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Are Sheepskins Ethical?

dartmoor sheep in the wild

Are sheepskins ethical? Are sheep slaughtered to make sheepskins?

Of the sheep that we eat in the UK, we tan just 0.45% of the sheepskin – less the one in two hundred. Most sheepskins are regarded as a waste product of the meat industry. It didn’t always used to be this way.

“In 2005 [we ate] 14.1million lambs (+ 2.2million ewes and rams) Only 60,000 UK skins p.a. are processed by the remaining UK tanning sector, less than 0.45% of the total”2015 Sheep Industry Report

Go back less than two decades and wool was the primary reason for sheep farming. In 2001 the ratio changed in favour of meat – a trend that continues.

Humans have been tanning animal hides for thousands of years. Today only a tiny percentage of hides go through the tanning process. The industry has come along way from preserving skins from the hunt, although the essential process is the same. The art of creating soft, lasting hides has been passed down through generations.

Sadly, much of the byproduct of the meat industry now goes to waste. Very few tanneries still exist in the U.K. All our sheepskins come from UK flocks (with higher welfare standards than much of the world) Most come from sheep that have lived on Dartmoor. Check out our shop and see for yourself, none of our sheepskins were produced in a thoughtless fashion, all are unique. 

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2 thoughts on “Are Sheepskins Ethical?

  1. […] slug bait is off the cards. It would seem wrong to go to all the effort of sourcing natural dyes, ethical sheepskins, and artisan tea to then go and use potentially harmful substances in the garden. So the slugs […]

  2. […] Sheep are generally raised outside in the UK. There is simply no reason to keep them indoors, so they enjoy a life on the land. The sheepskins we source are raised on Dartmoor. Read more about the ethics and the industry here. […]

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