stella mccartney stops using patagonian wool
Photo: Splash

Known as fashion’s most formidable animal rights activist, Stella McCartney was stunned to learn that the Patagonian wool used for her designs came from the shears of mistreated sheep—a discovery that has caused her to cut all ties with Ovis 21, the farm she was once proud to work with.

Soon after PETA offered footage of sheep being abused at the company’s Argentine ranches, McCartney was quick to speak out, announcing her brand’s decision to end current wool use.

“I am very saddened to report that we have had to cease sourcing some of our sustainable wool from Ovis 21 in Patagonia. It was born as an amazing initiative to help protect a million acres of endangered grasslands in Patagonia whilst looking after the welfare of animals,” she wrote in an emotional Instagram post. “Unfortunately, after conducting our own investigation in Argentina, following a very distressful viewing of footage provided by the great guys at @officialpeta, we found out that 1 of the 26 ranches we used source sustainable wool there, mistreated its sheep. It is one too many.”

In a second post, the 43-year-old further explained her disappointment, saying: “As a designer who built a brand on not using leather, fur or animal skins in its designs, I can’t tolerate it! I am devastated by the news but more determined than ever to fight for animal rights in fashion together and monitor even more closely all suppliers involved in this industry to end all innocent lives. We are also looking into vegan ‘wool’ as well, in the same manner we were able to develop and incorporate high-end alternatives to leather and fur over the years.” Outerwear company Patagonia provided their own statement via social media, apologizing and accepting full responsibility for the “harm done in our name.”

 

The video released by PETA showing animal mistreatment in the network of ranches where we source our wool is shocking and saddening. We have accepted responsibility and apologize for the harm done in our name. There is no excuse for violent shearing methods and inhumane slaughter. We hold ourselves to the highest standards, constantly seeking to improve our efforts to be the most sustainable, least harmful to the earth or its animals. Our statement described the disappointment we feel in seeing this disturbing video. In the statement, we also outline areas where our beliefs differ from PETA’s, and explain some ways the video is misleading. Our partnership with Ovis XXI is built on a radical approach to growing wool, and it’s been a significant and engaging project for us, one we are fully committed to. Finally, the statement outlines Patagonia’s progressive work in recent years to ensure animal welfare in our wool supply chain, including moving away from the cruel practice of mulesing and leading development of a new global standard for the human treatment of sheep in the wool industry. We’d encourage you to read the piece in its entirety. The link is in the profile. Photo: Elise Miciu

 

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Via HarpersBazaar.com