Fashion Leaders Urged to Cut Ties With Wool Prize

For Immediate Release:

13 February 2020


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]


Citing Cruelty Revelations and Environmental Damage, PETA Asks Industry Insiders to Step Away From Woolmark

London – Following revelations of cruelty to sheep documented in Australiathe UK, and the US, PETA sent letters this morning to the fashion leaders who have been chosen as judges and finalists of the 2020 International Woolmark Prize urging them to cut ties with the award.

The list of judges includes Edward Enninful OBE, editor-in-chief of British Vogue, and Hamish Bowles, editor-at-large of Vogue, as well as designer Kim Jones and writer/academic Sinéad Burke. The finalist line-up features designers Richard Malone, Samuel Ross, GmbH, Namacheko, and Botter.

“Every single wool garment drives an industry that’s spewing out pollutants and fuelling near-apocalyptic bushfires in which gentle sheep are burning to death,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “PETA is urging fashion insiders to take a stand against wool by shunning this prize and championing truly sustainable vegan materials.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”- points out that the wool industry is a major producer of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change and is driving ecological catastrophes like the Australian bushfires, which have reportedly killed around 100,000 sheep on Kangaroo Island alone. Australia is the world’s largest exporter of wool and home to Woolmark.

The shearing process is a violent and frightening experience for most sheep. Shearers are paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast, rough handling that leaves the sheep with gaping wounds. Once their wool production declines, millions of sheep are exported on extremely crowded, filthy, disease-ridden ships to face terrifying slaughter abroad.

PETA’s letters are available upon request. For more information, visit