Marks & Spencer Agrees to Phase Out Alpaca Wool Following PETA Appeal

For Immediate Release:

17 June 2020


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]

Marks & Spencer Agrees to Phase Out Alpaca Wool Following PETA Appeal

High Street Giant’s Decision Follows Exposé Showing Animals Bleeding and Crying Out

London – After viewing a PETA exposé revealing that crying alpacas are roughly shorn and left cut up and bleeding from deep wounds, high street icon Marks & Spencer has confirmed it will “eliminate alpaca [wool] from all future product developments”.

An undercover investigation into Mallkini – the world’s largest privately owned alpaca farm in Peru – shows that workers held struggling, crying alpacas by the ears as they were roughly shorn with electric clippers, causing some to vomit out of fear. The quick, rough shearing left the animals with deep wounds, which were sewn up without adequate pain relief. Marks & Spencer – which has more than 1,400 stores across 57 countries – said the investigation highlighted “concerns around the welfare of animals that are farmed to produce alpaca [wool]” and made the compassionate decision to phase out the fibre’s limited use in its collections.

“Marks & Spencer’s decision will prevent many alpacas from being tormented for their wool,” says PETA Director of Corporate Projects Yvonne Taylor. “We urge all retailers to protect these vulnerable animals by following the company’s compassionate example and introducing a ban on alpaca fibre.”

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 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.

Marks & Spencer joins Esprit, which previously committed to phasing out the material. 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.

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