Fashion designer Stella McCartney has teamed up with animal rights organization PETA and investment firm Stray Dog Capital to challenge students to create vegan wool! The bio-design challenge was launched for college students in the U.S. and the winners will be awarded the first-ever PETA prize for animal-free wool. The winning students will get to spend up to two weeks at McCartney’s London headquarters learning from the designer herself!

Students will consider every part of the wool’s lifecycle with the goal of creating a sustainable manufacturing process for vegan wool to compete with animal wool. 

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Many equate wool with getting a buzz cut but, sadly, that is not the case. A 2014 PETA investigation into the wool industry in the U.S. and Australia revealed workers abusing animals, punching and kicking sheep, even hitting them with hammers, or pinning sheep down and twisting their necks until they broke, all to shear them for their fur. The wool industry also pollutes the earth with methane, contaminates waterways, as well as erodes soil.

Sadly, sheep used for their wool are seen as nothing but a commodity. There are many alternatives to wool including cotton, polyester fleece, and synthetic shearling – these are just a few of the cruelty-free fibers out there. For more alternatives, check out PETA’s cruelty-free clothing guide. Thankfully, with this progressive animal-free wool challenge, we will see a viable option to wool!

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Interested in learning more about Stray Dog Capital? In a recent episode of #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias, Lisa Feria, CEO of Stray Dog Capital, discusses the rise of animal-friendly trends that are happening here and now:

 

 

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Lead Image Source: Jaguar MENA/Wikimedia