Patagonia Blasted for Secrecy Around New ‘Responsible’ Wool-Sourcing Claim

PETA Calls for Truth and Transparency After Brand's Supplier Proves Previous 'Above and Beyond' 'Humane' Wool Standard Was a Farce

For Immediate Release:
September 13, 2018

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Ventura, Calif. – After twice suspending wool purchases following PETA exposés of extreme cruelty to sheep—the last of which showed workers at a Patagonia-approved wool producer’s shearing operation violating the brand’s own publicly touted welfare standards—Patagonia has resumed operations but refuses to divulge its new source(s) of “responsible” wool, despite repeated appeals for transparency.

In letters to Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario, PETA points out that disturbing video footage and photographs taken at a Utah sheep-shearing operation used by Red Pine Land & Livestock, LLC—which Patagonia previously lauded as “excellent partners” that met the brand’s “rigorous criteria”—showed pregnant sheep being dragged by their fleece into a trailer and dropped onto its hard floor. Sheep were sheared at such high speed that most were left with bloody wounds. Other video footage shows animals being whipped on their heads, backs, and hindquarters as well as a lamb’s carcass rotting in a shed and sheep skeletons and shotgun shells strewn on the ground. This treatment of animals clearly violates numerous provisions of the “Responsible Wool Standard”—which Patagonia says it has adopted.

“Clearly, Patagonia isn’t anxious for PETA to show the public what’s happening on its suppliers’ farms, so we suspect that its ‘standards’ will prove to be a sham once again,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA has demanded that the company be transparent—or better yet, stop using wool in favor of the many high-quality, cruelty-free fabrics now available.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—pointed out that eight exposés recorded at 72 facilities on four continents have revealed that sheep are systemically beaten, kicked, punched, and mutilated in the wool industry. Shearers are often paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast, violent work that can lead to gaping wounds on sheep’s bodies. Workers then stitch the gashes closed without giving the animals any painkillers.

The group’s letters to Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario are available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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“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