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Fashion giant Forever 21 has come under fire from vegan campaigners following recent exposés of the Australian wool industry which show sheep being beaten.

According to animal rights charity PETA, which filmed the footage, Australia is the world’s largest exporter of wool and a source of wool used by Forever 21. The charity claims the videos ‘show workers beating petrified sheep in the face, deliberately mutilating them, and cutting the throats of fully conscious animals’.

PETA is calling now on consumers to boycott the brand until it agrees to stop selling wool.

The footage reveals sheep being hurt by workers

Vegan fashion

“Sheep are beaten and mutilated for woolly jumpers, coats, and scarves, and Forever 21 is profiting from this cruelty to animals,” PETA Director, Elisa Allen, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.

“PETA is calling on caring people to give sheep some peace on Earth this Christmas by choosing only wool-free, vegan apparel.”

PETA adds: “One of the videos…reveals..shearers striking sheep in the face with sharp metal clippers, kneeling on their stomachs, and throwing them about.”

Forever 21

“Forever 21 takes the issues of ethical sourcing and animal welfare extremely seriously and has worked with PETA on several important initiatives over the years, including our fur-free policy and permanent ban on Angora rabbit hair,” a Forever 21 spokesperson told PBN.

“To the best of our knowledge, Forever 21 does not source any materials from farms in Australia and therefore refutes the accuracy of PETA’s claims.

“We remain deeply committed to working with vendors that employ strict animal welfare practices.”

*This article was updated on November 26 to include Forever 21’s statement.

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.