Home furnishing giant ditches alpaca wool following undercover investigation – Totally Vegan Buzz
High Street giants Next, New Look, Matalan and Ted Baker to ban alpaca wool
Image: Canna Obscura / shutterstock.com

“Drab decor made from the fleece of struggling alpacas is out.”

Home furnishing giant Williams-Sonoma has pledged to stop sourcing alpaca wool after an exposé revealed inhumane animal torture.

The American consumer retail company joins a slew of high street fashion giants including Marks & Spencer, Overstock, UNIQLO, Valentino, Columbia Sportswear, and New Look in banning alpaca fleece.

Investigation

The decision follows the release of  PETA’s undercover footage of a farm in Mallkini – the world’s largest privately-owned alpaca farm in Peru.

Investigators found ‘workers holding struggling, crying alpacas by the ears as they were roughly shorn with electric clippers, causing some to vomit out of fear’.

Workers were also filmed slamming distressed animals (including those that were pregnant) onto tables. They ‘tied them to a stretching device, and pulled hard, nearly wrenching their legs out of their sockets’. 

The charity added that the helpless animals were then left cut up and bleeding from deep wounds – which were sewn up without adequate pain relief.

Animal welfare

As a result, Williams-Sonoma has decided to phase out wool across all its brands, which include Pottery Barn, west elm, Mark and Graham, and Rejuvenation.

In a statement, PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said: “Alpacas shouldn’t be tossed around and tied down to make blankets.

 “Drab decor made from the fleece of struggling alpacas is out—and Williams-Sonoma’s decision to ban it will help PETA move this industry in a kinder direction.” 

The organisation added that in addition to this abuse, alpaca fleece production harms the planet.

The Higg Materials Sustainability Index ‘ranks alpaca wool as the second most environmentally damaging material’ after silk.

‘Commitment to animal welfare and community’

Following PETA’s investigation, Michell – which owns the facility in Mallkini – said in a statement “The shocking images transmitted in the video undoubtedly show excesses that we deeply deplore and affect us profoundly. They have clearly been edited and show unacceptable mistreatment practices carried out by negligent shearers.:

It added: “We want to reiterate our commitment to continue striving to improve our animal welfare, to work for a healthier environment, to provide the best products and services to all of you, to take care of our collaborators, and to contribute to our community, always in an honest and transparent manner.”

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