August 14, 2015
Kering-owned British fashion label Stella McCartney is the most recent brand to come under fire for the unethical treatment of animals.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) brought to the brand’s attention that one of its 26 sustainable wool producers from Ovis 21 in Patagonia, Argentina was mistreating the sheep on its farm. Stella McCartney, the daughter of music icon Paul McCartney, has built her fashion brand through sustainability practices and without the use of any leather, fur or animal skins, causing this report to go against the label’s core DNA (see story).
For the love of animals
Stella McCartney quickly issued a statement on its Facebook page, which also linked to a PETA-written article on the matter, to ensure its consumers that ties have been severed with the Ovis 21 source that was found to be mistreating its sheep.
In her statement, Ms. McCartney explains that she is very saddened by PETA’s report and that she cannot tolerate the mistreatment of animals, especially if that harm is connected to the wool used in the brand’s designs. After launching its own investigation, the brand concluded that “it is one too many” harmed.
The initiative with Ovis 21 was to help protect a million acres of endangered grasslands in the Patagonia region, while also protecting the welfare of its animals and using those flocks as the source of sustainable wool.
In closing, Ms. McCartney said, “I am devastated by the news but more determined than ever to fight for animal rights in fashion together and monitor even more closely all suppliers involved in this industry to end all innocent lives. We are also looking into vegan 'wool' as well, in the same manner we were able to develop and incorporate high-end alternatives to leather and fur over the years.”
Recently, French leather goods house Hermès faced continued pressure from the PETA following the activist organization’s allegations in June of mistreatment of alligators and crocodiles that eventually become its handbags and watches.
After PETA released video footage of farms that it linked to the brand, Hermès issued a statement to press, but remained quiet on social media even in the face of hundreds of negative comments (see story).
Within this timeframe, others have used the news, and other current events such as the poaching of Cecil the lion, to give back to wildlife organizations.
For instance, Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer’s ambassadress Cara Delevingne has used her personal timepiece from the brand for a cause dear to her heart, donating it to a conservationist organization studying wild lions in Africa.
The model, a Leo and a passionate supporter of lions, was moved to action following the death of Cecil, raising more than $14,000 via an eBay auction of her watch for the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. Showing its support for its representative, Tag Heuer matched the winning bid for a combined $28,900 donation (see story).