Overstock.com Bans Alpaca Wool After PETA Appeal

Company's Decision Follows Undercover Investigation Showing Animals Bleeding and Crying Out

For Immediate Release:
June 22, 2020

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Midvale, Utah – After viewing a first-of-its-kind PETA exposé revealing that crying alpacas are roughly shorn, cut open, and left bleeding from deep wounds, Overstock.com banned alpaca wool and removed all alpaca items from its inventory. In thanks, PETA sent the company a box of delicious vegan chocolates.

PETA’s investigation of the world’s largest privately owned alpaca farm in Peru, Mallkini, shows that workers slammed the alpacas—some of whom were pregnant—onto tables, tied them tightly by the legs into a device reminiscent of a medieval torture rack, and pulled hard, nearly wrenching their legs out of their sockets. Terrified of being pinned down, the animals spit, cried out, and vomited in fear as workers grabbed them by the ears, stole their hair, and threw them to the concrete floor. Their cuts were crudely stitched up with a needle and thread. In response, PETA has asked Peruvian authorities to investigate Mallkini for possible violations of the country’s animal protection laws.

“Overstock.com’s decision will go a long way in helping to prevent vulnerable alpacas from being abused and shorn bloody for their wool,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is urging all retailers to follow the company’s lead and ban alpaca wool and asking kind consumers to leave cruelly produced alpaca items on the rack.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—notes that in addition to causing gentle alpacas immense suffering, the production of alpaca wool is also terrible for the planet. The Higg Materials Sustainability Index ranks 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.

Overstock.com joins Marks & Spencer, Maison Numen, Smith & Caughey’s, and Esprit in banning alpaca fiber. Gap Inc. (which owns Banana Republic, Athleta, and other brands) and H&M Group (which owns eight brands) have cut ties with Mallkini’s parent company, the Michell Group. Overstock.com previously banned angora, fur, mohair, and exotic skins after talks with PETA.

Photos from the investigation are available here, and broadcast-quality footage is available here. PETA opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind