ASOS is Ace

20 June 2018 | Jo Doverman

The fashion world is not an area I’m usually that compelled to write about. Plus, Kate tends to beat us all to the post when Missguided stirs the PR pot…

However, this morning whilst doing the daily newspaper check at my desk, one story caught my eye. ASOS has announced it will be banning mohair, silk, feathers and cashmere products from the site by the end of January 2019.

To give this all a bit of context, I stopped eating meat a year and half ago (or if you want to stick label on it, I’m ‘pescatarian’ – yes, not fully vegetarian but that’s a debate for another day…plus I think “I’m a pescatarian” sounds a bit pretentious).

I tend not to preach my reasons for why I don’t eat cows, pigs or chickens, as everyone has their own reasons as to why they do or don’t consume animal products and it’s a totally personal choice - I ain’t judging.

Since I donned the vegetarian hat back in 2017, I’ve made more conscious decisions in other areas of my life in general and this includes fashion. As I said, not an area I’m particularly passionate about but in a nutshell; we have to wear clothes and I like certain clothes.

For a big and influential fashion retailer like ASOS to lead the way in ‘fashion animal rights’, is a huge step forward. Plus, ASOS isn’t alone in updating its animal welfare policy; Topshop, Zara and Gap have also pledged to stop using mohair by 2019. It’s not clear if they too will ban the full list that ASOS plans to, but let’s watch this space.

Mohair comes from angora goats and is used for fluffy jumpers, hats and accessories. Don’t get me wrong, it’s super soft and snuggly, but comes at the expense of a vulnerable animal. The same goes for cashmere – many cashmere goats have their coats removed in the winter to meet the high demand. But this leaves them feeling a little chilly to say the least… Especially when they’re stripped bare in places like Mongolia or China.

Imagine being totally starkers in mid-winter, in Mongolia?! No thanks.

And I know it’s hard to relate to a silkworm as they’re slightly less cuddly and cute, but as many as six thousand silkworms are killed in order to make just a kilogram of silk. Which is a little mean I hope we can all agree.

All in all, ASOS has been making some really great PR moves of late. It introduced models of varying sizes wearing the same item so all of us ‘not a model body shapes' can see how the clothes may fit - genius. More recently, ASOS was praised for using an unedited photo of a model with ‘back rolls’. The retailer has also been celebrated for its use of models with stretch marks in untouched photos.

With its decision to highlight a controversial topic and the need for more conscious decisions when it comes to fashion and animal welfare, ASOS has now won over the hearts of animal lovers plus anyone who is self-conscious about their lumps and bumps or stretch marks. As an industry leader and our ‘go to’ shop for fashion, ASOS almost has a duty of care to address these issues and tackle them head on. High five, ASOS, high five.

I’m looking forward to seeing what other strong PR moves the team behind ASOS will make in next half of 2018!