So you’ve watched the documentaries and you’ve seen the delicious vegan friendly food all over your Instagram feed. Perhaps you’ve been caught up in the recent scandal that was trending on Twitter all about Cult cosmetics brand Nars announcing that it will be going back on its crueltyfree stance in order to enter the Chinese market and have began researching into vegan cosmetics?
Stella McCartney 2017 Campaign Imagery
Whatever your decision to delve into the world of vegan may be, you’re not alone. According to stats, in 2016 there were three and half times as many vegans as there were in 2006, making it the fastest growing lifestyle movement, and we can imagine that number is growing in 2017, as veganism and vegan friendly products are becoming one of the most searched for terms within the food, beauty and fashion industries.
One thing that people are still relatively uneducated on however, is vegan fashion. When you used to think of vegan clothing, imagery
of patch work tunics and rope sole shoes conjured. Now, however, there’s so much more choice, from High Street to Designer, and everything in between. Big High Street giants like John Lewis stock vegan friendly brands and cosmetics, and ASOS even have a non-leather filter within their options when shopping with them. If you’re a fan of designer brands then Stella McCartney, NAK and Shrimps will be your go-to places to buy clothing, shoes and accessories, guilt free!
Where do you start though, and what is or isn’t vegan? Generally, by-products of animals and insects that are put through unnecessary pain or discomfort aren’t deemed vegan friendly, of course, although there are some grey areas when it comes to animal byproducts. Wool for example divides opinion in those choosing vegan. Shearers can be paid by volume rather than for their time, and so sheep can get hurt. Silk is made from fibre secreted by silkworms, and can be taken from them by force rather than recouped from their pods, hence why vegans would steer clear. Unless you do extensive research on brands, the backgrounds and their suppliers, it’s best to steer clear until you get into the swing of things.
PETA, the Bible when it comes to vegan brands, also have a few top tips for making sure your latest purchase is 100% vegan;
- Some knits have 8% of wool in them.
- Shirts and blouses can have a percentage of silk.
- Some faux-leather shoes might have a leather insole, so check the symbols that can usually be found either on a sticker underneath the shoe or on a label inside the shoe. If all the symbols are a diamond shape, you’re good to go. If one or more of them looks like a cowhide, they contain leather
If you want to learn more about vegan fashion, there is a comprehensive list of brands in a multitude of industries over at the PETA website.
This article was originally written by me for SIXTYNINE Degrees Magazine – a regional glossy magazine distributed around the Midlands.