What is vegan fashion?
Vegan products, regardless of the industry, avoid using animal substances. Between clothing, handbags, accessories, and other products, vegan fashion doesn’t hurt animals or use animal products in its creation.
In the glamorous fashion industry, the vegan movement is nothing new. In fact, technically, all simple organic cotton t-shirts and our denims, for example, are vegan since they’re made without any animal products.
While mass media jokes about vegan eating habits, incorporating the idea of veganism into the fashion world is more than just a shallow fad intended to achieve acceptance by peers. A testimony to the increasing success of vegan fashion is a number of top retailers who have promised to adhere strictly to eliminating animal cruelty from their manifestos.
Countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, German, and France are spending extensively in the vegan industry. According to the London-based retail technology firm Edited, by the end of January 2019, the number of items listed as ‘vegan’ rose by 5% year on year in the United Kingdom.
The U.S. may have fallen behind as the U.K.’s vegan industry is growing fast. However, even with 11% growth year-on-year, it still has a considerably wider assortment of vegan goods available than other markets
France’s vegan fashion market is growing slightly faster than the U.S. at a 12% growth rate. However, as the fashion capital, Paris’s pledge to become the capital of sustainable fashion by 2024 should expand the country’s cruelty-free retail offerings.
Another country that keeps an eye on this thriving industry is Denmark. It has seen a 320 percent rise in items identified as vegan, according to Edited.
Vegan Models to Know About
We’ve all wondered, “Are any Victoria Secret models vegan?” As a matter of fact, yes!
Australian Victoria’s Secret Model Bridget Malcom
Australian Victoria’s Secret model Bridget Malcom refuses to eat animal-derived products. She focuses her diet on fruits, vegetables, and grains to fulfill her nutritional needs. Of course, this takes some balance, but being a vegan model is how she supports her belief that vegan fashion is the best fashion!
Born in Perth and a classically trained ballerina, Malcolm is also a talented musician. What’s more is she’s been an animal lover and advocate for quite some time. She has written about veganism in Harper’s Bazaar too.
Speaking about ethical fashion, Malcom said, “I highly respect people in the fashion world like Stella McCartney who makes a point of making garments with cruelty-free products. I would love one day to follow in her footsteps.”
As a proud vegan, Bridget Malcom constantly shares essential information pertaining to the cause with her social media followers. She also encourages them to make kind choices for the sake of the animals.
“When I first became vegan, I heard from so many people that I had a new glow to me,” Malcolm, who was also named PETA Australia’s Sexiest Vegetarian of 2015, is quoted saying.
Malcom is also quoted saying, “I am not sure if this is just me – but since I’ve stopped consuming animals, I’ve become a lot more kind and caring towards other living creatures. It physically pains me to see suffering and I go out of my way to avoid any chance of hurting another creature – human, animal, or insect. This has made me much more mindful in everyday living – which is a fast track to happiness and life satisfaction!”
But who else is a vegan model dedicated to a cruelty-free lifestyle?
Vegan Model & Yogi Amanda Fisher
Bikini athlete and yogi, Amanda Fisher, is a plant-based personal trainer. She operates a health and fitness Facebook group to inspire people to live healthier and commit to a balanced lifestyle.
After changing her eating habits to consume plants in 2010, she lost 30 kilos. Here’s her Instagram.
She’s quoted as saying, “If you’re not already eating a whole food plant-based diet, I definitely recommend making the switch.”
Vegan Model & Pro Surfer Tia Blanco
Tia Blanco is not only one of the most world-renowned female pro surfers on the planet – she’s also a vegan model.
Blanco is incredibly athletic, offering snapshots of her life on her Instagram. But she also won the 2015 International Surfing Association (ISA) Open Women’s World Surfing Championship in Popoyo, Nicaragua. Oh, and she also won it again in 2016 in Playa Jaco, Costa Rica.
She’s quoted saying, “Since I found more energy from the vegan diet, it definitely helped my performance in the water.”
Bikini Competitor & Vegan Natalie Matthews
Natalie Matthews competes regularly in NFF bikini competitions. But that doesn’t completely define who she is – she’s also a surfer, vegan chef, cookbook author, and fitness/lifestyle model.
She’s quoted saying, “So many athletes are shifting over because they are feeling inspired. I don’t care how you go vegan – as long as you do!”
Angie Sadeghi, M.D.
Can a doctor be a vegan? Of course! Just look at Dr. Sadeghi’s success on a plant-based diet.
