Australian model Emma Håkansson has always loved fashion, but in recent years, she has become acutely aware of the problems plaguing the industry, including animal abuse, human-rights violations, and environmental issues.
A new documentary by Collective Fashion Justice follows Håkansson’s efforts to create her own knitwear as ethically as possible.
If you’ve ever thought about what you wear as a statement of who you are, this is a documentary you won’t want to miss.
Willow and Claude
Håkansson is inspired by two orphaned lambs, Willow and Claude. What she learned about them and the system they were rescued from changed the way she thinks about Australia’s wool industry.
An estimated one quarter of the lambs born into the Australian wool industry – up to 15 million of them – die of exposure or malnutrition or are killed by predators within 48 hours of birth.
Many lambs are simply born too small and weak to live and are abandoned by their flocks, and others are orphaned when their mums die while giving birth or following an illness. Ewes carrying multiple babies can develop pregnancy toxaemia, also called lambing sickness or twin lamb disease.
Many sheep on farms in Australia are forcibly impregnated to ensure that they give birth during the winter months so their babies can be weaned in the spring when the fields are the most fertile. These cold temperatures also contribute to lamb deaths.
Willow and Claude were just two such babies – but luckily for them, they were rescued and nursed back to health.
All Sheep Used for Wool Are Slaughtered
One of Håkansson’s revelations in the documentary is that all sheep used for wool are slaughtered – it’s just a matter of when.
The wool industry is inextricably linked to the meat industry. Some animals are shorn before they’re killed as lambs, while others are shorn regularly for a few years until their wool ages and becomes brittle, at which point their flesh is more profitable than their fleece.
Hundreds of thousands of them are crammed onto live-export ships and made to suffer for weeks at sea before being cruelly slaughtered abroad.
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Help Sheep Like Willow and Claude
Footwear company Allbirds knows that no one wants to buy products that result from animal suffering or destroy the planet, and it’s making misleading claims about the wool items it sells.
Find out more information about these claims and write to the company using the link below: