Brands are moving away from using wool from mulesed sheep. By July 2023, 100 per cent of wool used by the retailer Target for clothing and bedding will be either from farms certified under the Responsible Wool Standard or equivalent standard, from farms fully traceable and verified as non-mulesed, or from recycled wool materials.
Most Australian Merinos are still mulesed. More than two billion animals end up in fashion supply chains every year. Many of them endure pain, fear and stress due to cruel mutilation practices and inadequate living conditions for the sake of clothing. Australian brands are starting to take steps toward prioritising animal welfare. Shoppers want kinder clothing and many brands are now listening. Only 55 per cent of Australians are aware of animal cruelty in the fashion industry. Of those that do know, 93 per cent are concerned about the animals used within at least one fashion category. Robust fashion policies are being aimed at reducing animal welfare risk and improving supply chain transparency. Brands want to be seen as opting to use only fabrics or textiles which do not allow for cruel animal practices or treatment while also striving for positive environmental and human welfare attributes.