Will the National Trust Choose Eco-Friendly, Vegan Uniforms?

For Immediate Release:
5 March 2019


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


PETA Urges Charity to Protect Animals and the Earth by Outfitting Staff in Organic Cotton, Linen, or Other Sustainable Fabrics

Swindon, Wiltshire – Following reports that, out of concern for the environment, the National Trust plans to replace the synthetic fleeces worn by 10,000 members of its staff, PETA sent a letter this morning urging its director-general, Hilary McGrady, to ensure that the replacement garments are made from eco-friendly natural or recycled-synthetic fabrics – rather than sheep’s wool or other animal-derived materials.

In the letter, PETA points out that wool production is notoriously cruel to sheep – and that clothing-industry reports consistently identify it as more polluting than the production of acrylic, polyester, spandex, and rayon fibres. Manure generated by farmed animals has significantly contributed to the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases, large-scale grazing has led to vegetation change and soil erosion, and faecal matter and sheep “dip” (a toxic chemical used to rid sheep of parasites) pollute local waterways.

“Sheep are beaten and mutilated in shearing sheds for an industry that erodes our soil, poisons our waterways, and pollutes our air,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “PETA urges the National Trust to protect the Earth and the animals who live on it by outfitting its workers in vegan uniforms made from recycled-synthetic materials or sustainable natural fibres such as organic cotton, linen, or Tencel.”

Since 2014, PETA has released 11 exposés of 99 sheep-shearing facilities on four continents, including in the UK, and every time, systemic abuse was found. On 49 farms across England and Scotland visited by an eyewitness, shearers punched sheep in the face, stamped and stood on their heads and necks, and beat and jabbed them with electric clippers. One farmer was recorded dragging two ailing sheep into a shed, where he left them to suffer and die.

Eco-friendly vegan materials that can replace wool include hemp, soya-bean fabric, organic cotton and linen, Tencel, bamboo, recycled fibres, and many others.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”, and the group opposes speciesism, a supremacist worldview.

PETA’s letter is available here. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.