Cruelty free wool?
I love animals and am a vegetarian. When I saw a post about someone using vegan materials to crochet with because they thought using wool was being unkind to animals, it made me stop and think.
I love using wool and the fact that it is a natural material, I love the feel and smell of it. I wanted to know if I could be more ethical and animal friendly whilst still using wool.
My learning journey..
When I first started felting I bought “wool” from Hobbycraft. As time went on, and I started buying from more specialist wool shops, I started noticing differences in the textures of the wools and that wool came from different breeds!
Looking into sheep friendly wool, I came across the organisation British Wool.
What’s so good about British Wool?
- They promote high standards of animal welfare
- They provide shearing skills training to their wool producers
- They educate on best industry standards
and also worth bearing in mind…
- UK sheep farms are small, the farming is not intensive
- The sheep are raised naturally outdoors on pasture
They have detailed Welfare regulations on their website and excellent information on the 60 breeds of sheep that we have in the U.K.! Phew! Looks like I have a lot more learning to do!
Where can I buy it?
Looking to buy British Wool? I can thoroughly recommend the excellent online shop “World of Wool”. It sells a wide range of natural and dyed wool. The British Wool symbol is displayed on all the relevant wools making it easy to search for. Another useful source of information about British wools and their qualities.
Herdwick sheep made using Herdwick wool!
What about merino wool?
Merino wool – people often wonder about whether this is cruelty free, as mulesing is a cruel practice that happens at some merino sheep farms. Please be aware of this and buy your merino wool from sources that buy from non mulesed sheep farms, as I do.
So, next steps for me?
- To continue to search for, buy and use British wool wherever I can.
- To look into buying from individual British farms and farmers, where I can be assured of the animal’s welfare
- To consider some vegan options and alternatives
- To continue to specify the type of wool I use in my felted products