Boohoo announces dramatic ewe-turn on wool

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by Simon Austin
Boohoo

Manchester online fashion retailer Boohoo has reversed a decision to ban wool from its products less than 24 hours after announcing the policy.

On Friday, the firm announced it had “committed to omit wool from its product range effective from the autumn-winter season onwards”.

Boohoo, whose brands include Pretty Little Thing, said “no jumper or scarf is worth kicking, punching and killing gentle sheep on the shearing floor” after admitting it had been lobbied by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).

The decision was quickly criticised, with Phil Stocker, head of the National Sheep Association, saying sheep were well treated by shearers and that it would be “absurd” to replace wool with man-made materials that do not degrade. He said wool is “one of the most sustainable fibres on earth”.

On Saturday, Boohoo announced a ewe-turn: it was still going to use wool in its products but would ensure it did not contribute to the suffering of sheep.

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“Boohoo continues to assess all options as part of its ongoing commitment to a more sustainable future,” the company said in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring the wool used in our supply chain comes from good husbandry and meets high levels of animal welfare, and will continue to use wool as a sustainable material.

“We are engaging with Peta and the relevant parties to discuss options that will balance our customer demand, animal welfare and sustainable future.”

Elisa Allen, director of Peta, said: “Boohoo’s customers - many of whom are Peta supporters - are part of a generation that cares deeply about animals, and many have seen the horrific footage of the abuse of sheep by the wool industry.

“If companies wish to appeal to this important demographic and stand by their claims of offering only compassionate, sustainable fashion, then they must be true to their word and forgo wool.”

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