Following nearly four months of discussions with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, adidas has decided to boycott all wool from mulesed lambs-including those mulesed using clips, according to PETA and an Australian media report.

“Adidas has given a clear briefing to its development and sourcing teams to not use merino wool from sources where mulesing practices are applied,” Frank Henke, global director of social and environmental affairs for Adidas, wrote in a letter to PETA, according to a June 4 blog posting on the organization's web site. “Clip-mulesing is also rejected by our internal policy. … [W]e would select another material unless we obtain clear confirmation from the source that mulesing practices were stopped.”

The Syndney Morning Herald reported on the decision June 5, noting that it was a major defeat for Austrialian Wool Innovation, the research and marketing arm of Austrlia's wool farmers.  While adidas is not a major user of wool, it's size and global footprint add momentum to PETA's mulesing campaign and enhance the competitiveness of merino wool from New Zealand, where climate makes museling unecessary.


Mulesing is a standard practise used by Australian woolgrowers in which lambs have chunks of skin and flesh carved from their backsides with  metal shears to prevent painful and disfiguring infestations by insect larvae. PETA advocates using more humane forms of treatment.

In an attempt to win back clothing retailers that are boycotting Australian wool over this issue, some farmers have started using clips to mules their animals. Clip mulesing involves clamping clips onto the animals' skin so tightly that the skin dies and falls off. But many brands, including adidas,  have rejected the technique.

This decision by Adidas came just one week after Australia’s Federal Minister for Agriculture, Tony Burke, wrote a publicized letter to Adidas thanking it for supporting Australian wool.