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Hugo Boss to become mulesing-free

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

14 Dec 2021

Fashion

Image: Four Paws

Global animal welfare organisation Four Paws reports that luxury brand Hugo Boss has committed to phasing out mulesed wool and become verified free of it by 2025.

The German fashion company announced that it will exclusively source mulesing-free wool for its pure wool suits from 2025. In addition, the use of mulesing-free wool for the entire product range is to be promoted by 2030.

Four Paws UK head of campaigns, Emily Wilson, said in a statement: “Hugo Boss has been one of our most vocal and active supporters of mulesing-free wool for a number of years, and now they will put their words into practice. Together we have also been able to improve the brand’s animal welfare policies overall.”

A total of 35 international fashion brands, including sports giant Adidas and Calvin Klein, and now Hugo Boss have stated that they intend to purchase only certified mulesing-free wool in an open letter addressed to the Australian wool industry led by Four Paws.

Four Paws said that its goal is to mobilise enough brands to publicly speak out against animal suffering in production and to implement necessary measures to encourage the largely Australian-based wool industry to end the cruel procedure of mulesing.

Four Paws continues its campaign to end mulesing

A recent study by Four Paws shows that animal suffering is also increasingly causing discontent among clothing customers, as one in three consumers now seek animal-friendly credentials when deciding what or where to buy, compared to pre-Covid-19.

But even with the rapidly growing demand from consumers for more animal-friendly fashion, less than a third (32 percent) of British brands use certified wool and down. While 68 percent use one or more animal-derived materials, and just 11 percent have committed to reducing their use of such materials.

Wilson added: “Consumers are increasingly using their wallets to show their disdain for animal-derived textiles. Now we are encouraging as many brands as possible from different fashion sectors to follow the lead of luxury brands like Hugo Boss in phasing out mulesed wool.

“Our research has highlighted that outdoor brands in particular are opposing mulesing wool, but luxury fashion manufacturers are lagging behind. However, with Hugo Boss, we have gained another ally in the fight for more compassion in fashion. But we don’t want them to be the anomaly instead Four Paws is calling on more brands to exclude mulesed wool in order to spare more than ten million lambs in Australia from this cruel and outdated procedure.”

Currently, more than 75 percent of wool exports and as much as 90 percent of fine merino wool used in the global fashion industry comes from Australia, the only country in the world where mulesing is still practised. Mulesing is a painful method carried out on lambs a few weeks old, in which large strips of skin are cut out of the animals’ buttocks without anaesthesia to protect them from blowfly infestation.