In fashion, there has been a great deal of advancement with regards to animal-cruelty-free designs. For a while now, you’ve been able to go to stores and websites like Motive Company to purchase animal-friendly clothing. You can find T-shirts with catchy phrases like, “Cows don’t eat your children, you shouldn’t eat theirs either. Go Vegan!” and hemp purses that say, “Vegan for life.” On the opposite side of the spectrum, designers like Stella McCartney, Cornelia Guest, and Melissa Shoes have been stepping up as vegan high-fashion designers to provide luxury pieces with a pro-vegan agenda.
Huge leaps are being made in the fashion industry to allow people to live sustainably and fashionably at the same time. One can’t go on about vegan fashion without recognizing that the first ever all-vegan fashion show was held last month at New York Fashion Week by Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart. She founded a fashion label called Vaute Couture based around the idea of cruelty-free clothing. “I want to reach women who love style, love color, love fashion, and maybe they used to care about where their clothes came from but at some point they told themselves that it was naive to care,” Hilgart told CNN. The entire show was vegan, including animal-free makeup and hair products used on the models and vegan hors d’oeuvres from a vegan bakery called Vegan Treats of Bethlehem, PA.
After all this is said and done, the question I ask myself is, “Is there no middle ground?” Some people don’t want a plain T-shirt. They may prefer the more fashionable approach of McCartney or Guest, but can’t afford the three hundred dollar pumps. A challenge that a large portion of the population faces is finding clothing that can encourage their love of shopping sustainably, while also finding hot, new, seasonal fashions. You’d be surprised how many stores in your backyard will accommodate your needs if you just ask!
On a recent shopping trip, I was pleased to find Vegan Sauconys at a local shoe store and many stores that carry vegan clothing. Two stores I was particularly struck with were Skunk Funk (which can be found throughout the US and Canada) and Shoe Candy. Both stores had adorable, affordable, and sustainable fashion options. My most surprising find, you ask? RVCA! Their concept is based around social responsibility. A large majority of their clothing is vegan and they have vowed not to use or support child labor. As online shops go, Keep Company and The Herbivore Clothing Company have great everyday wear. I found a dozen things I have to add to my wish list.
If you take nothing else from this blog, the important thing to remember is that there is no reason to let your vegan lifestyle get in the way of your clothing choices. You can dress as casual or as high-end as you’d like and still play a part in creating a more sustainable future for everyone. Let us know if you find any cute vegan styles we should share!