Is Sheepskin Ethical

The question of ethics:  It would be remiss of us not to make this statement and we wanted to provide the answer to our current stance on this important question.

A sheepskin is a sheep’s skin that has come from an animal that has been slaughtered, usually for meat.

No sheep are slaughtered specifically for their skin. 

Not buying sheepskin items will not change the slaughter of sheep for meat.  Only not eating meat will do this.  Some people, especially vegans and vegetarians feel any use of animal products is wrong and that is expected.  However, there are non-meat eaters that will buy by-products and there are meat eaters that won't.  It is a matter for you and you alone. 

Whilst there is good argument that there is a strong environmental case for using sheepskin and consequently an ethical case, it can't be said that buying sheepskin will help the sheep themselves in any direct way. Sheepskins are indifferent to the lives of sheep. Except for one simple fact: The best sheepskin will have been raised freely, never close to barbed wire and so farmers that also sell their sheepskins are careful in the way they are raised as the skins matter.  Farmers do not raise sheep purely for skins.  Sheep like being outdoors on grass.

Sheepskins are a by-product of the meat industry and have no real value until they are tanned. Fewer than 1 in 200 sheepskins are tanned (0.045%), the rest are dealt with as waste.  We feel this is good use of a part of the animal that we believe should be entirely used.

In general, there are eco considerations too.  Items made of sheepskin can last a lifetime.  many faux or synthetic options include the increased use of plastic.  There are other eco arguments too, such as their natural health benefits in comparison to synthetics.  It is not easily possible to make some items without the use of one or the other.

Are sheepskins ethical?  We think so because we are using by-product skins.  However, the purchasing of a sheepskin item has to be something you and only you decide is ethical.

For those that feel it is not ethical then we understand your concerns and hope this information goes some way to helping you appreciate our stance too.