I decided the best way to find the ethically produced fibre that I needed was to try and source it locally. Luckily I found it and I now have a few people who raise their animals well, in excellent conditions and the animals are not raised for consumption. If you want to find ethically produced fibre it helps if you live in a rural area and you can ask around locally, but if you don't, it's a case of contacting farms as close to where you live as is possible. It's a lot of research but worth it when you find what you're looking for! It's just a shame that ethically produced wool is not widely available. This is something that needs to be addressed.
However, one UK farm are making a difference. Newmoor Barn The Ethical Fibre Company, based on the borders of Devon and Cornwall are committed to producing and selling cruelty free fibres.They supply ethical wool tops and wool batts as well as raw and washed fleece for felting, spinning and fibre art needs.
Here is a fantastic information sheet produced by Newmoor Barn, titled 'Know your Fibre' NB the photos that accompany the article are all of beautiful fleece that can be purchased from Newmoor Barn. There are lots more for sale on their website too at www.newmoorbarn.com)
We process our fibres by hand on our small farm, no factories full of machinery and underpaid workers here, (just us, smiling!)But its not all dome and gloom. There are ethical supliers out there. These natural fibres also tend to be of a higher quality as they come from animals with freedom to roam allowing good nutrition. These fleeces are often processed on an individual basis rather than being thrown in with other fleece. If a farmer has thousands of sheep can they really keep on top of issues such as foot rot, fly strike, lice, worms? This often leads to cruel practices such as mulesing in the merino population. Are we prepared to let an animal suffer just so we can have that particular look? You are spending time making wonderful pieces that you have designed and handcrafted and don’t wanted it tainted by the oppression and neglect of the animals, the farmers, people who process it, or the planet.
Merino wool information links:
A Link to PETA
A Link to PETA
Beautiful items created with ethically produced fleece from Newmoor Barn....
|Dark Woods Felted Wall Hanging, Felt Picture made with ethical fleece|
|Earth Tones Mohair Shoulder Bag made with our own vegetarian mohair|
|Flowers Pink and Purple made with ethical fleece|
|goats climbing trees|
|Barry The Angora Goat Kid|
|Angora Goats enjoying the evening sun|