People have been campaigning against wearing fur for years, and we probably don’t need to explain why.
But in recent years, there’s been a similar move away from wearing wool.
It might seem like a harmless, natural material, without the consequences of the fur trade. But there are downsides to wearing wool – both from a moral and comfort standpoint.
Here’s why you might want to reconsider wearing woolly jumpers this winter.
1. Sheep don’t need to be shorn
Without human interference, sheep would grow just enough wool to protest themselves from the cold and would shed their winter coasts, all by themselves, come warm weather.
Yet on today’s farms, sheep have been genetically engineered to produce far more wool than nature ever intended.
2. Sheep are intelligent, complex, and sensitive living beings – not jumpers with legs
In fact, a recent study showed that they’re a lot more intelligent than originally thought.
3. Mutilations are common in Australia, the world’s largest exporter of wool
Mulesing is a barbaric but frequently used procedure in which farmers cut huge chunks of skin and flesh from lambs’ backsides in a crude attempt to prevent a maggot infestation there.
The pain from their wounds is so intense that it often causes lambs to walk sideways like crabs, and it can take weeks for them to heal. Some never do.
4. It’s itchy!
The bumpy red skin that many can get from wearing scratchy wool is never a good look.
5. Most sheep never make it to old age
In the UK alone, roughly 4 million lambs die of exposure, disease, or other factors every year.
6. Sheep aren’t the only ones who suffer
Wool production doesn’t just exploit sheep: The majority of the world’s angora wool comes from China, where workers violently rip the hair from rabbits’ sensitive skin while the animals are fully conscious.
7. Wools isn’t ‘green’
According to environmentalist George Monbiot, ‘Few kinds of farming have done more harm in proportion to their output than the keeping of sheep’.
8. You might adore your Grandad, but you don’t have to dress like him
With so many warm, cruelty-free alternatives available – including cotton, bamboo, hemp, microfiber, ramie, soya silk, and woven metal – it’s easier than ever to ditch wool and other animal-derived clothing.