High-street retailer Marks & Spencer has pledged to ban alpaca wool following an undercover investigation by PETA.
Marks & Spencer has confirmed it will “eliminate alpaca [wool] from all future product developments” after viewing footage from the animal rights organisation revealed that “crying alpacas are roughly sheared and left cut up and bleeding from deep wounds”.
PETA undertook an undercover investigation into Mallkini, the world’s largest privately-owned alpaca farm in Peru, in order to reveal the reality of the suffering inflicted on the animals for their fur.
Horrific and upsetting video footage taken by the organisation discovered that “workers held struggling, crying alpacas by the ears as they were roughly shorn with electric clippers, causing some to vomit out of fear”.
After viewing the footage, Marks & Spencer, which has more than 1,400 stores across 57 countries, said that the footage highlighted “concerns around the welfare of animals that are farmed to produce alpaca [wool]”.
There are also environmental concerns surrounding the use of alpaca wool as according to the Higg Materials Sustainability Index “ranked alpaca wool as the second most environmentally damaging material after silk, noting that it’s six times as harmful as polyester and more than four times as damaging as modal, viscose, rayon, lyocell, acrylic, and other vegan materials”.
Michell, which owns Mallkini, released a statement following PETA’s investigation, saying: “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.
“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.”
Marks & Spencer joins likes of Esprit, Gap Inc and H&M in cutting ties with Mallkini’s parent company, the Michell Group.
PETA is now calling on retailer Anthropologie to ditch alpaca wool after the company was discovered to still be selling items containing alpaca wool.
Sign the petition asking Anthropolgie to stop selling alpaca wool here.