New Delhi: Determined to save sheep and incentivise clothing designers, PETA US has launched the Vegan Wool Challenge, which will award US $1 million 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. This opportunity is open to applicants worldwide.
"From apples and hemp to kombucha tea and cacti, there seems to be no limit to what designers can use to create wonderful, animal-free clothing and accessories," says PETA India Manager of Fashion, Media, and Celebrity Projects Monica Chopra. "PETA entities are 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."
PETA entities have documented cruelty to sheep in 117 wool operations worldwide, and found that even on farms marketed as "sustainable" and "responsible", workers beat, stamped on, cut up, and slit the throats of conscious, struggling sheep. While there are many durable, stylish, and warm materials 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.
The tide is turning against animal-derived materials, and people - especially young consumers - now object in droves to supporting industries predicated on animal exploitation and slaughter. A recent survey by Glamour magazine found that approximately 73 per cent of Gen Z identifies as animal rights activists.
PETA India - whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to wear" - opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.