I hate to admit it, but the Fashionista in me almost kept me from going vegan. Fashion has always been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember, I started reading Vogue when I was 12, spent all my money on clothes and ultimately even worked in the fashion industry.
Veganism means staying away from all animal products, and that includes Wool, Leather and Fur. Not only are these products cruel, they also contribute substantially to climate change. Check out this video to see the cruelty in leather production.
While I have always been against real fur, my wardrobe was full of Leather Bags, Shoes, Dresses, Tops, Jackets and Pants. And don’t even get me started on wool.
Even though I chose not to throw anything away – since that would be wasteful – I knew I had to change my buying behavior. But how was I going to do that? The cliché thoughts many have of vegans – hemp, loose clothes, unwashed hair, printed fabrics – did not help. Of course I knew I could just buy faux leather and faux wool from many chains. However, I had never liked their designs and their fake leather reminded of plastic. Also, was this mass production actually sustainable?
Luckily, veganism is slowly finding it’s way into the mainstream – and companies are noticing. Not only is there vegan leather that you can’t distinguish from the real deal, but more and more fashion brands choose to go green and cruelty free. I don’t have to choose between my ethics and my fashion sense anymore – i can truly have the best of both worlds. And now, check out a few of the great brands making it all possible!
Stella McCartney, one of the biggest names in fashion and long-term vegetarian officially committed to producing only cruelty free fashion. Not only has the brand spent years developing high quality leather alternatives, but it also uses recycled polyester, organic cotton and forest friendly fabrics – all in the name of the animals and our earth. And don’t get me started on the designs – they are stunning. Check out the current collection here.
Jill Milan is the vegan answer to one of my biggest addictions: Designer Handbags. The label was founded in 2010 with the goal to create leather-free, luxury handbags. All bags are produced in Italy from natural materials such as velvets, ultrasuedes and faux leathers. Furthermore, the brand donates to a number of animal welfare organizations as well as women’s cancer charities.
Now that’s a splurge I can get behind – guilt-free.
Vaute couture is a young label that aims to put the “vegan” in haute couture. It’s founder, Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart has been named the rebel of the fashion industry, realizing that businesses should be creating change and executing it in every part of her company. Her fashion has been creating a huge buzz since her first show at New York Fashion week in 2013, and the brand is constantly growing. Not to get ahead of myself, but I’d say this ethical brand’s fun but timeless designs are here to stay!
Founded in 2013, Shrimps had taken the british fashion world by storm. Specializing in Faux Fur and outerwear, this cruelty-free label has released some of the most fun pieces I’ve seen in a while. It-girls such as Alexa Chung and Pixie Geldoff have been spotted in “Shrimps” outerwear and high fashion editors are raving.
So there you have it, you can be both vegan and fashionable! And me? I need to go check my bank account balance right now.. I happened to see quite a few items i need.