Most major luxury brands — including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Burberry and Prada — buy their cashmere from Mongolian farms that effectively torture the goats that produce the pricey fabric, according to an explosive report obtained by The Post.
Hidden-camera footage revealed cashmere goats tied down by their horns and hooves so their bodies were painfully stretched out to make it easier for workers to harvest their valuable fleece, according to animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Workers at Khanbogd Cashmere’s facility in Mongolia used sharp metal combs to rake out the goats’ fleece for up to an hour at a time, even as the animals screamed in pain, the footage revealed.
PETA investigators said they found pieces of cashmere with skin on them, and “one goat with a bleeding penis, while another was found dead the day after having been seen limping.”
At one plant, workers castrated young goats, called kids, by cutting into their scrotums and then yanking out their testicles with their bare hands without having applied any pain medication.
The facility reportedly sells its cashmere to major fashion houses including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, Hermes and Prada — despite the brands’ websites gloating about their use of sustainably-sourced cashmere.
“If people are buying cashmere, it is absolutely a product of cruelty,” said PETA spokeswoman Ashley Byrne.
“We’ve done other investigations in the past exposing cashmere, but this may be the first time that we are implicating some of the brands that we know are sourcing from Khanbogd Cashmere,” Byrne said, “which obviously is a big operation if it’s sourcing these big fashion houses.”
Other prestige labels that are reportedly customers include Bottega Veneta, Chanel, Dior, Max Mara and Naadam — with the latter touting sweaters for sale online made of “100% Mongolian cashmere”.
PETA is calling on fashion houses to commit to using vegan cashmere alternatives instead of goats’ wool. Vegan cashmere is made of a range of plant-based fibers, including from bamboo and soybeans.
Reps for LVMH — a luxury conglomerate that owns Dior and Louis Vuitton — as well as Kering, the parent company of Bottega Veneta and Gucci, which pledged to go fur-free back in 2017 — did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment. Burberry, Prada and Chanel didn’t comment.
Reps for Max Mara and Naadam also didn’t respond to requests for comment.
PETA’s probe took place from April 2022 through February 2023 at Khanbogd Cashmere’s operation, which includes 12 cashmere plants, seven herding operations and four slaughterhouses.
Byrne said that the shocking pictures and videos prove that “brands are certainly misleading and deceiving customers by reassuring them that this cashmere is somehow humane.”
The Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA), a nonprofit that works to minimize the environmental impact and safeguard animals throughout the cashmere production process, has an industry standard that provides brands with SFA certifications.
However, “there’s no government sanction” in place when a brand violates the terms of SFA’s certification as there would be, for example, if a food company breached the terms of an FDA approval, according to Byrne.
“This investigation really goes to show that these certifications are totally meaningless,” Byrne added.
Khanbogd Cashmere’s own clothing website touts that it received an 83% rating and a silver certification from the SFA.
Khanbogd Cashmere and the SFA didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Many if not all goats at these abusive operations are denied veterinary care, the PETA investigation revealed.
When cashmere production wanes, the goats are sold off to be slaughtered.
Graphic videos showed goats being dragged to the killing floor by their horns.
Their heads were then bashed with a hammer before their throats were slit.
Disturbing footage showed slaughterhouse workers cutting into the animals’ necks, then wiping the bloody knife off on the goats’ remaining fleece as they were laid over a drain that caught the blood pouring out of their throats.
Some of the goats continued fighting for their life for up to four minutes before finally meeting their end, PETA discovered.
Other videos showed kids left dead in the dirt, either because they couldn’t survive the conditions of the harsh Mongolian winters — where temperatures dip below -22 degrees Fahrenheit — or because they were trampled by elder goats rushing to shelter at night.
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