An ethical consideration...

Hello all,

Last week I started to notice a lot of noise on Twitter and various other social media platforms about recent videos and campaigns by PETA.

PETA or Protection for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have recently released videos that graphically show how animals are treated in the production of products - most notably to me, global brand UGG {whose boots I myself wear} and an insight into the angora trade.

These videos were absolutely horrifying and incredibly thought provoking, so much so I thought I'd share my thoughts on here and see what you guys think and also highlight to you an issue you possibly had never seen before.

Now I don't know about you but I eat meat, I always have done and I probably always will. I don't have a problem with animals being bred for food AS LONG AS I know that they have been well looked after and killed humanely. For that reason myself and Jack only buy free range British meat.

Perhaps naively I always thought that sheepskin was a trade that piggybacked off the meat trade and that - a global and 'premium' brand like UGG would source their materials responsibly. I mean, for £185 a pair SURELY there's enough profit in there for them to source their sheepskins ethically? Watching the video of these poor sheep being beaten, thrown onto a ship for a several week journey in squalid conditions, then kicked off and killed in the most awful painful way was heart breaking. Their eyes were filled with pure terror. It was all completely unnecessary and incredibly cruel - and done, I'm sure for its super low cost.

The second video I watched opened my eyes to the hideous trade in angora - you know that super soft fluffy jumper material. Again, I myself have 2 jumpers made with angora - I thought that angora wool came from goats, whom I assumed were sheared, just like sheep for their wool.
I had NO IDEA that angora came from rabbits, and that in order to obtain that fur the rabbits were tied down and plucked bare, as they screamed in pain. Yep, rabbits - screaming. It was absolutely horrifying to watch. They were then thrown back into their tiny wire floored cages in a state of shock, laying limp on the floor or visibly injured - only to be put through the process in three months time when their fur grew back.

Now what's the point in this post some of you may be thinking? Well, I think for me, watching these videos highlighted something which until now I'd been blind to - and has given me a lot of food for thought about the ethics of the clothing trade. It seems ridiculous that for years now I've been so careful to buy only free range or organic meat yet I'll happily purchase leather goods, sheepskin boots & angora jumpers without even a second thought.

I can tell you know, I won't throw my UGGS away in a dramatic one woman protest, I've bought them, and worn them since 2008. But what I will say is that I will NEVER buy another UGG product again, nor will I buy anything made with angora and I will certainly think very carefully before purchasing anything made from animal products in the future.

I was pleased to see high street giant H&M wake up and take a stand this week - removing all of its angora products from the shelves and from production, that's a great step. However it saddened me to see that Topshop have refused to follow suit - despite currently stocking over 60 products that contain angora wool.

You might think, what's the point - me single handedly boycotting these companies won't make and single ounce of difference, but if enough of us do it, then perhaps things will begin to change, and change is very much needed.

Will you be making more informed ethical choices about the clothes you buy?