Hong Kong clothing chain Giordano became the latest brand to join a campaign against Australian wool over allegations of cruelty to sheep, in a bid welcomed by activists.
Animal rights groups have campaigned against “mulesing”, the practice of cutting a slice of flesh from lambs’ rear ends to prevent the animal dying of flystrike — the infestation of flesh-eating maggots.
“We will urge our vendors to stop using wool grown from mulesed sheep so long as commercial alternatives are easily available,” said the retailer, which has more than 2,400 outlets in Asia, Australia and the Middle East.
US-based group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which has spearheaded the campaign against mulesing, which it describes as “barbaric”, said Giordano set a “worthy example” and urged other retailers to follow suit.
“Consumers in China and across Asia are shocked to learn about Australia’s dirty little secret, mulesing,” said PETA Asia vice-president Jason Baker.
PETA’s efforts have seen major fashion companies such as Hugo Boss, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and Adidas shun Australian wool.
Farmers in Australia, one of the world’s major wool producers, however insist that the practice is necessary to prevent many slow and painful deaths.