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Nike commits to Responsible Wool Standard

By Simone Preuss


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Happy lambs need their tails. Image: Four Paws

US sporting goods giant Nike has followed its own motto (“Just Do It”) and simply done it, namely decided to do away with wool that causes cruelty to animals.

This kind of wool uses a process called mulesing in which strips of skin from the rump and the tail of lambs are cut away, often without any anaesthesia or painkillers. The resulting pain, shock and stress for the only two to ten-week-old lambs is so enormous that many grow more slowly and their risk of death increases.

Global animal welfare organisation Four Paws announced the influential company's move today (Wednesday), which it hopes will inspire others.

Nike commits to Responsible Wool Standard

According to Four Paws, Nike has changed its CSR policy and is committed to complying with the certified Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) in its product range, which the animal rights organisation calls a “groundbreaking moment” and a “huge milestone”.

Four Paws has been campaigning against the cruel process for years and in 2022 targeted a campaign directly at Nike. More than 80,000 sports enthusiasts called on the sportswear brand to follow in the footsteps of Adidas and Puma, which have already opted for certified wool in the past.

“We congratulate Nike on this important commitment which will benefit millions of lambs. With the upcoming mulesing season in Australia due to start, this news comes at a crucial time and sends a strong signal to the wool producers, being an influential brand with potential to inspire the entire apparel market. This win was only possible with the help of tens of thousands of supporters fighting together with Four Paws for better animal welfare in the sports apparel market,” commented Rebecca Picallo Gil, head of the wool campaign at Four Paws, in a press release.

According to Four Paws, more than 350 brands and retailers now have a policy against mulesing, among them Aldi, Asics, Asos, Bestseller, C&A, Decathlon, H&M, Ikea, Inditex, Kik, Kmart, Otto Group, Primark, Tchibo, Tesco, Uniqlo and Zalando.

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Animal Rights
Sustainable Fashion