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MANCHESTER – UK fast fashion retailer Boohoo has done a remarkable u-turn over the use of wool in its collections. After saying it was banning wool amid claims of animal cruelty from Peta, it reversed its decision just a few hours later. The company now says it, “continues to assess all options as part of its ongoing commitment to a more sustainable future.” It added: “We are committed to ensuring the wool used in our supply chain comes from good husbandry and meets high levels of animal welfare. We will continue to use wool as a sustainable material.”

Several hours before, it stated that its brands, which include Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing and Nasty Gal, would “no longer knowingly source any wool products.”

Peta has released a series of videos showing cruelty to sheep in recent months. Wool is the latest animal derived fibre on its radar, after it managed to convinced many brands to no longer use fibres such as down, mohair and angora.

Not surprisingly, the group praised Boohoo’s initial decision, with the organisation’s director of corporate projects, Yvonne Taylor, saying the Boohoo’s decision was “compassionate” and “business-savvy.”

She added: “Kind shoppers agree that no jumper or scarf is worth kicking, punching, and killing gentle sheep on the shearing floor, and we’re urging other retailers to follow Boohoo’s forward-thinking example.”

Peta had pointed to 11 videos that it said was proof of “systemic cruelty in the wool industry.”

UK merino wool farmer, Lesley Prior said: “The Boohoo wool issue which has made such a big splash in media of all sorts here over the last couple of days, has done no one any favours except Boohoo themselves. Well done guys. I expect to see a jump in sales over the next week (no longer), as people remember you exist. You have committed to sourcing wool responsibly for future use. If you sign up to a scheme, please make sure it takes into account the real needs of sheep and not just the perceived needs of yourselves and your customers.”

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