On July 9, new online shop Sheeps launched to give tennis players a vegan alternative to often hard-to-find gear. The shop sells wool-free tennis balls (of which there are few on the market); animal-free racket strings (which are traditionally made from cow intestines); leather-free tennis shoes, and other vegan items. Founded by vegan tennis enthusiast Danny Rosenthal, the company aims to reduce the suffering that sheep endure to produce 360 million tennis balls each year. “Tennis is deeply personal to me because I’m enthralled by the sport and I don’t want the immense pleasure I derive from it to come at the expense of animals,” Rosenthal told VegNews. “Regardless of whether people share all my views, given a viable alternative, I think the vast majority love animals and will choose products that don’t cause them harm. So I’m optimistic that many tennis players will support this effort.” While Sheeps currently aggregates vegan products already available on the market, in 2020, the company will create its own wool-free tennis balls and continue to optimize them to be both highly functional and environmentally friendly. “Ultimately, we want to similarly transform all sports,” Rosenthal said. “We’re contemplating cruelty-free basketballs, baseballs, and footballs. Of course, going this route will require a massive effort and we intend to take a collaborative approach and engage in many partnerships.”
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