Nearly two dozen retailers have halted the use of angora in their products following the release of video footage showing farms in China where fur is ripped from live rabbits.
Marks & Spencer, Next and H&M are among the firms that have taken the step after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released footage of rabbits suffering as they were plucked or shorn.
On Monday, PETA announced ASOS was the first firm to implement a permanent angora ban and pull existing stock from its website.
Mimi Bekhechi, associate director at PETA, said: "By pulling all angora products from its international websites and shelves, ASOS has done the right thing for animals and consumers.
"Angora production is cruel, and PETA urges all retailers to follow ASOS's example and show that cruelty to animals has no place in their stores."
PETA said its investigator visited angora farms in China, where 90 per cent of global angora is produced, and found rabbits “lying in shock and isolation inside tiny, filthy, wire-bottomed cages after having their fur ripped out”.
“This process is repeated every three months for two to five years before the rabbits' throats are slit and they are replaced by new rabbits who will suffer the same fate,” said the animal rights organisation.
Among the firms that have halted the use of angora are Arcadia Group, Aurora Fashions, New Look, Primark and Ted Baker.
ASOS said it would be angora-free by the end of the year.
‘‘As an online global fashion destination, ASOS firmly believes it is not acceptable for animals to suffer in the name of fashion or cosmetics,” the firm said in a statement.
“ASOS is a member of the Fur Free Alliance of retailers and recognises that the sourcing of angora and other rabbit hair products causes distress to animals. As such, we will remove all ASOS and third party branded product that fails to meet the policy and no new orders will be raised containing angora or other rabbit hair. ASOS requires its suppliers to implement industry recognised best practice standards to ensure animal welfare is safeguarded at all times, and is committed to working closely with our suppliers to source alternative materials.”