Last week Sustainable Style Sunday served up some eco-friendly shoes for those of you who are not opposed to wearing leather. This week we offer some vegan fashion treats from the inimitable Stella McCartney, for those of you who prefer not to wear leather or other animal-derived materials. Thankfully the market provides plenty of options to keep you covered both ethically and aesthetically, whatever your stance on leather and animal rights.

In January of this year designer and animal rights activist Stella McCartney launched a vegan-friendly line of accessories that fuse man-made and natural materials with high quality construction. The Central St. Martin’s graduate has long refused to work with animal skins and is reported to have had this written into her contract. It is likely that Chloé was more than happy to abide by these requirements, as profits were said to have increased greatly during McCartney’s time as head designer for the house. In 2001, she began her namesake company in partnership with the Gucci Group and continues to churn out lauded designs season after season.

While it certainly is not necessary to be vegan to appreciate these accessories, McCartney’s additions bring a welcome dose of style to the vegan fashion market. In a recent interview she stated, “It’s surprising to me that people cannot get their heads around a non-leather bag or shoe. They already exist out there, but unfortunately designers feel they have to slap a leather trim or sole on them. People need to start looking at the product, and if they like it, that’s all that matters. If it has an ethical or ecological edge, that’s a huge bonus. We address these questions in every other part of our lives except fashion. Mind-sets are changing, though, which is encouraging.”

Now, if I could just get that shawl collared tunic sweater in organic wool…

+ Stella McCartney


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  1. Kjk214 November 8, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Stella uses wool & silk, unfortunately making her \”cruelty free & sustainable\” marketing utterly false. This was very disturbing to me as I\’m a vegan & have always loved Stella for her animal rights initiatives

  2. MP3Mixx music downloads November 11, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I know this is really boring and you are skipping to the next comment, but I just wanted to throw you a big thanks – you cleared up some things for me!

  3. samantha staal-cohen September 10, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Okay let us define Veganism first because some readers probably don;t understand veganism! I for one would like to understand it further apart from food. For me like Jamessina says; I also agree its all about life how we treat the next; value, respect, boundaries, principles etc. However I need to understand why there is so much emphasis on animals probably because of the high consumption of meat. Animals from the beginning of time were created by God as companions according to the Bible I mean why else were animals created. Lets understand each kingdoms purpose on this earth. We are here to live in harmony with everything and remembering that Humankind are the headship, however some humans have now abused the power given to us at the expense of the other kingdoms: These kingdoms are: Human Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Plant Kingdom this to me looks like a chain and cycle so how do we work together, survive. Okay the body cannot operate on fresh air thats a fact. We need to eat to fuel our bodies and further more exercise to stay fit and strong to be able to do the things we do. Our minds also need to fueled with the right kind of food, that is food that builds ones soul, spirit up. I think for all readers please define Veganism (I could look on the net) but some dont bother looking! Remember when there is lack of knowledge or understanding there will always be criticism, judging etc. Lets bring awareness to those around us and teach people to take care of themselves and in so doing they will treat others well. Everything should be in moderation too little and you are week, too much and you are complacent or overloaded cannot move! Lets learn lets talk lets discuss things we don;t understand. Lets use Inhabitat to teach us things we don;t understand and then pass on the knowledge. Debates are great but there must be the final conclusion. We all have different opinions but but learn to accept everyones decision. If we force veganism onto someone we behave like a religious group. Let people decide just by watching and seeing transformation take place. I mean we cant all be clones but lets hear each other and lets research if slaughtering of animals is way out of line then why is this. Again we need to also understand how each animal feeds there is a cycle why were animals truely created certain ones different from others, I notice certain insects eat other insects and other animals eat other animals and then there are humans that eat certain animals and then wow certain humans used to be really crazy and eat humans lol! Whats the matter there! We need clarity and understanding. But again its not what goes in that is unclean but what comes out. If we are ugly to each other then merely looking at the food is not the only thing, veganism is more than just that. But then it reminds me of christianity too!

