Anyone who knows me will know I have had a long love affair with High Street retailer Topshop for many years now. They always draw me in with their quirky designs, gorgeous fabrics, eye catching colours and great fit. I know not everyone is a fan but for me it is the perfect fashion store. I love their shoes, their coats, their jumpers, love their summer dresses - I love everything in that bloody shop.
I HEART TOPSHOP I.D.S.T.
In recent years Topshop has taken it's brand abroad where it has also seen amazing success going from strength to strength and gaining loyal topshoppers wherever it lays it's well designed hat. It has many loyal celebrity followers including Taylor Swift and designs by adored fashionistas such as Kate Moss gracing their walls.
I for one have been a Topshop fan since I knew what fashion was. I wasn't so trendy in my younger years, it probably hit me in my early teens say around 14? Topshop was a shop a discovered at that time and have stuck with ever since. Through umpteen fashion trends, through many revamps and local store relocations. Whatever my fashion need was, I turned to Topshop. I have always been there , season after season, sale after sale, at the tills with a big beaming smile ready to purchase some beautiful garment. When we had to select somewhere for work experience in school I chose Topshop as my first choice, desperately hoping to be accepted and able to work in the shop that had rail after rail of fashion items that belonged in my wardrobe and wanting to snag a weekend job from the experience at the end.
Fast forward to today, as a 29 year old woman I still visit the Topshop house of worship on a regular basis. I have no intention of shopping anywhere else just because I am soon to hit my thirties, I love fashion and I love Topshop and that is the way it will stay.
That is until I woke up this morning and checked my Twitter feed.
I had briefly read about rabbits in China being tortured for their angora fur on the plane home from Antigua a couple of weeks ago but didn't finish the article. I then forgot about it I am sorry to say, despite the horrifying image of an innocent bunny, eyes wild with fear being held down and plucked bald. It all came flooding back to me though when I read that retailers such as H&M and New Look had withdrawn all angora products in light of this news but Topshop have yet to do so. The statement I read advised that at the time of writing, Topshop still had 47 clothing items available online containing angora fur. Just to clarify, when retailers buy products containing angora fur, they are not aware of the items origins. Nearly 100% of angora fur from China comes from farms where rabbits fur is torn off while they scream in pain. Once their fur has been collected, they retreat back into their tiny, filthy cages and wait for it to happen all over again in three months time. It is absolutely disgusting! In 2013 I cannot believe animals are still treated in this way, especially in the name of fashion.
Topshop themselves don't pluck the fur out no and they have not said they REFUSE to withdraw their angora products. What is worse is they haven't said anything. I have read lots of angry tweets on the subject sent directly to Topshop over the last 24 hours yet no statement has been released. In the fast paced world of the internet, social media, smart phones and whatever else that is shameful. Topshop have the power to greatly affect the profits of those farms in China by refusing to stock their items, they are a giant fish in a small fashion pond but still they have done nothing. Right now, they come across as greedy and shameful.
What difference does it really make to Topshop to remove these items and since when did money come before animal welfare or even just DOING THE RIGHT THING? Did they think nobody would find out?
It actually pains me to say it but a 15 year long love has been destroyed today. I for one will not be going in Topshop at the very least until they explain their actions. Sadly, I can't help but think it will just be too little too late when they do and will only be being done because of the sheer amount of pressure the public are putting on them. It won't be because they wanted to do the right thing. It won't be because their hearts broke when they watched the video footage of the poor rabbits fur being ripped off of them. It will be because of public outcry.
I hope they prove me wrong.
If you wish to read more about this and sign the petition asking Topshop to remove their angora products (which I think you should do!) the link is here:
Please pass it on once you are done!