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Global fashion giant boohoo has u-turned on its pledge to ditch wool – with vegan activists urging it to reconsider.

boohoo – which owns multiple labels including boohoo, boohooMAN, PrettyLittleThing, and Nasty Gal – told animal rights charity PETA that it would not knowingly source any wool products as of AW19/20?.

Abuse in the wool industry

This decision followed PETA releasing 11 exposés of 99 sheep-shearing facilities on four continents, including in the UK since 2014, claiming systemic abuse was found in every single one.

“The most recent exposés – recorded on sheep farms in Australia, the world’s largest exporter of wool – reveal that workers beat petrified sheep, mutilated them, and slit the throats of fully conscious animals,” said PETA.

“One sheep kicked for nearly a minute after the manager began cutting her throat, and he said that some kick for a ‘bloody couple of minutes’.”

Wool U-turn

But just hours after its announcement, boohoo u-turned, saying it ‘continues to assess all options as part of its ongoing commitment to a more sustainable future’

“We are committed to ensuring the wool used in our supply chain comes from good husbandry and meets high levels of animal welfare,” a spokesperson added. “We will continue to use wool as a sustainable material.”

Compassionate fashion

“It’s time boohoo group proved that it’s a real leader in global retail by standing by its compassionate initial decision to ban wool,” PETA Director of Corporate Projects, Yvonne Taylor, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.

“PETA’s supporters and other kind shoppers agree that no jumper or scarf is worth kicking, punching, and killing gentle sheep on the shearing floor.”

PETA added: “The wool industry also wreaks havoc on the environment…The Pulse of the Fashion Industry report ranks wool in fifth place on its list of materials that have the highest cradle-to-gate environmental impact per kilogram.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.