  4. jamessina September 9, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I love Nigerian Vegan, too.
    veganism gets a bad rap because of the finger pointing and hasrrasment of anything ‘traditional’. If we look at the most basic needs of our ancestors (mine are native american) we look at those who used evert part of everything they ‘took from the earth’ and no more. when we became ‘civilized’ we began the path of over consumption. Everything is consumed in horrific amounts, from food to leather to water to electricity to oil, etc. Now, we are a growing community of technological advancements and worldwide travel, international business, the explosive mass media obsession of celebs and ridiculous twenty-somethings- let’s take it down a notch and respect all life.
    My personal stance is that my being a vegan is directly related to the negativity and draining attitude, actions and cost-cutting measures of many industries and people. It is a respect for life, respect for others and an homage to the beautiful earth we are borrowing from our children, and children’s children, etc.
    If we consume less- eat smaller portions, buy vintage, carpool, make our own food, grow a garden, etc. – then the industries will have to be creative and think outside of the box, to provide for a more humane and forward thinking society.
    In closing :) a dear friend of mine’s parents moved from Germany 40 years ago to the US, and in germany grew up on a small dairy farm. This german friend of mine said he could never give up dairy, it was in his blood. However, when we discussed this statement, it was agreed upon that the small dairy farm, providing milk by ‘milking’ a cow to a few small shops in the town in which they lived, is very different from the mass production and tanker trucks of milk being shipped internationally. (while it is still odd that humans are the only mammals that drink another’s milk after infancy) it is all relative, yes?
    PETA needs to be around, for the sheer reason that they have the extreme thing going for them, they bring about much research and resources for others that without them would take much longer to obtain. So, we need the extremists! however, we also need the compassionate, bc any vegan who shuns another human for their decisions, is not truly vegan! no judgement, just discussion. It opens more doors that way.

  5. Samantha Staal-Cohen September 3, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Hello Inhabitants, I am a free Spirit who loves God and people and nature as a whole. I think sometimes people comment based on ignorance where there is no understanding of a particular reason why Vegans have chosen this path. So before judging the next, search and read and understand and decide with your own mind what is sound, let your conscience speak not other influences which some may be negative. If you are loving and respecting and being a good steward of your life I believe you will make sound choices and respect other peoples values and decisions they have taken without judging them as you don;t really know them or what road they have walked. I just recently decided to be vegan but it was merely in terms of diet (food) since I see the health benefits of eating right and I don’f feel heavy or have heartburn or constipation (lol) I feel great I can be creative with my meals and always when I eat these meals I see the end result, a healthy strong abled body. I like Stellas fashion (I am into fashion would like to start my own brand too) If thats what she does and one enjoys her products why not shut up and enjoy them why the need to make a loud judgemental statement. I think we all should look deep inside ourselves and check if we have anything that is judging us as we judge and first clear yourself then you have the right to judge. This is me I am not perfect but I strive towards a sound, enjoyable, beautiful life and putting God first! Lets learn from each other, lets understand each other. Lets work as a team together. Lets debate in a more sound way, and besides even if you don;t agree with Veganism its your God-given right to have an opinion, we all have opinions but its how we respond to those opinions of others is where we can fall short. I personally think when I look at Stellas fashion that has leather on some of her products, how do you know she did not see that some innocent animal was poached and decided that instead worms and ants eating at the flesh and just discarding it she decided that she would be creative and make up something appealing to those who love animals. I don;t think she is contradicting herself she is being clever, thats what I would do, she sees she has to service the world globally so when you leather its not that the animals were slaughtered for this purpose but that in my opinion used animals leather to pay tribute to them hahaha I know we sound crazy. I don;t want to be part of some religious circle this is me and I also have my own view points. I respect your views but I don;t dog you i.e. slam you down. I prefer to speak facts get facts and make my own decision not on what other negative influences decide. If all greenery was removed how would be breathe, everything in this world needs each other like a puzzle. Green is healthy and sound. I personally don;t elevate animals above humans, Humans have authority but that does not give them the right to abuse that authority by harming creation. Thank you for your time in reading!

  6. alaskalulu April 30, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Pdaervo – your my soul-sister (sister? I presume) – you have discribed me through discribing yourself. You are not alone. We need to be disgusted at how humankind lives like a virus on this planet, but act with compassion towards all life including our own species. Life is hard for everyone in thier own way, we need to compassionately educate, edify and encourage if we are to evolve into a compassionate and caring people. As Ghandi says “be the change you want to see in the world”, or as Micheal Jackson said, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror”. I want to see a world where humans care for others through loving sybiotic relationships. It has to start with me and its a moment by moment struggle – its so easy to judge and so dificult to extend grace and mercy. Who wants to join a movement of angry people who condem you right out the gate. That’s a sure way to build walls not bridges thus making the desired result (a sustainable vegan mainstream movement) all the more difficult to attain.

