PETA Is Buying Up Stock in Fashion Brands to Try to Ban Wool

An ailing market provides an opening for the animal rights group

PETA wool protest
A PETA protest outside a clothing store in 2018.
MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

A well-known animals rights organization is using the market downturn during the coronavirus pandemic to influence fashion brands.

According to a press release from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the group “has taken advantage of the COVID-19 market slump to purchase stocks in nearly two dozen companies—including Ralph Lauren, Urban Outfitters, Guess, and Capri Holdings (the parent company of Michael Kors and Versace)—in order to push brands to ban wool, mohair, and cashmere.”

This follows PETA’s extended campaign to influence major fashion brands to ditch fur. Although wool production doesn’t involve killing animals (most of the time, anyway), the organization claims there’s no humane way to shear sheep to obtain the wool (here are a few hard-to-watch videos from PETA about the shearing process; the non-profit also says there are environmental concerns).

PETA’s strategy is to buy the minimum number of shares necessary in clothing companies so they can “attend annual meetings, liaise with shareholders and influence management decisions from the inside.”

As the style site Fashionista notes, this process has been successful before, with PETA claiming they inspired Elon Musk to announce he’d switch to vegan leather in Tesla car interiors and getting Gap to pull angora items.

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