Trend in brands rejecting ‘mulesed’ wool to continue


Trend in brands rejecting ‘mulesed’ wool to continue

18 November 2019
Australian's wool industry faces the prospect of more retail and fashion brands moving away from using wool from mulesed sheep, according to an exporter body leader.

Retailers Target and Kmart last week announced time-bound commitments to phase out mulesed wool.

Target said that by July 2023, 100 percent of wool used in its own Target-branded clothing and bedding will be either from farms certified under the Responsible Wool Standard or equivalent standard, from farms fully traceable and verified as non-mulesed, or from recycled wool materials. Kmart will be working to meet the same commitment by July 2024.

Australian Council of Wool Exporters & Processors president Matt Hand

Australian Council of Wool Exporters and Processors president Matt Hand said he was not surprised about the Kmart and Target announcement.

Mr Hand said Australia is currently considered by processors, brands and retailers as “a mulesing country.”

“The percentage of non-mulesed wool as a percentage of our total clip is not sufficient enough to remove that stigma.

“Historically, we’ve not handled it particularly well,” he said.

“We failed to acknowledge the demand for non-mulesed wool as far back as 10-15 years ago, whereas other countries, New Zealand and South Africa in particular, managed to acknowledge it and move forward.”