    Vegan Heathen and Nigerian Vegan I want to marry you both! :-)

    Kuddos to everyone here for participating regardless of what you’ve said specifically; there’s no real knowledge without discussion. We learn to think for ourselves by listening to each other – the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.

  7. lambchop September 8, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Personally I think being vegan is about not seeing animals as a product for use by humans at all, period! Whether it be for food or the goods like milk, wool etc it produces.
    When we stop using animals as products then maybe the cruel practice of using people as produce as well will be dealt with. People being mistreated, forced into some kind or other of horrid existence living a life of some sort of slavery, which still goes on today in many, many countries, is thought of as being incredibly cruel and evil, but what’s the difference with that of the treatment of animals? None, other than a lot of humans view their own suffering as being more important and worse than animals which have no voice to describe the anguish they suffer!
    There should be more designers making the effort for a more earth friendly collection, it seems daft that there isn’t, isn’t it all about money at the end of the day?? I for one would be willing to spend my hard earned cash on a designer that would invest that money into those kind of sustainable fashions. Rather than ones who are willing to use animal products which ALL come from animal cruelty (being reared as a product is cruel, no matter how you look at it) to sell as their as must have luxury items.

  8. pdaervo September 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Personally, as a vegan, I abstain from all animal products except in the form of recylced and vintage clothing, because it’s not fueling the industry directly- and is getting rid of a lot of waste. Even then, I can’t handle fur and I try to aviod leather as much as possible. I actually don’t think there is anything wrong wit eating meat, animals do eat other animals after all. What I have a problem with are the industrially minded factory farms that prodce what non-vegetarians eat, drink and wear. The abuse they show towards their animals is horrific, and being a vegan, to me, is a boycott.
    I suppose I’m not a perfect vegan, but I think encouaging every person to do the most that they can is a must. So often, orginizations like PeTA (which I am a part of, because I believe in their fundemental ideas- other than euthanizing animals prolifically) try to scare and intimidate people into a cruelty-free lifelstyle. I think that this not only discouages many from actually converting to veganism, but makes them acutally dislike people who live such a lifestlye. The path to veganism should be one of love, support and self-acutalization. I actually try not to read these type of comment forumns because they are seeping with negative energry. I probably sound like a super -hippie right now, but being a vegan is not the easiest thing to do, and I’ve found encouragement lacking.

  9. lolatink March 2, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Foong Wai Yoke it is people as yourself that are truely inconsistent and not Stella. All some vegs just was pick apart flaws in those that eat me and mistake of some vegs. That is counter-productive. Lets look at the good points. If is was not for Stella all truely ecoist vegs would only have cheap and non-bio pvc objects filling up landmines. This are quality and vegan leather that she uses besides that sickly pvc. Also it is not economical leather but Ecological leather it is sometimes called and many real leather products have stolen that label to dupe buyers of leather who have become weary to its societal ills. Also the long champ bags you boat you use are not vegan themselves since they are cover in leather..In that brown leather handle, flap and inner lining–eveident some “veg” are swooping on stella’s animal use and not thier own. She never uses leather or silk. She has use some wool. Please lets not rotate harmful info people and let the professionals at Inhabitat inform us. Thanks

  10. DeepThinker March 2, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Foong Wai Yoke it is people as yourself that are truely inconsistent and not Stella. All some vegs just was pick apart flaws in those that eat me and mistake of some vegs. That is counter-productive. Lets look at the good points. If is was not for Stella all truely ecoist vegs would only have cheap and non-bio pvc objects filling up landmines. This are quality and vegan leather that she uses besides that sickly pvc. Also it is not economical leather but Ecological leather it is sometimes called and many real leather products have stolen that label to dupe buyers of leather who have become weary to its societal ills. Also the long champ bags you boat you use are not vegan themselves since they are cover in leather..In that brown leather handle, flap and inner lining–eveident some “veg” are swooping on stella’s animal use and not thier own. She never uses leather or silk. She has use some wool. Please lets not rotate harmful info people and let the professionals at Inhabitat inform us. Thanks

