Marks & Spencer to stop using alpaca wool following Peta exposé
Marks & Spencer has confirmed it will eliminate alpaca wool from future product developments following a Peta appeal.
The British department store group is the latest to phase out the material, joining Gap Inc, which owns Banana Republic, and H&M Group.
It comes after facing pressure from animal rights activist organisation Peta, which recently released an exposé claiming cruel and abusive treatment of alpacas at Mallkini – the world's largest privately owned alpaca farm in Peru.
The undercover investigation 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 said the investigation highlighted “concerns around the welfare of animals that are farmed to produce alpaca [wool]”.
“Marks & Spencer's decision will prevent many alpacas from being tormented for their wool,” Peta director of corporate projects Yvonne Taylor said.
“We urge all retailers to protect these vulnerable animals by following the company's compassionate example and introducing a ban on alpaca fibre.”
Peta claimed that in addition to causing suffering, alpaca wool production has serious environmental consequences, with the fibre ranking as the second most environmentally damaging material after silk on the Higg Materials Sustainability Index.
Alpaca wool is thought to be six times more harmful than polyester and more than four times as damaging as modal, viscose, rayon, lyocell, acrylic, and other vegan materials.
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