Dr. Sadeghi is one of the leading gastroenterologists in Newport Beach, California. She treats patients for their stomach, liver, esophagus, and colon illnesses and digestive troubles. But she’s also a weight loss specialist and mother.
She cured her chronic health issues with a plant-based diet and believes nearly anyone can do the same. Here’s her Instagram.
She’s quoted saying, “Within 9 months, my body transformed.”
‘Vegan Foodie’ Brin Dillon
Brin Dillon is not just a vegan model; she’s a self-proclaimed vegan foodie too. She’s currently thriving on her plant-based diet and shares information about her lifestyle on her Instagram.
She’s quoted saying, “People started asking me ‘have you been working out?!’ But not really – not more than before. I just stopped eating animal products.”
Holistic Vegan Fitness Coach & Model Crissi Carvalho
Crissi Carvalho isn’t your typical vegan model; she competed and won the Arnold Classic in 2016. She’s constantly promoting a healthy high-carb diet on her website and wears many hats.
Carvalho is a fitness model competitor, author of an eBook For a Lean Healthy Body, and a chef. She shares more information about her lifestyle on her Instagram too.
She’s quoted saying, “For two years, I competed pretty much without any supplements.”
Vegan Blogger, Journalist, and Bikini Fitness Competitor Deni Kirkova
Deni Kirkova competes in bikini fitness and is a qualified personal trainer. She has won first place at the Miss Galaxy Universe Beach Body European Championship in 2016 too.
She’s quoted saying, “Crafting out a killer hot body does not need to involve eating dead animals.”
Vegan Fitness Enthusiast Grace Beverley
Grace Beverley goes beyond what’s expected of the average Oxford University student – and that’s saying a lot! As a fitness enthusiast, she made her own workout regime Grace Fit Guide. She also shares tips and tricks to live her active, vegan lifestyle on YouTube.
Beverley has also become a sensationalized Instagram influencer, growing her Instagram account beyond 1 million followers!
Vegan Fitness Model & Plant-Based Nutritionist Bianca Taylor
Bianca Taylor is impressive, working as a certified personal trainer and plant-based nutritionist. After her dancing career, she started pursuing her dreams of fitness modeling after she became passionate about health and bodybuilding.
She’s quoted saying, “There are so many benefits in addition to the positive effects it has on the earth and the environment – going plant-based is going to have a huge positive effect on your body.”
Vegan Environmentalist and Animal Activist Jayde Nicole
Jayde Nicole offers information about protecting the plant and animals by incorporating a plant-based diet. She stopped eating meat when she was just five years old. Eventually, she founded a dog rescue charity in 2013 called EDL Foundation.
She’s a compassionate activist who worked for a plant-based nutrition certificate from Cornell University. But she is also interested in fitness, modeling, and blogging. Her Instagram account has 1.9 million followers too.
She’s quoted saying, “Being on the vegan diet helped me maintain my body shape a lot better.”
Did we miss anyone? Leave a comment below if you think we did!
Vegan Fashion Blogs to Follow
Are you following any vegan fashion blogs that we may have missed? Feel free to share the ones you love in the comments below!
Whether you’re just getting started in your vegan lifestyle or have been dedicated for a while, vegan fashion blogs offer the latest and greatest vegan fashion trends. If you love vegan fashion, stay up to date with these vegan content creators.
Plant Hide’s Vegan Blog
Our blog is still in its infancy, but we’re planning to share a lot of helpful vegan content. Our articles focus on the vegan lifestyle, vegan fashion, recipes, news, eco-friendly/sustainable tips, and other helpful information.
If you’d like to contribute, feel free to reach out with samples at any time!
Here’s a list of other vegan fashion blogs you can check out:
- Beyond Skin
- Justine kept calm & went vegan
- Love and Blossoms by Sruti Sethuraman
- Style Destino
- Vilda Magazine
- Fashion by Compassion by Salma
- Tedi Sarah
- Living in a Fairytale by Anna Myrha
- Style With A Smile
- Fashion by Compassion
- Reddit – Vegan Fashion Advice
- Style Destino by Shruti Jain
- Reddit – Vegan Fashion
- Ethical Elephant by Vicky Ly
- LA ENVIRO
- White Rhino Bags
- Anca Monica
- Pretty Simple Bags
- Just Easy Nice Vegan Fashion Blogger
- The Haute Vegan
- Vegans got Style
- The Vashion Blogg
- Marta Canga
- A Cup of Joan
- Chic Vegan
Should you become a vegan fashionista?