  11. ' + title + ' - ' + bas... April 5, 2008 at 5:35 am

    […] or byproducts of our furry friends are used in the production of her product lines. According to Inhabitat, Stella actually has this written in all her contracts. We love that! She supports fusing man made […]

  12. Foong Wai Yoke February 11, 2008 at 5:42 am

    I totally agree on the subject of being enviromentally or animal friendly. Vegan friends that I know lead a simple lifestyle without indulging in luxury at all. Most of them actually uses 100% cotton made bags. I personally prefer the Longchamp Le Pliage or Lesportsac as they are also more economical. There is no need to go for limited editions either. Especially in Asia, logo is a big thing for designer bags. The more & bigger is better as this symbolizes status. Even celebrities, they may say that they support the environment or are vegans but they purchase expensive products that are not made with leather which actually defeats the purpose. If you are a celebrity & vegan, don’t be a hypocrite. Just stay away from the limelight & live your life simply. In fact, Stella Maccartney products are not totally leather or animal free. It is only another sales & makarting gimmick to sell more products. Her so-called economical leather comes from slaughtered animals. Bear in mind before you make a purchase.

  13. ruby September 11, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Stella is cool, and those bags are amazing, but this is not vegan fashion. Please get your facts straight. She still uses wool and silk. Call it “vegetarian fashion” if you have to call it something. Vegans dont wear wool or silk.

  14. Vegan Heathen August 29, 2007 at 6:59 am

    Comments like the one made by Suzanne, “What would PETA have everyone do – allow these animals to stray and die of starvation or all retire until old age on some million acres somewhere?” shows how truly ignorant many people really are. The billions of animals used as slaves are BRED, they simply wouldn’t exist if humans weren’t creating them! And, as was pointed out, the animals in the industry have been so genetically manipulated that they never existed in the wild in the first place.

    Nigerian Vegan, will you marry me??

  15. Jill Danyelle February 17, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Hi Anya,

    Thank you for adding your comments. It is good to realize that these may be issues that we have all thought about, but that one solution may not exist for everyone. I also am a big fan of “reusing”. Thriftshop granny cardigans peacefully coexist with vintage designer clothing in my closet. I also don’t take issue with leather, as it is currently a by-product. I don’t eat meat myself and would love to see that industry make some changes, but I don’t feel guilty investing in one or two well-made, nice pair of leather shoes per year, the rest I fill in with vintage. However, I find that when I spend more and buy what I really want, I don’t need to buy anything else. Instead, I am building a collection of clothes I intend to keep for quite some time.

    I explored these issues and my relationship to my clothing in my year long fiftyRX3 project. I took a picture of what I wore everyday and categorized it by reuse-reduce-recycle. Not to mention I made a dress from salvaged umbrellas. I felt like people expected me to be in head-to-toe newly purchased eco-fashion, but blending in a lot of “second-hand” and vintage gave me many more options stylistically and financially.

    If you are interested…


    Jill Danyelle

  16. Anya February 14, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    These are issues I’ve run through my head a million times. All I cane truly come up with, is stop buying things you don’t need. Or buy used. I buy leather shoes and wool sweaters second hand – which neither harms animals or requires the use of additional natural resources. Used cotton does not put any additional pesticide into the environment. And while buying organic cotton, recycled polyester or leather-free products is certainly a good option, why don’t we focu more on doing without a new outfit? Or visiting our local thrift shop for nicely worn clothing and purses? I find plenty of nearly new things, often expensive and in-style brands for much cheaper, without supporting any cruely, and additional use of resources, any additional pollution, and meanwhile supporting a local business.

  17. Claire January 25, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    I’m a knitter and a crocheter. I also live in a very cold climate. I don’t eat any animal products. I don’t wear fur. But I do knit and crochet with wool yarn. There is absolutely no fiber that has the same properties. Those hideous synthetics made of pop bottles? Hack my skin up. I work with sheep farmers who provide my yarn and the animals are loved and well treated. A good wool sweater can last a lifetime. Some petrochemical goo garment certainly won’t.

    I guess I’ll never be a vegan. This is too devisive an issue for me.

  18. Joanne January 15, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    There are a lot of people using catch phrases to be “in” with the latest marketing trend. After all, there’s millions of dollars to be made. Words like “natural” in the food industry have been abused as has “organic,” “environmentally friendly,” “sustainable” and on it goes. One has to be more aware than ever of what the truth really is. Things certainly aren’t as they appear on the surface. It’s unfortunate because we are all overloaded with information these days and to have to research the minutia is exhausting as is mistrust. (But we are talking about advertising here.) Choosing carefully is the clue.

