Uniqlo has joined a long list of fashion retailers to ban the use of mulesed wool in their clothing.
After eight months of international campaigning from PETA, the fifth-largest retailer in the world has agreed to phase out the use of wool from sheep who have been mulesed.
Many reputable wool manufacturers like Rowan pride themselves on using sustainable and organic wool sources, which treat their sheep ethically.
However, some fashion brands have been slower to react.
Mulesing is a controversial practice, which involves cutting chunks of skin and flesh from merino sheep to prevent the parasite flysite from affecting the quality of the wool.
This cruel wool extraction is unnecessary and humane options to fight off the flysite are readily available.
Top international retailers are finally listening to their customers and realising the truth about this practice, with Muji, C&A, Topshop and H&M, Hugo Boss and Gap all pledging to take action against mulesing.
Uniqlo's recent decision to phase out the use of such wool has sent a clear message to producers that cruelty to animals is not fashionable and not needed to create their high quality garments.
Following this development, PETA said that it would "like to thank activists around the world who have united against cruelty to sheep," adding that they are "one step closer to ending mulesing once and for all.
Earlier this year the Australian wool industry came under fire not just from retailers but also organisations such as the American Apparel & Footwear Association, the European Association of Fashion Retailers and the British Retail Consortium, among others to ban mulesing.
A position paper from the Wool Working Group urged the wool growers to "expeditiously identify and adopt viable alternatives to surgical mulesing".
Knitters and crocheters looking to get their hands on ethically sourced merino wool can check out Rowan's latest supply online now.