Boy, it’s like someone flipped the “let’s be stupid about wool” switch this month. Over the weekend, Quintin McEwen (owner and operator of Cedar Grove Farm in Ontario, Canada) circulated these two photographs of an egregious product tag from @luckybrand.
The tag shows a picture of Shrek, the New Zealand sheep who hid in a cave for six years, to promote an “authentic shearless fleece,” arguing that “the world needs more fat sheep.” (Fat as in suffering from not having been shorn.) The label further boasts, “Not a single sheep was sheared in the making of this garment.” Like that’s a good thing.
Quick wool lesson for Lucky Brand and its marketing agency @janesmith. For starters, *not* shearing sheep constitutes animal abuse. They no longer shed their coats. If we don’t shear, the animal’s health and hygiene are imperiled. This isn’t good, and it’s certainly nothing to be glorified on a product label. A “fat” sheep will soon be a suffering one.
Shearing takes three minutes max and ensures the animal’s health and comfort. A dentist appointment takes a lot longer but is just as vital. Do we stop taking our children to the dentist because they’re afraid of it? I hope not.
Pushing plastics over wool will further choke the planet with microfiber pollution. And those cute sheep you don’t want to be harmed? Their lives depend on a healthy demand for wool. If that goes away, onto the meat truck they go. It’s almost like you’re telling people to drive Hummers in support of the welfare of the earth.
Lucky Brand, and Jane Smith Agency, you’ve gotten this one terribly, terribly wrong. Nothing about animal abuse or environmental catastrophe is cute. You’re in a position to do better. You could do really cool, innovative, inspiring things with fibers that won’t kill the planet, and that will support a healthy agricultural ecosystem. Why not take bigger steps and be a leader?