    My big issue with McCartney’s fashion line is those ridiculous high heels! What’s “sustainable” about those? How healthy is that? Any chiropractor (or sensible person) can tell you that an elevated 6″ heel is a totally unnatural angle for the foot to be forced into let alone stand or walk in for more than a few minutes. Walking on your toes with you feet pressed into the front of the (narrow) shoe is, to me, akin to Chinese foot binding — both in the name of fashion and style and usually because it appeals (theoretically) to the guys. Sure it makes your calves look sculpted but to what end? I’d love to see the wearer have to hike 5 miles in those things. Sara Jessica Parker may have re-popularized the high heel in “Sex in the City” but come on, do you want to pay $500 a pop for torture? She had an alleged $40,000 invested in her shoe fetish. Really, isn’t being a fashion victim is torture enough?

  19. Nigerian Vegan December 25, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    Hello, I’m a vegan from Nigeria, and I have no problem with petrol extraction – I have a problem with the way it is extracted and that none of the cash ever arrives with the common people. As for “oil raping the lands”, that has got to be one of the most odd justification attempts for exploiting animals. Oil is a natural product, and I wonder how many people arguing against synthetics burn much more of it in their cars. But even if you don’t like synthetics, that’s not a justification for enslaving a species – in this case sheep – and willingly and knowingly participate in their exploitation, their genetic manipulation (by breeding) and murder. It’s telling when these categories are opened up of either synthetics or animal products. I’ve been vegan for almost two decades now and never relied on animal products and _very_ rarely on synthetics. Mind you I live in Germany which isn’t exactly tropical. Also, don’t forget that bio-synthetics made from plant based raw materials are just around the corner, you can already get these trash bags which may be thrown onto the compost / green recycling bin. I’m sure similar materials that are not based on fossil petrol used for shoes and clothing are being developed right now. I can understand when people say they don’t like the fume of synthetics, and sometimes vegan alternatives are still hard to find, however I find the smell of death and suffering that is inescapably connected with animal products much more disturbing. It’s not smellable with your nose, but with your conscience. Go vegan.

    From what I know about industrial sheep farming, is that once a particular age is reached, sheep are killed and eaten. That’s why Australia happens to be one of the worlds largest flesh exporters, delivering sometimes barely alive animals in ships to Middle and Far East markets. So it’s not like if you consume wool you’re not connected to the flesh trade.

    Now if you are speaking of sustainability, it really doesn’t make any sense to exclude a particular brand of animals from that sustainability just to basically allow yourself do with them what you want. Using and killing a life is not sustainable by its very nature. Because you’re not sustaining – but using and deleting.

    Annoying in these debates are also the various senseless discrediting attempts of vegan stances. Since animal exploitation will realistically not stop tomorrow, the question of what happens with the animals that are being exploited now is moot. There will be a gradual slide in the use of animal products as more and more people go vegan – and more and more do, luckily, and eventually it will fade out completely.

    Another thing irritating me in these discussions is the mentioning of PETA. PETA is one animal welfare organization (though they’re calling themselves animal rights organization) out of hundreds, and their actions or opinions have a marginal weight in the overall vegan discourse. Why people keep coming up with the idea that vegans can’t think or reason for themselves and are mind controlled by one organization is beyond me.

    However one of the worst and most cynical justification attempt for animal exploitation has got to be the “well if we stop using animals, this and this species will go extinct”. So what. These species didn’t exist in the first place, they were torture bred through human manipulation to have characteristics which benefitted humans – not them. Like giant udders, absurd amount of hair, menstruating an egg per day when normally in nature they would lay only 9 in an entire year. That people argue for the continuation of animal exploitation for their sense of visual bio-aesthetics is just as absurd as arguing for the continuation of human slave trade because Africans have better singing voices. Species can’t suffer – they are not alive. A species is a biological categorization of an animal group. It’s the individual that matters. And if for ending the enslavement, torture and suffering of individuals, a species must vanish then so be it. No one here in their right mind would argue that to keep Taleban “culture” alive, we must accept that women are publically executed. But exactly that line of reasoning is applied in the animal context. And it has got to stop.

