My Cart

Sheep Wool Crowded

Stop Wearing Wool It Is Cruel

You should stop wearing wool. Contrary to popular belief, wool is a very cruel animal fiber. It's not an ethical or sustainable material.

Wool is often used in the fashion industry to make warm technical clothing, such as shirts, socks, gloves, coats, pullovers, jackets, sweaters, leggings, and slippers.

Wool is obtained from animals that are enslaved, exploited, subjected to painful treatments, and exposed to dangerous substances with long-term disastrous effects on ecosystems and human health.

The fashion industry kills billions of animals each year around the world. Wool is obtained from animals such as sheep, goats, muskox, rabbits, and camelids.

There is a lot of animal cruelty going on in the textile and apparel industry. It's very shocking, especially when there are already so many alternatives available.

Why do fashion brands and retailers keep using animals and inhumane practices to make clothing?

About wool obtained from sheep

Sheep don't need shearing, contrary to popular belief. They don't like being sheared at all. It's simple to understand because they never like being caught for any reason.

Sheep naturally produce the right amount of wool it needs. In natural environments, they shed their winter coat before spring like many other animals.

In the industry, profits often come first. That's why most sheep are sheared at the wrong time of the year.

They live in crowded conditions and must walk very long distances. They will often end up dying from dehydration, infection, starvation or injury, according to PETA.

There is no need to wear wool to stay warm for most of us. Unfortunately, the demand for wool obtained from sheep and other animals keeps rising.

There is no excuse to make animals suffer for clothing. There are already plenty of other alternatives.

We have the power to make change happen as consumers through the clothes we buy and who we support with other money. Simply refusing to wear any wool already helps many animals.

Stop Wearing Wool It Is Cruel farm

Alternatives to wool

Many environmentally friendly fabrics can replace wool effectively. Instead of wool, wear these natural cruelty-free fabrics that are ethical and sustainable.

Many ethical fashion brands choose to avoid textile fibers obtained from animals completely. They don't support the cruelty of the wool industry and use these alternatives.

Here are some of the vegan fabrics you should be wearing instead of wool:

  • Organic cotton requires fewer resources than wool, dries faster, is easy to clean, and grown without harmful chemicals.
  • Linen is made from flax plants, very durable, absorbent, quick-drying, and cool, environmentally friendly, recyclable, and biodegradable.
  • Organic hemp is grown without pesticides or fertilizers, fast-growing, sustainable, breathable, soft, and lightweight.
  • Lyocell is a regenerated cellulose fiber like rayon, made from wood pulp, bio-based, biodegradable, and recyclable.

There are many other man-made fabrics made from cellulose fiber, manufactured by turning plants into the fabric, such as soy, seaweed, bamboo, and coconut. Be careful when buying these because they undergo heavy chemical treatments and oftentimes aren't eco-friendly.

Read up our article on eco-friendly fabrics to learn more about other fabric choices.

What is wrong with wool

Wool is the result of awful abuse as animals are mutilated and cut into slavery. The wool industry raises animals for a profit. The well-being of animals is rarely considered.

Around 1.155 million kilograms of wool were produced in 2018 by more than 1.177 billion sheep around the world, according to the International Wool Textile Organisation. Sheep numbers rose by 2 million from 2017, continuing the rising trend since 2009.

Australia produces about 23% of all wool used worldwide. Merino sheep are often bred to have wrinkled skin that produces more wool than they would need naturally.

Animals suffer immense pain, being castrated, dying prematurely from exhaustion, exposure to the cold, disease, lack of shelter, or neglect.

Animals who don't produce enough wool are destined to be slaughtered.

More than 95% of all wool comes from mass production globally. And mass production isn't ethical. Wool is also typically a byproduct of the meat industry.

Stop Wearing Wool It Is Cruel sweater

Environmental impact of wool

Is wool environmentally friendly? The green movement is booming. Consumers are asking for more eco-responsible products.

To assess a material's sustainability, we have to consider it's entire life-cycle, from raw material production to distribution, consumption, recycling, and disposal.

Sheep farming requires an enormous amount of resources. Water, energy, feed, and land. It also produces a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Methane is the dominant gas emitted as a by-product of the sheep digestion. One sheep can produce about 30 liters of methane each day. Fabric production is also responsible for carbon emissions: weaving, knitting, and fabric treatments.

