We are often asked the question at Baa Baby whether sheepskin is ethical. Whilst this is a tricky one to answer as ethics and moral values are so subjective, we can hopefully shed some light on the industry so you can make up your own mind.
First of all, it’s important to know that sheep are not farmed specifically for their fleeces, they are farmed for their meat and sheepskin is a by-product of the meat industry. The majority of sheepskin is destroyed, and less than 1% of it is tanned and used. The majority of skins are actually used for the leather industry and only selected fleeces are suitable for producing high quality lambskin.
It has become increasingly expensive to have sheepskin tanned and particularly safely tanned for use with babies. We have previously worked with the only tannery left in the UK, however they can no longer produce baby safe sheepskin due to rising costs. We therefore source all of our Baa Baby sheepskin from New Zealand and Europe – these are from free roaming flocks and not intensively farmed. The sheepskin baby liners we use is then eco-tanned which ensures that the process is completely chrome free – important not only for your baby but also for the environment.
We offer a number of other branded baby safe sheepskin suppliers in our range here at Baa Baby. Both Fellhof (based in Austria) and Kaiser (based in Germany) source their sheepskin from Europe. Their suppliers adhere to strict European legislation and their fleeces are sourced from herds that roam freely. Each fleece is unique in feel and varies in size – not mass produced but a reflection of the natural variation in the sheepskin.
At Baa Baby we believe we bring ethically sourced baby safe sheepskin liners to the customer. We stock a range of brands for you to choose from and are as open and transparent as we can be about where, and how, the product is sourced. Sheepskin is a hugely sustainable product – cared for properly it will last a lifetime and we have many customers who have handed down sheepskin through generations.
From a personal standpoint, and as the owner at Baa Baby, an animal lover and lifelong vegetarian, I can honestly say that we have done everything in our power to ensure that no animal is harmed to bring our sheepskin products to market. We can completely understand and appreciate the view that any animal by-product doesn’t sit well with some people’s ethics. Making your own choices around what to buy and who from will always be a personal and unique decision, and most of all, it must be right for you.