Hugo Boss to ditch mulesed wool, joins other big names
Hugo Boss has committed to phase out mulesed wool and being verified free of it by 2030. The announcement on Tuesday came not from the German fashion giant but — as is often the case when big names make major moves to reduce animal cruelty — through a key campaign group.
Global animal welfare organisation Four Paws said the company “has sent a clear message against animal cruelty” with the move following a long campaign it has conducted against the practice.
Hugo Boss said it will exclusively source mulesing-free wool for its pure wool suits from 2025 with mulesing-free wool to be applied to the entire product range by 2030.
The company joins another 34 international fashion brands, including Adidas, Puma, C&A and Calvin Klein, that have gone down the mulesing-free wool route.
Four Paws also said that a recent study it conducted showed that “animal suffering is increasingly causing discontent among clothing customers. One in three consumers now seek animal-friendly credentials when deciding what or where to buy, compared to pre-Covid-19”.
The research also showed that “outdoor brands in particular are opposing mulesing wool, but luxury fashion manufacturers are lagging behind”.
It added that over 75% of wool exports and as much as 90% of the popular fine merino wool used in the global fashion industry come from Australia, which is the only country in the world where mulesing is still practiced.
Mulesing is carried out on young lambs and includes the removal of strips of skin to protect them from blowfly infestation. Four Paws said the alternatives to this include using “sheep breeds that are more resistant to parasites than the overbred merino sheep”.
It added that the fashion industry still needs to do more to protect animals. Even with the rapidly growing demand from consumers for more animal-friendly fashion, less than a third (32%) of British brands, for example, use certified wool and down, 68% use one or more animal-derived materials and just 11% have committed to reducing their use of such materials.
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