    BTW, I’m very disappointed to hear that Mrs. McCartney uses wool and silk in her products. Is that true? It would make her one of the long line of celebrity pseudo-vegans who water down the meaning of vegan to suit their interests.

  20. Deidree McMaster December 24, 2006 at 11:13 pm

    I understand that you care about animals – good. However, the reality is that many animals would die out completely if they weren’t of use to humans – like the saddleback pig, which came close to extinction, when breeds that didn’t require such care became more available.

    I personally have issues with synthetics. Many emit aromas and odours that make me feel ill, and are often derived from petro-chemical products – have you asked indigenous peoples (Australi, N. America) how they feel about their land being raped in order to extract oil and minerals?
    These people consider the earth to be their mother, and are sick and ashamed because they have failed to protect their mother.
    I disagree with PETA purely because it has narrowed its vision to an illogical extent.

  21. dan December 13, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    about humane treatment of sheep———-> how many farm sheep die natural deaths? like of old age? and how many die for dinners?

    lets not dance around this issue: animals raised on farms are not held captive for their own benefit. the sheep are raised for profit, and all humane consideration is always secondary.

  22. mindy December 1, 2006 at 12:19 pm

    As a crocheter i am interested in finding out more about vegan and sustainable fibers. for my hats i mostly use wool. i have not found anything that compares in warmth. hemp, linen and cotton are all great for summer and spring garments. not so great for cold temps. unfortunately the only fibers that compare to wool are synthetics.

    i am curious about the new yarns that are made of corn……

  23. nils December 1, 2006 at 1:04 am

    i like wool. i grew up visiting my cousins sheep farm in norway and after much time spent there i can say that i witnessed a humane process on that one farm.

    i understand the non leather / vegan accessory trend, but i don’t see it as sustainable or beneficial besides the elimination of animal cruelty (don’t get me wrong… that’s great)…
    These vegan products are a fantastic marketing scheme relying on petroleum products, (When was the last time you sought out a product that boasted being sythetic?)
    I’d rather see reused and recycled fashion accessories gaining popularity.. I guess this is a start in getting people thinking.

  24. Suzanne November 30, 2006 at 7:20 pm

    Saying that all sheep are treated as described by Marcus or Caroline is like saying all Christians are fundamentalists. You have managed to list the reality of some of what it is to be a sheep farmer but certainly not the entire picture by painting all as exploitive, anti-animal, etc. These animals are with us – that is the reality. What would PETA have everyone do – allow these animals to stray and die of starvation or all retire until old age on some million acres somewhere? Exactly what is “cruel” to animals?

    That Stella McCartney has taken a position that is principled based on her beliefs about materials, being a vegan and sustainability is laudable. I think encouraging such a principled stance with such tasteful fashion could only make others in the industry take note, take a look at her bottom line and maybe, just maybe, adopt a similiar stance.

  25. Marcus November 28, 2006 at 8:47 am

    Just to note: Stella McCartney’s fashion line isn’t vegan. She just doesn’t use leather. She uses wool and even silk in other products.

    Pete, you are simply aren’t opposed to animal exploitation, simple as that. No need to throw derogatory slanted words like “militant” around. To others (such as myself) the societal acceptability for enslaving and creating other evolved animals in the name of product and profit is the “extremist” action. If you believe in animal rights, consider the right to live freely and not as a crop.

    Even from your pro-exploitation view its hard to claim wool to be a benign industry. From taking their warmth away in winter every shearing, to mulesing, to enforced breeding, to stripping lamb from mother, to exporting them to the middle east for barbaric halal slaughter it’s grim cruelty all the way and of course the wool and sheep meat industries are one and the same on the base level.

    If you think that bringing cats and dogs into being for the benefit of humans is so wonderful at least find a moment to spare a thought for the countless many of the overflow who end up languishing homeless, trapped and abused, or waiting on deathrow/destroyed in shelters as a result of the trade you clearly take so lightly.

