One of the UK’s biggest online fashion retailers has been accused of caving in to vegan protesters after banning the use of wool in any of its clothes.
Boohoo.com, which also owns brands PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal, has become the first UK mainstream retailer to ban wool by the autumn due to animal welfare concerns.
However, analysis of the brands’ websites by this newspaper suggests that none of them currently sells any items containing wool, which raises questions over whether the move is a simply a PR stunt.
It comes after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) released exposés of 99 sheep-shearing facilities across four continents, including in the UK, finding what it described as “systemic” abuse. It also claims the wool industry damages the environment.
But John Royale, head of livestock at the National Farmers’ Union, said: “Wool is the most sustainable of all fibres and is far better for the environment than creating plastic fibres, which create pollution. Shearing sheep stops them getting heatstroke.
“Farmers that shear are properly trained. There was one group of professional sheep shearers exposed for bad practice by Peta and that is probably why Boohoo has caved in to this.”
Yvonne Taylor, Peta’s director of corporate projects, said: “Peta is toasting Boohoo group’s compassionate, business-savvy decision to scrap wool.”