into yarn. Angora rabbits are kept in cages or hutches to keep them from the cold and predators, and they’re fed high-quality food that contains all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

The angora rabbit is a domesticated animal that was bred for its fur; as such, it has been bred to be calm, friendly, and docile. The rabbit’s coat is kept long by brushing it regularly with a special grooming tool called a “slicker brush.”

Angora wool is a type of wool that is made from the fur of Angora rabbits. It’s soft, fluffy, and light. You can find it in clothing and accessories like scarves or hats.

But how environmentally friendly is this material?

Angora Farming

White rabbit in a garden with flowers

Angora rabbits are kept in cages at angora farms and then shorn once a year. They are killed when they are no longer productive (about every two years). The process of raising the animal, shearing it, processing the fiber, and using it is extremely energy-intensive.

In fact, according to one study quoted by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), an angora rabbit creates 4 pounds of waste per day. The animal also requires food pellets that contain toxic chemicals like arsenic and lead; these chemicals build up in your body over time—and this buildup can lead to serious health problems!

The Problem With Angora

multiracial human come to build hands in shape of heart to protect the environment

Angora wool is a byproduct of the fur industry. It comes from Angora rabbits, who are bred and raised primarily for their long, luxuriant hair.

Angora rabbit farms have been compared to factory farms in terms of abuse and mistreatment of animals. Rabbits on these farms suffer from severe neglect, abuse, and starvation so that they can produce enough wool to be profitable.

The demand for angora wool has increased dramatically over the last century. Still, there’s no way that demand could ever be met if it were produced through this cruel farming process (unfortunately, most of it is).

If you’re looking for a way to avoid purchasing products containing angora, synthetic fibers are a good alternative. Synthetic fibers are less expensive, more durable, and can be washed by machine. Additionally, if you have an allergy to wool, the best option is to avoid all-natural fibers completely.

Angora Wool Production

White angora rabbit sitting outdoors

Angora is harvested from live angora rabbits, usually by clipping the fur from the animal with shears or by hand-plucking loose fur when the rabbit molts, typically every four months or so.

The rabbits are not killed during the process and can continue to provide a sustainable stream of fur, which readily grows back after being trimmed or plucked.

However, with the majority of Angora fur being produced in China – a country that has a notorious reputation for animal abuse, both at home and afar – animal rights are low on the agenda, if not absent completely. It is highly unlikely that China’s 50 million plus Angora rabbits are being farmed humanely.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) recently exposed the cruelty inflicted on Angora rabbits farmed in China after an undercover investigator produced shocking footage of screaming rabbits being plucked alive.

This process is repeated every three months for up to five years. At this point, they have their throats slit and are skinned for their pelts.  The suffering is not limited to rabbits plucked; at some facilities, rabbits have their fur sheared rather than plucked, but they also undergo a terrifying and traumatic ordeal every three months.

The rabbits have their forelegs and hindlegs tightly bound and suffer painful cuts inflicted by shears as they desperately struggle to break free.

During their five years of captivity, the rabbits are alone in tiny, filthy wire cages devoid of bedding, with the wire floor inflicting pain on their sensitive paws. They live in appalling conditions devoid of comforts and cannot socialize with other rabbits.

Types of Angora

Faux Fur Production

Closeup of Faux fur

Faux fur may seem like an ethical alternative to fur; it is greener, produces less carbon footprint, and no animals get slaughtered in the process. Well, that’s the theory, at any rate…

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) recently exposed mislabeled faux fur products sold at several stores as animal fur rather than fake, filing a lawsuit against retailers for misleading consumers.

After conducting tests on the suspect products, they revealed that faux fur contained rabbit fur in some cases, and in others, fur originated from raccoon dogs.

Raccoon dogs are an East Asian breed that resembles a raccoon but are canids, which are farmed under the most horrific conditions in China, where they are often skinned alive for their fur. Undercover investigations have revealed disturbing video footage showing these animals’ torture before being killed.

These are not isolated cases. Furthermore, fake fur products worldwide may even contain fur from domestic dogs and cats – often stolen pets – originating from China, where they are captured, housed, transported, and killed most horrifyingly.

According to PETA, “more than half the fur in the U.S. comes from China, where millions of dogs and cats are bludgeoned, hanged, bled to death, and often skinned alive for their fur. Chinese fur is often deliberately mislabeled, so if you wear any fur, there’s no way of knowing for sure whose skin you’re in.”

See Related: Best Vegan Boots: Top Picks for Eco-Friendly Footwear

What is Faux Fur Fabric?