Should you become a vegan fashionista? If you’re reading this article, you’re probably a conscious consumer, wondering how you can make a difference with what you wear. In short, yes, you should become a vegan fashionista!
Animals are being abused in fur factories, dairy farms, and slaughterhouses (to name a few). The lack of openness and traceability on the part of brands ensures that it’s hard for us to know under what circumstances the products used in our apparel have been reared, shipped, or slaughtered.
Global associations such as Humane Society International and People for the Fair Treatment of Animals (PETA) have reported systematic animal cruelty for the sake of fashion. There was even an advertisement by PETA starring supermodels with the hashtag, “I’d rather go nude than wear fur.”
The worsening climate may be another significant justification for veganizing your closet. The manufacture of all these clothing fabrics places tremendous stress on Earth – but did you know that items viewed as standard clothing materials, such as fur, silk and leather, are also some of the most environmentally harmful fabrics?
Here are the facts:
- The belches and fertilizers of dairy cattle, such as sheep and cows, generate exceedingly high greenhouse gas emissions, like methane: a gas that is around 30 times more effective at capturing heat than CO2. This wouldn’t have been a concern if it weren’t for the overwhelming number of livestock on our planet. Livestock farming thus has a significant, direct effect on global warming.
- Many chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used in these sectors – livestock grazes on land, and occasionally also on animals themselves. A variety of harmful substances that end up in the air and waters are used in the treatment, washing and decoration of hides and coats to make “leather.” This can also result in highly polluted drinking water and food in the immediate environment, causing all kinds of health issues for both humans and animals. In addition, the skins and lungs of factory employees in these factories are exposed every day, often untreated, to these toxic chemicals.
We understand that this information might seem overwhelming and sound disheartening. But keep reading to find out what materials to avoid if you want to go green with your fashion!
Materials that are NOT vegan:
1. Wool & Felt
Wool is made of the fur of animals such as sheep breeds, angora rabbits, cashmere, or angora goats. It could feature in common textile styles like acrylic, merino, cashmere, mohair or felt. The conditions in which these animals are born, kept, plucked, and shaved are always very cruel and, as you can probably guess, these materials aren’t so environmentally friendly.
Such sheep are bred specifically with wrinkled skin, which has many folds, meaning: more wool per cow, and thus more profit. Although as a consequence, a lot of urine and feces linger in animal skin folds, where flies conveniently lay their eggs in. When the offspring of these flies come out, they begin to kill the sheep: this is incredibly painful and ultimately lethal to the sheep.
Fur is made from the skin of minks, rabbits, foxes, sheep, seals, raccoons, cats, coyotes, chinchillas, and many other living animals. They’re made to live in horrific conditions in fur farms and in very tiny enclosures or cages, which also lead these beautiful and intelligent wild animals to be forced into madness.
Sooner or later, they start behaving in unnatural ways, such as battle, self-mutilation and cannibalism. Where minks are typically gaseous, foxes and raccoons are frequently killed by an electric rod, which is an appalling heart wrenching process. Upon that, the electrocution process does not really work properly, which often leads to the animals getting skinned alive.
Regrettably, the global demand for fur has grown sharply in recent times since prices around the world have declined. Real fur is also quite hard to distinguish from high-quality fake fur, which indicates that a lot of real fur has managed to creep into collars and coat hoods.
3. Feathers & Down
Feathers are taken from the bodies of geese and ducks, but also from chickens and pheasants. Down is sometimes used as an insulation material in jackets, sleeping bags or consoles where other (luxurious) feathers often have a decorative feature. It is also difficult to find the precise origin of the feathers. Plucking may take place after the geese and ducks have been killed for their meat, meaning that these materials are treated as by-products – but this partially benefits the foie gras and egg industries.
Leather is nothing more than hairless fur: it is the skin of animals like cows, calves, horses, lambs, goats, or pigs. There’s a European ban on the import of dog and cat fur. there is no restriction on the import of dog leather: it can also even be sold in Europe.
It is unclear in which goods this cloth is manufactured, as the patents do not have to say from which animal the leather is made. In opposition to what is often believed, leather is not just a by-product of the food industry. Each year over a billion animals are slaughtered by the leather industry alone for their skin.