The Higg Materials Sustainability Index attributes wool fabric a Global Warming Score of 40.0, which is more than 4 times worse than 8.8 for cotton fabric.

Wool requires more land than many other types of fibers. The land has to be cleared and trees cut down to make room for grazing sheep. Sheep farming leads to soil salinity and the destruction of biodiversity.

According to the report from the Global Fashion Agenda, wool is one of the five most environmentally damaging fiber worldwide. Wool production involves high eco-toxicity and human toxicity due to processing with chemicals, as well as a very high contribution to global warming.

Pesticides and insecticides are often used on sheep to keep them free of parasites. Hazardous chemicals pollute the air, soil, and water, endangering human health and ecosystems.

wool coat wearing

Wool production has a negative environmental impact and is responsible for horrendous cruelty that sheep face in the industry. It's time to switch to sustainable vegan fashion.

It's time to shift away from fur, wool, and silk. As consumers, we have to lead the way and invest in sustainable ethical clothing.

Let's buy from companies that express deep concerns for people, animals, and nature.

There are already plenty of great alternatives to choose from. Even if it might be a little costly for the coming years, buying less and higher quality is the way to go.

I recommend choosing environmentally friendly natural or recycled-synthetic materials. You can also buy second-hand clothing or rent your clothes for a special occasion.

Cruelty-free and vegan eco-friendly fabrics are the future.

About the Author: Alex Assoune

Alex Assoune Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks four languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.


More, More, More

Related Articles

ethical clothing

Ethical Clothing: All About Fair Fashion

Fair fashion is much more than a trend. It's a revolution. Today, it's becoming increasingly important to have a great style but also protect the well-being of people, animals, and... Read More

Emma Watson About Her New Role on The Sustainability Committee

Emma Watson was appointed Chair of the Sustainability Committee of Kering Group's Board of Directors previously this year. She is a famous British actress, model, and activist, fervent supporter of... Read More
gucci handbag
slow fashion dress

How to Slow Down Fast Fashion

The fashion industry is the second-largest polluting industry in the world. The rise of fast fashion over the last 20 years is responsible for its massive growth but also its... Read More

Sustainable Alternatives to Recycled Plastic You Should Know About

Conscious consumers now look for sustainable synthetic fabrics as the more ethical and responsible choice for clothing, especially in activewear and sports apparel. Recycled plastics including recycled polyester and nylon... Read More
plastic girl pool
sustainable fashion

4 High-Tech Fabrics for a Sustainable Fashion Future

The global textile and apparel industry is one of the greatest polluters. Luckily, innovative and sustainable materials are slowly replacing traditional polluting fabrics. The overproduction and overconsumption of cheaply made... Read More

Sustainable Fashion Brand ExtraAF Launches in the Middle of a Crisis

The new London-based sustainable fashion brand ExtraAF is launching officially worldwide. The brand offers high-quality garments made from a wide selection of eco-friendly materials, without compromising on style. Founded in... Read More
Sustainable Fashion Brand ExtraAF Launches in the Middle of a Crisis
wearwell conscious fashion

Wearwell Conscious Fashion Subscription Box

Meet Wearwell, a new sustainable fashion subscription start-up based in Philadelphia. Every month, conscious consumers choose between a curated selection of ethically-sourced clothing. Founders Erin Houston and Emily Kenney bootstrapped... Read More

Emulating Nature’s Lessons To Transform The Fashion Industry

A new report "The Nature of Fashion: Moving Towards a Regenerative System" showcases the emulation of nature’s lessons in the fashion industry to protect ecosystems, biodiversity, soil fertility, support communities, and... Read More
web nature
Mattathinte Noolizha St. Teresa’s College Sustainability Project

Mattathinte Noolizha St. Teresa’s College Sustainability Project

St. Teresa’s College has launched a sustainability project called "Mattathinte Noolizha" to educate students about responsible consumption of fast fashion. St. Teresa's College is an autonomous women's college located at... Read More

Trash The Runway Recycled Couture Fashion Show

Trash the Runway - Recycled Couture is putting on a fashion show for students in grades 6-12 with sustainability in mind. The annual event is organized by the Common Threads... Read More
trash the runway


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing