Did you know merino wool is used in sportswear?
Not many people would think that a material like wool would end up in our gym wear. Even less of us think about the process in sourcing that wool.
It will be a shock, then, to learn that 300,000 tonnes of wool are produced in Australia every year; making it the biggest wool producer. The country also has the biggest merino sheep population, but 86% of this wool is from sheep who are mulesed within their first few months of life.
To source merino wool, lambs as young as six-weeks-old have the flesh around their buttocks removed. If pain relief is administered, it is after the brutality has finished. Over 10 million lambs suffer this process every year.
In response to this, consumers and brands have recoiled in shock and made efforts to remove mulesed wool from their wardrobes or supply chains.
There are some good guys in this story, with Adidas and Puma both publicly setting targets for a mulesed-wool-free future.
But there is one brand that we’re urging ‘Just Don’t Do it’
And Nike, we’re talking to you.
The brand is now at risk of lagging behind its sportswear competitors who are stepping ahead and ensuring better welfare for the sheep in their supply chains.
New findings unravel the claims
FOUR PAWS has released a new report which lays clear how one of the biggest brands in the world uses untraceable wool. This lack of transparency in their supply chains means they cannot claim to be using mulesing-free wool.
Whilst only featuring a handful of products using merino wool, it is easy to imagine a range free-from cruelty. Although the range is small, the repercussions of this phase-out could be huge and could make a massive difference for thousands of lambs.
Additionally, if they also join Adidas and Puma in pledging to no longer use mulesed wool, it sends yet another message to the industry in Australia that they need to follow suit too.
It’s not just FOUR PAWS speaking out on the issue. Consumers are having their say, with their wallets. Infact, 90% of consumers want brands to make animal welfare a key priority.
With much more ethical fashion in existence Nike’s denial on the issue is a clear demonstration of their lack of willingness to make a change that could improve animal welfare, worldwide.
Nike is one of the most successful sportswear brands in the world.
They must lead by example and use their power to not only control supply chains, but also demand better from their partners.
If they don’t act, then brands like Adidas and Puma will continue to stand out for all the right reasons and be the brand of choice for consumers who demand higher animal welfare in fashion.
Read the report here