I grew up in New York, where the winters are freezing. I recall the excitement I felt as a child when putting on my wool mittens, scarf, and coat and wool-lined boots before going out to play in the snow until dark. I can recall the feeling of arriving at my house after hours in the snow and having my mom help me peel off my ice-filled mittens and boots. It’s a strong memory from my childhood, and—until recently—it was a happy one. Today, my feelings are mixed. Like most members of my generation, I was completely ignorant of the harsh, abominable reality of the animal skins-and-hides industry.
I’ve been a luxury interior designer for many years. In the past, I proudly used leather, silk, wool, and sometimes even fur in my projects. However, I was so strongly affected by the atrocities I discovered in the skins-and-hides industry that I redefined my business to be 100 percent vegan and then created a course for businesses and individuals to spread the word about faux alternatives to animal-derived materials. My entire life, personally and professionally, changed because of this mission. I’ve met amazing people with tremendous passion, and Jo-Anne McArthur is one of them.
She’s an award-winning photojournalist who’s made it her life’s work to expose the conditions of animals on every continent. I interviewed her for my class on “wool alternatives.” She photographed the conditions at a sheep saleyard in Australia, and in this video, she talks about what she saw:
There are endless faux-wool alternatives available for every budget. So please demonstrate to others that making humane choices is easy by not wearing wool. My site’s forum may help if you have any questions. Get loud and let companies know that you demand cruelty-free alternatives. They’re out there, and they’re fabulous!
Deborah Rosenberg is the founder of the ultra-luxury vegan interior design firm DiMare Design and Certified Cruelty Free, an online accredited educational course and cruelty free licensing company that builds awareness and teaches individuals and companies globally about vegan, cruelty free materials and alternatives. She is a leader in vegan and wellness/healthy design as well as a PETA advocate. She’s passionate about animal rights, has been a featured designer on TLC, and has appeared on The Today Show. Deborah lectures and writes articles on humane and wellness design.