  26. Pete November 27, 2006 at 7:43 pm

    Hi guys-

    I’m a vegan myself (when it comes to food), and am totally opposed to leather, but I’m not sure everyone takes the anti-domestic animal thing quite this far. Sheep and wool farming really doesn’t seem that bad as long as the sheep are treated well and its done by small organic farmers. Caroline, I can see the point you are making above – but aren’t a lot of sheep farmers still small-scale businesses? Are you one of those people who is opposed to the concept of having cats and dogs as pets as well? I totally support animal rights but I think PETA would gain a lot more traction with mainstream people if they weren’t quite so militant in their views…

  27. Dani November 27, 2006 at 4:40 pm

    P.E.T.A. = the same arrogant folks who made slanderous remarks about Steve Irwin after his death.

    That’s a real classy bunch of folks there.

    I’m with Ms. Danyelle on the organic usage of wool. It is a product that is in high demand. I think the best way to market it is in the most ethical manner possible. We (animal lovers) can’t always be hard core fundamentalists can we?


  28. Caroline November 27, 2006 at 1:43 pm

    Wool, whether organic or not, involves immense suffering to sheep. In Australia, the most commonly raised sheep are merinos, who are specifically bred to have wrinkled skin, which means more wool per animal. This unnatural overload of wool causes animals to die of heat exhaustion during hot months, and the wrinkles also collect urine and moisture. Attracted to the moisture, flies lay eggs in the folds of skin, and the hatched maggots can eat the sheep alive. In order to prevent this condition, called “flystrike,” Australian ranchers perform a barbaric operation—mulesing—by carving huge strips of skin and flesh off the backs of unanesthetized lambs’ legs and around their tails. This is done to cause smooth, scarred skin that won’t harbor fly eggs, yet the bloody wounds often get flystrike before they heal. One farmer—who successfully protects his sheep from flystrike by using a combination of fly traps, chemical sprays, breed selection, and grazing management—attributed the industry’s resistance to giving up mulesing to “a bit of old-boys’-club arrogance in a once-grand industry that is now struggling a bit.”

    Sheep are sheared each spring, after lambing, just before some breeds would naturally shed their winter coats. Timing is considered critical: Shearing too late means wool loss. In the rush, many sheep die from exposure after premature shearing.

    When sheep age and their wool production declines, they are sold for slaughter. This results in the cruel live export of millions of sheep every year to the Middle East and North Africa. In January 2006, in conjunction with Animals Australia, PETA conducted an undercover investigation to expose the handling and slaughter conditions endured by sheep who are exported to these destinations from Australia.

    It may be called wool, mohair, pashmina, shahtoosh, or cashmere. But no matter what it’s called, any kind of wool means suffering for animals.

  29. Veggie Chic » Veg... November 27, 2006 at 6:10 am

    […] This article presents the latest in Stella McCartney’s vegan fashion, followed by an interesting debate about organic wool in the comments. […]

  30. Jill Danyelle November 28, 2006 at 10:22 pm

    Sometimes a sheep is just a sheep and not a wolf dressed up in sheep’s clothing. That is exactly what the statement was. The only reason I mentioned wanting the sweater in organic wool is because I love the design and I try to buy “sustainable” products. It was meant as a compliment on her design and not at all as a statement about her sustainable practices one way or another. I am not trying to “dismiss Ms. McCartney’s efforts to provide high fashion with compassion”. However, McCartney does use wool and I do feel organic wool is a more sustainable and animal friendly option. Perhaps we should have labeled the post “Animal-friendly Accessories”, since that is what we highlighted. As stated last week, we try to cover options to suit various lifestyles and let people decide what best meets their needs. I don’t feel this is being close-minded.

    On this recent Thanksgiving, I think it was open-minded that my sister took the time to make a separate vegetarian dish of stuffing for me to enjoy. I think it was open-minded that I did not let the turkey on the table ruin my stuffing, cranberry sauce, or sweet potatoes. Instead, even though my vegetarian fare was not organic, I appreciated her efforts and gave thanks.

    Some information about organic wool:

    Organic wool production is based on positive holistic management systems, which reduce or eliminate the need for most agricultural chemicals and promote healthy soils, air, waterways and responsible animal husbandry practices. Certified organic sheep do not receive routine chemical treatments such as drenching or dipping for parasites, fly dressings, antibiotics, growth promotants, vaccines, nor do they graze on pastures that have been sprayed with herbicides. Organic sheep are bred for resistance to parasites and are fed outdoors on special herbal pastures to build healthy immune systems. Organic sheep must graze only on certified organic farms and be fed certified organic stock food. Genetically engineered or modified feed is prohibited.

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