Cozy Bliss Faux Fur Throw Blanket for Couch

Faux fur fabric is a unique material that looks and feels just like real animal fur, yet it is made from synthetic fibers. It is often called fake fur, which has the same luxurious texture and pile as real fur. Faux fur fabric can be used for various fashion items such as jackets, coats, vests, or even pillows for home use.

Its popularity has skyrocketed in recent years due to its ability to mimic the look and feel of real animal fur at a fraction of the cost. Faux fur fabric is also much more humane than real fur since no animals are harmed in production.

It’s an ideal material for anyone looking for a luxury product without harming any living creatures. Its versatility makes it an excellent choice for creating unique items such as a faux fur coat or vest that will make you stand out in any crowd.

Faux Fur and Animal Rights Groups

animal rights rally

Faux fur is a popular material used in fashion today, as an alternative to real fur. It has become increasingly popular in recent years due to the efforts of animal rights groups and their campaigns against using real fur. Faux fur is a product that looks and feels like real fur but is made from synthetic materials instead of animal pelts.

This luxury material provides all the glamour of real fur without the ethical implications of using animal hides. Animal rights groups are continuing to campaign for more stringent policies on using real fur in fashion, pushing for complete bans on its use. Faux fur remains a viable alternative for those looking for a luxurious product without animal cruelty.

Is Faux Fur Toxic?

Heap of plastic waste

Faux fur is a type of synthetic material used to imitate the look and feel of real animal fur. It is often used in fashion products such as fur coats, jackets, and other traditionally used real fur. Faux fur fabric typically consists of artificial fibers or acrylics, which can be a more affordable alternative to real fur.

While it does provide a less expensive option for those who want to purchase items made with animal fur without having to obtain it from an actual animal, there are still some environmental concerns associated with its use. Faux fur fabric can contain toxins such as formaldehyde and heavy metals, which can cause harm to the environment if not disposed of properly.

Additionally, due to its production process, faux fur consumption has been linked to increased greenhouse gas emissions. Despite these possible risks, faux fur remains a popular choice for fashion items due to its cost-effectiveness and stylish look.

Faux Fur vs. Real Fur: What is Better for the Environment?

Faux fur blanket on a green accent chair

Fur is a natural product made from animal hides and is often used to make clothing, as well as other fabrics. Faux fur, or fake fur, is a man-made fabric that offers the same look and feels as real fur.

The main difference between faux fur and real fur is that faux fur is made from synthetic fibers designed to look like real animal fur. Faux fur fabric is usually made from polyester, acrylic, or nylon fibers and can be found in a variety of colors and textures.

Real fur, on the other hand, has more of a coarse texture and can become dry if not properly cared for. In terms of environmental impact, faux fur has less of an effect than real fur since it does not require the use of animals to create it.

Additionally, faux furs are generally easier to clean and store than real furs since they do not need to be treated with chemicals or special care. Ultimately, choosing whether to use faux or real fur comes down to personal preference; however, if you’re looking for something that’s better for the environment, then faux furs are probably the way to go.

What Can You Do to Support Angora?

Close up of grey fur

Avoid purchasing genuine fur products or garments with fur trim, including Angora products, for a start. The Humane Society of the United States warns people to take precautions when buying faux fur products to ensure they are buying fake fur products and not inadvertently supporting the cruel and brutal fur industry.

Their Field Guide to Telling Animal Fur from Fake Fur provides several tips on assessing whether fur is fake or originated from an unfortunate animal that suffered unbelievable pain and trauma before it adorned the garment you are about to purchase.

  1. Part the fur and check the base of the fur to see whether it consists of animal skin, a sure sign it is animal fur. Faux fur will usually have a threaded base from which the hairs of the ‘fur’ emerge.
  2. If you own the garment, remove a few hairs from it and burn it with a cigarette lighter, taking care not to set the garment, yourself, or anything nearby alight. When burnt, animal hair smells like burning human hair, while synthetic hair does not.
  3. Check the ends of the hairs to see if they taper; if they do you can be assured that they come from an animal, as to date, fake hairs are not manufactured with tapered ends. However, if they do not taper, they may still have come from a sheared or plucked animal.


Is Angora ethical?

Generally speaking, no. Angora rabbits are often subjected to painful and unnecessary mutilations to harvest their wool, which makes their production decidedly unethical.

What is Angora wool fabric?

The fur of the Angora Rabbit is the source of Angora wool, which has been met with disapproval due to its implications for the wellbeing of the animal. Despite this, it remains a responsible and sustainable fabric to produce. Angora fiber is a superior variety of wool with a diameter ranging from 12 to 16 microns. Therefore, Angora wool has an exceptionally silky texture that’s quite soft. Angora’s hair has a hollow outer core which means it retains more heat than other wools and it is extremely fluffy.

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