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Despite learning from PETA about the wool industry's rampant cruelty to sheep, women's clothing brand Eileen Fisher refuses to stop selling wool. Instead, it claims that it will "use wool from sheep [who] are humanely raised," which meets the meaningless and misleading Responsible Wool Standard (RWS).
Let's be clear: There is no humane way to raise sheep for wool. And no standard can protect sheep from harm, because cruelty is inherent in industries that regard animals as commodities, breeding and killing billions of living beings every year. The RWS does not require unannounced visits of farms, specific shearing methods, or even the installation of cameras in sheds that would help monitor and prevent abuse. Nor does it address how sheep are restrained during shearing or how and when they are weaned.
PETA has released eleven exposés of 99 sheep operations on four continents, including in Argentina, Australia, Chile, Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah, revealing that sheep are mutilated, abused, and skinned alive for wool—including for wool that had been deemed "sustainable" and "responsible."
When outdoor clothing company Patagonia tried to implement the RWS, sheep still suffered: PETA observers visited a Utah shearing operation involving animals associated with an approved Patagonia supplier and saw heavily pregnant sheep being whipped, sent stumbling down slippery ramps, sheared so quickly that they sustained bloody wounds, and driven out into the desert to give birth in freezing temperatures.
Marketing any animal-derived material as "responsible" is nothing more than a sham to dupe unsuspecting consumers into supporting cruelty. Please join PETA in urging Eileen Fisher to drop all wool in favor of animal-free fabrics, such as warm, stylish, and humane Tencel, viscose, and recycled polyester and acrylic.