PETA's latest exposé of an Argentinean wool supplier has made waves, dramatic ones, in the five days since it was released. On Friday, the animal rights organization unveiled a graphic video revealing inhumane treatment of lambs at Ovis 21 — a large network of farms that services Stella McCartney and Patagonia, among other brands. McCartney, a lifelong vegetarian, immediately took to Instagram to announce that she would be cutting ties with the supplier, though Patagonia was not so swift to follow.
Despite noting that the video was "shocking and saddening," the California-based outdoor clothing and gear retailer said in a statement Friday that it was also "misleading," and described its relationship with the supplier as "one we are fully committed to."
However, it appears that Patagonia has since changed its mind. On Monday evening, the company issued a second statement on Instagram, this time stating that it, like McCartney, will no longer source its wool from the supplier in question:
We've spent the past several days looking deep into our wool supply chain, shocked by the disturbing footage of animal cruelty that came to light last week. In light of this, we’ve made a frank and open-eyed assessment of the Ovis program. Our conclusion: It is impossible to ensure immediate changes to objectionable practices on Ovis 21 ranches, and we have therefore made the decision that we will no longer buy wool from them. This is a difficult decision, but it’s the right thing to do.
A more extensive message from Patagonia's CEO, Rose Marcario, is also available on Patagonia's blog, The Cleanest Line.
In each of their respective statements, both McCartney and Patagonia offered solutions as to how we can make the wool production industry a safer, more humane environment for animals and humans alike, beginning with advocating for stronger, more enforceable standards at all suppliers.
Homepage photo: @patagonia/Instagram