In fact, leather (besides vegan leather, of course) is made with all sorts of poisonous substances, such as cyanide, coal tar and chromium, to avoid skin decay, enhanced color and also improved usability. Without this ‘tanning,’ the skin of the animal will quickly rot. As a result, vast volumes of hazardous waste material harm and pollute not just our world, but also all the people who have to work under these hazardous situations.
You might be shocked to learn this but silk emerges from a material secreted by the silkworm, the larva of a butterfly genus. The caterpillar creates this cloth so that it can weave a cocoon of silk threads in which it can be turned into a moth. But in order to be able to use these fabrics commercially, caterpillars are usually fried alive to ensure that the species survives, leaving the cocoon untouched.
Over 600 cocoons are used for a small silk blouse and a considerable volume of water is used during processing. It is ruthless as well as unsustainable, not to mention a resource-priced method.
The world pays a toll for people’s luxury. There is a way to extract the silk whilst keeping the caterpillars intact but, in that situation, the creatures are so inbred that they lose the ability to move, travel, and eat normally.
More Insight into the Vegan Fashion Industry
The fashion industry has a long way to go when it comes to delivering on the vegan market. Nevertheless, in 2018, a number of high profile houses have been promising to ban fur and exotic skins from their labels, which is a start.
Gucci, Chanel, Burberry and Versace are only a handful of the big luxury brands that promised to avoid using fur. Whatever strategies the luxury sector embraces, there is a way to get down to the retail industry as a whole, which reflects in the way there was a 41% drop in women’s fur shipments on the UK market alone in 2018.
Another outstanding luxury store is Topshop, which has entered the bandwagon with its inaugural Vegan shoe line. The PETA-approved collection of vegan shoes contains designs and features a neutral palette of snakes, croc, nude, toffee, orange, black and white through 12 options. In addition to vegan accessories, products are sold in boxes constructed using 100% non-animal and non-fish glue.
Today, the use of animal-derived materials is detrimental not only to plants, but also to the consumer. Leather is one of the worst products for the world when animal skin is processed into finished leather with a number of even more toxic ingredients, namely mineral salts, formaldehyde, carbon-tar derivatives, and various oils, dyes, and finishes—some of which are cyanide-based as mentioned above.
Instead of the fur that comes from the sheep and the lamb, the organic shearing and the comfortable cruelty-free cardigans are the focus of attention lately. Top retailers, such as H&M, Nasty Gal and Zara, sell wool-free jackets as well as other animal-friendly apparel; Vegan fabrics made of twill, cotton and recycled polyester (rPET) are only a handful of the most versatile products that drain water, dry quicker and are safer for the atmosphere than wool.
Faux fur fashion is becoming the trend for labels and is widely acknowledged. But there is still a lot of respect for silk as a rich fabric. Even so, one does not have to look far and wide for alternatives when it comes to plush materials. Nylon, milkweed-pod fibers, silk-cotton tree and ceiba tree filaments, polyester and radius are animal-free, easy to find, and typically less costly than silk.
While a lot has already been said and implemented to ensure that brands pursue the course of veganism specifically, certain guidelines need to be in force to ensure it actually happens. The British Shopping Consortium, the trading body representing supermarkets and online outlets in the UK, has put out new rules to ensure that vegan apparel is truly 100% free of animal products in response to the increasing demand for organic products.
With Los Angeles organizing a successful edition of the Vegan Fashion Week in October 2019 and planning for another it is clear that the embrace of vegan fashion has transcended shops and closets of conscious consumers. Vegan Fashion Week welcomed business experts and fashion lovers to come and explore this concept in-person at the California Market Centre. There, creators from all over the world gathered to discuss how they strive to disrupt the market and drive vegan fashion to become the industry norm.
This is a crucial move, since the method of producing animal-friendly goods is more complicated than merely replacing common materials such as leather, suede and fur. Business owners must inspect all products used in the product, including ingredients such as glues, dyes and waxes. Brands will have three years to reach 17 sustainability standards, including the implementation of zero-waste set designs for their exhibits, the promise not to discard unsold garments and the use of at least 50% organic or sustainable textiles in their pieces.
Rising anxiety about the climate crisis and the role played by fast fashion implies that attitudes towards consumption is shifting rapidly, particularly among young people. Two-thirds of 16 to 24 year olds said they were seeking to make more ethical decisions than they did a year earlier, according to a research firm Mintel.
While the world still has a long way to go to make vegan fashion commonplace, we see tremendous strides being made across the fashion industry. With each step taken to shy away from cruel practices in fashion, we’re moving towards a better, more ethically sound fashion industry we can embrace.