You may recently have seen the boo-boo in the news made by global fashion retailer boohoo.com. Boohoo had taken the ‘advice’ of PETA who claim that using any wool product is cruel, and their outcome was to ban all wool products from their website. We later discovered that boohoo had done a massive U-turn, and that it was all a big marketing plan to greenwash consumers into believing they were doing something ‘right’. Thankfully, it did not go in Boohoo’s favour.
It appears Boohoo made a mistake when the majority of the public backed fibre farmers and praised them for the work they do to help grow a sustainable and eco-friendly material. Many farmers – we included – took to social media to show the public their livestock and how well they care for them. Here at Ted & Bessie we were saddened to hear of the wool ban, though it provided an excellent opportunity to tell people exactly what we do here to ensure we create ethical and sustainable products.
With every purchase of knitwear we offer the opportunity for you to visit our herd of alpacas to see how we care for them; we love and respect our animals and couldn’t ever imagine hurting them in any way. Each year when May comes around we shear our herd. Professionals carry this out and no harm is caused to the animals, in fact this process is necessary for their welfare; fibre-growing animals must be shorn once a year to ensure they do not overheat during the hotter months or suffer from fly strike. Fly strike occurs during the summer when flies lay eggs deep within the fleece of an animal that carries wool. These eggs can hatch and turn into maggots which will eat away at the animal’s skin, infecting it and ultimately killing it.
You think we can pull the wool over your eyes? Well we can’t and we wouldn’t want to. Bad practice happens with a small minority of farmers who, as a community, we do not respect. For people to stop selling all wool products is simply taking a massive step back from what we are trying to achieve here at Ted & Bessie, and that’s education into the benefits of natural fibre; there can be a natural alternative to all the plastic-based synthetic fibres, and just because it’s natural and sustainable does not mean it’s cruel.
Ban the poor practice, not the beautiful fibre we can produce to ensure a future of natural alternatives to plastic. Our products (and our packaging) are 100% plastic free, and made from alpaca fibre we source from our own herd or trusted herds around the UK.