Sheep do not grow hair to keep human beings warm and fashionable. In fact, some materials can do this job more sustainable and ethical, making all harm caused by the production of wool absolutely unnecessary. Animal-derived products like wool are creating an additional step in the fashion supply chain. We are using land to raise and feed animals instead of growing plants for fabric directly, which is a highly inefficient system. By cutting out the middleman, we can conserve vital resources and create the opportunity to regenerate and revegetate land.
Sheep’s hair is not made from “a simple blend of water, air, sunshine and grass”, something the fashion industry often portrays. Wool is a “scaled product of modern industrial, chemical, ecological and genetic intervention that is a significant contributor to the climate crisis, land degradation, water use, pollution and biodiversity loss”, as explained in the report “Shear Destruction: Wool, Fashion and the Biodiversity Crisis”, written by @CollectiveFashionJustice (@CIRCUMFAUNA) and @CenterforBioDiv (@Choose_Wild).
Every year, additional land is cleared for the production of feed or is turned into pasture land to raise domestic sheep (only shortly, wool is a slaughter industry), which puts healthy ecosystems and the survival of native plants and animals at risk. The collected wool is cleaned, degreased, bleached, treated, spun and coloured before being used as a material to create fabric. The heavy chemical process of industrial wool production creates a serious pollution problem for (non-)human animals and the environment and often makes wool non-biodegradable.
It is time that the false narrative that fabric made from sheep hair is “natural”, “renewable”, and “sustainable” is corrected. We must challenge the greenwashing claims obscuring the reality of the impact of wool.
We highly recommend checking out the full report – click on the image below to find out more!