New short film 'Willow and Claude': How choosing kind fashion protects lambs, people & the planet.

Collective Fashion Justice founder, Emma Hakansson, takes us on a journey to compassionate clothes inspired by her two rescued orphan lambs -- Willow and Claude.
Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 19 July 2021

Working in the Australian fashion industry, Emma Hakansson found out there’s more to wool (and other fabrics) than meets the eye.

She set out to learn and share the truth about what the clothes we buy mean for the animals and people involved in their production. SPOILER: we already have the means to do all of this in a kinder and more sustainable way.

Her beautiful — and hopeful — short film ‘Willow and Claude’ is, as of July 26, available to watch online for free and can be viewed from anywhere in the world. You can watch it below.

Willow and Claude were two of the lucky ones

Every year in Australia, the wool and meat industry accepts that millions of lambs die in their first hours of life, due to cold temperatures, predators and lack of shelter (which still isn’t legally required for farmed animals).

Thankfully, Emma cared for Willow and Claude when they were orphaned and rescued, like these other lucky lambs.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

Wool production isn’t cosy

It comes as a shock to most Australians to learn that farmed animals like lambs and sheep in the wool industry are exempted from many of the cruelty laws that protect our companion animals like dogs and cats. This legalises treatment that could otherwise be prosecutable cruelty offences.

Sadly, it’s routine and legal to perform invasive procedures on Australian lambs like castration, tail docking and mulesing without pain relief.

Mulesing is where young lambs have the skin around their buttocks and the base of their tail cut off with a pair of metal shears (to reduce soiling and the risk of flystrike). This painful practice called mulesing, has been banned in New Zealand for cruelty, but sadly is still legal in Australia, and in most states can be performed without any pain relief.

Thanks to tireless animal advocates speaking out, Victoria recently became the first and only state to require at least some pain relief for the procedure.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

close up image of mulesed lamb

There are sustainable and kind alternatives to wool

Willow and Claude explores the work of Australian fibre farmers working on win-win solutions for the fabrics that we buy and wear.

As the film highlights, sustainably grown Australian cotton can be a positive option. Also choosing recycled products, avoiding ‘fast fashion’ where possible, re-using, swapping, purchasing preloved clothing items and caring for garments so they last longer are steps we can take to reduce the environmental and animal impact of our clothes.

Emma is also launching a run of sustainably produced and ethical plant-based knitwear.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

You can create change for lambs in the Australian fashion industry

Like Emma caring for orphaned lambs Willow and Claude, you can save lambs by speaking out and shopping kindly.

Discover Collective Fashion Justice for more information on the power of kind fashion.

Take action: Demand pain relief for lambs and sheep

You can send an instant message to decision makers to urge them to bring an end to cruel procedures like mulesing, and make pain relief mandatory while they are being phased out.

We can also change the world for lambs by changing the way we eat

The systems that cause suffering to lambs and sheep – from wool and meat to live export – only exist because of consumer demand for the products these animals produce.

By using your power as a consumer and making the kindest choice, you can bring these animals back into our collective circle of compassion.

And every plant-based meal makes a difference. Explore 200+ delicious veg recipes right here at VegKit.com or order your FREE Veg Starter Kit today.

Get your free veg starter kit now