PUBLISHED ON: 15 December 2011
On 13th December 2011, The Wool Factory announced that "ultra-fine wool isn't viable anymore" and that it would instead make the transition to an eWaste business by June 2012.
Ultra-fine wool is usually from sheep confined in sheds — some in single barren pens — and is destined for high-end fashion houses. Investigations conducted at The Wool Factory by Animals Australia revealed the suffering caused by the severe and ongoing confinement of the sheep at the facility:
The welcome phase out of ultra-fine wool production by The Wool Factory may also reflect a broader decline in popularity and value of ultra-fine wool in Australia — particularly from sheep in small single pens.
In 2009, in response to pressure from Animals Australia supporters, Italian fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna chose to exclude wool sourced from sheep kept in single pens from their prestigious "Golden Fleece" award — an award that had previously been won by sheep at The Wool Factory.
In 2010, the largest buyer of ultra-fine wool, Italian designer Loro Piana, pledged not to source wool from sheep who were kept in single pens, and also banned the cruelly-produced fleeces from their Wool World Record Challenge Cup awards.
Within the Australian ultra-fine wool industry, The Wool Factory was considered a flagship producer. However, it is reported that there are still many thousands of sheep confined in other wool factory farms in Australia — mostly in Victoria. They still need your voice. Click here to help call for an end to all factory farming of sheep in Australia.