The animal welfare organization Peta launches the “Vegan Wool Challenge”. The $1 million (€974.53 million) competition aims to promote the development of a vegan wool material, Peta said on Thursday.

    Participants in the “Vegan Wool Challenge” are asked to develop a vegan wool material that is visually, structurally and functionally equal to or better than sheep’s wool. In the first phase of the competition, the various materials are tested, among other things, for the look and properties of wool, such as the feel, pilling and fiber shedding. Attention is also paid to the composition of the material, because it should consist of either bio-based natural fiber or a bio-engineered fiber with 100 percent traceable raw materials, be biodegradable and recyclable at the end of the product life cycle. Ultimately, the organization also makes sure that the material can be produced in different weights and is certified if possible.

    Should the participants and their materials make it to the second phase, the issue is the scalability of the product, as it needs to be adopted and sold by one of the top ten global retail brands.

    A jury chosen by the animal welfare organization examines the submitted materials. The first person, group or company to successfully complete both phases will receive the advertised prize money.

    “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’s Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Peta is excited Committed to giving a big push to innovative minds that protects sheep, advances fashion and helps stop the environmental degradation caused by animal husbandry.”

    Interested parties have until July 28 to fill out an initial online application and send a sample of the wool alternative to Peta’s US headquarters.