Patagonia Drops Incredibly Cruel Wool Supplier (Thanks, PETA!)

Patagonia dropped its bad wool supplier.

Say what you will about PETA’s shock-and-awe tactics – the animal rights organization knows how to get things done. (And by things, we mean achieving justice for poorly treated animals.)

The most recent big name company that PETA called out for its questionable sourcing is the uber-ethical and sustainably committed outdoor gear retailer, Patagonia. According to Ecouterre, one of Patagonia’s suppliers was grossly mistreating lambs and sheep. PETA filmed undercover footage of the Argentinean wool supplier in question. The company was supposedly a supplier of “responsibly sourced wool,” but PETA’s video footage showed a very different story:

“The animal-rights group has posted on its website video that shows livestock workers slitting lambs’ throats, skinning them alive, or otherwise abusing and mutilating the animals. The footage, according to PETA, was obtained from farms that are part of the Ovis 21 (sometimes styled Ovis XXI), a network of some 140 ranches that has been working with the Nature Conservancy to reverse 100 years of overgrazing on 15 million acres of Patagonian grasslands,” reports Ecouterre.

This was a pretty big “to do,” considering Patagonia is known for its environmental and social responsibility efforts.

Since PETA posted the video, there has been a deafening rally cry from companies, people, and organizations calling for Patagonia to dump their terrible supplier. And – thank goodness – Patagonia was smart enough to listen. Rose Marcario, Patagonia’s CEO, was quoted in the SFGate, saying that “ ‘Patagonia’s partnership with Ovis 21 has been a source of pride because of the program’s genuine commitment to regenerating the grassland ecosystem, but this work must come equally with respectful and humane treatment of the animals that contribute to this endeavor.’ ” Until Patagonia finds a new supplier, it will finish using “its existing stock of wool.”

Right about now, you may be thinking, “yeesh. I never, ever want to buy wool again, but I love how it makes me feel – what alternative can I turn to?” Care2 has a few humane, alternative wool suggestions:

1. Bamboo
2. Banana
3. Hemp
4. Flax
5. Organic cotton
6. Tencel
7. Recycled plastic

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Image from Patagonia’s Facebook page

Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.