Nov 18, 2022
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Peta launches $1m vegan wool prize

Nov 18, 2022

Campaign group Peta continues to target the wool industry and has now launched a “$1 million Vegan Wool Challenge” that “offers a windfall to the first entrant who develops a vegan wool material that’s visually, texturally, and functionally akin or superior to sheep’s wool and is adopted and sold by a major clothing brand”.

Photo: Pixabay/Public domain

The winning entry must be a biomaterial that's biodegradable or recyclable. And it needs to work like wool. Entrants have until July next year to submit a sample and production plan.

Peta executive VP Tracy Reiman said it’s “delighted to offer innovative minds a big boost that will protect sheep, push fashion forward, and help stop the environmental degradation caused by animal agriculture.”

The group continues to maintain that wool production in many places causes unnecessary suffering to sheep and added that “while there are many durable, stylish, and warm fabrics available that aren’t made from animal-derived materials, the creation of a viable, sustainable vegan wool could help abate suffering and fight the climate catastrophe — as the wool industry produces massive amounts of methane, erodes soil, and contaminates waterways”.

It also cited the need to respond to changes in consumer outlook, especially among young people. Peta quoted a recent survey by Glamour magazine that found around 73% of Gen Z identifies as animal rights activists.

The prize comes as alternatives to animal-derived materials and to use of virgin materials are proliferating. Leather and fur have been a key focus in recent years with mycelium-derived vegan leathers seeing major development.

And back in January, Dolce & Gabbana announced it was cutting fur from its collection but would work with furriers on “eco-fur” garments “with a view to preserving the work and professionalism of the master furriers”.

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