By Cora Hilts
Originally from the Maine countryside, Cora spent five years in Paris and New York City intermittently working in luxury fashion and studying Politics before ending up in London.
What Is Vegan Fashion, And Is It Really Necessary?
REV was founded on the basis of providing a positive alternative to traditional shopping. While our focus has been on improving environmental and social standards, vegan fashion actually slots right in with our mission. As we scour the world to discover designers using organic materials, sustainable methods, and fair labour, it seems only right to consider the role of animals in the fashion industry.
But finding investment pieces that are also cruelty-free is a challenge. While there is an abundance of faux-leather, faux-fur and synthetic wools in nearly every high-street store, trying to source something that is ethically manufactured, cruelty-free and of high quality is actually quite a mission.
To help you better understand the world of vegan fashion, we have gathered the opinions of some of the most dedicated vegan influencers, editors, and charities.
Compassion, sustainability, and innovation are shaping today’s fashion industry more than ever. – Yvonne
Compassion, sustainability, and innovation are shaping today’s fashion industry more than ever – and fashion is following suit and stepping up its cruelty-free game. From industry icons Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney to fresh talent such as Vika Gazinskaya and Shrimps, it’s clear that compassion is stylish – and that it sells. Those brands and designers who continue to saturate their collections with animal skins look out of date and out of touch.
Take so-called “Origin Assured” fur: PETA has documented that animals raised on factory farms that supply pelts with this label endured neglect, starvation, and gaping wounds. Likewise, we recently exposed the filthy conditions and crude slaughter methods on crocodile farms in Vietnam.
Savvy and stylish consumers are making the switch to vegan fashion as awareness of the cruelty and environmental damage inherent in exploiting animals for their skin, fur, or wool increases. Those who still buy cruelly produced garments likely don’t know who was killed for the skins they’re wearing. No one can feel glamorous in a fur coat after they’ve seen images of fur farms and learnt about the ways animals are slaughtered.
Many vegan fabrics are environmentally superior to animal skins. For example, it takes more than 15 times the energy to produce a coat made from farmed fur than one made from synthetic fur. With so many beautiful, luxurious vegan fabrics available that are less environmentally damaging than animal-derived materials, cruelty-free could arguably be the future of fashion.
A fashion accessory does not define who I am… I will set my own trends and they will be inspired by my love for all animals. – Sruti
I believe it is so important to make cruelty free choices with fashion because it is directly linked to animal abuse of farm animals and exotic animals.
Following trends and looking beautiful is everyone’s priority but being compassionate and kind is so much more important especially when we have so many alternative fabrics. If my bag is not made of leather it does not make me any less stylish, a fashion accessory does not define who I am and I will set my own trends and they will be inspired by my love for all animals.
There is a lack of awareness and knowledge on alternative vegan materials. – Agnes
It is unnecessary to harm innocent animals to dress ourselves. Vegan fabrics are extremely comfortable and they feel good on the body. There is a lack of awareness and knowledge on alternative vegan materials.
Why do you think fashion consumers buy animal products when there are so many other alternatives available?
Price could also be a factor as most vegan fashion are typically sold at a premium due to high-quality materials and fair trade practices. Most of the vegan leather substitute are made out of plants so I think these materials are extremely sustainable.
Some consumers still believe that leather is always better quality, which is no longer the case. – Matt and Nat
We have so many other options right now. It’s possible to be fashionable while being conscious of our planet and animals. We don’t have to hurt animals to produce beautiful products anymore.
Some consumers still believe that leather is always better quality, which is no longer the case. Our customers can get a leather looking bag while using 100% vegan leather. We source high-end PU and PVC and make sure our suppliers treat our materials in the right way to make them look great.
We use the appropriate finishings to ensure long lasting, durable quality for each bag that is produced and we have high standards to ensure that our vegan leather is adequately tested.
Our goal at Matt and Nat is to promote sustainability. All our linings are made from 100% recycled materials. We use recycled canvas throughout all our canvas collections, which is more expensive than regular canvas. It goes through vigorous testing to be approved “recycled”. We like to think of it as an investment to our environment and to our world. Being vegan is a lifestyle. It’s about being conscious for what happens to the earth around us.
Many vegan designers produce locally, use recycled fabrics and invest in sustainable research to create looks that are kind to animals, humans and the planet. – Sascha
Vegan fashion has come such a long way – and this is just the beginning. Brands like Dauntless NYC are creating non-leather biker jackets, VAUTE is leading the way for stylish wool-free coats, and when it comes to accessories, there has never been more choice: from Beyond Skin to Freedom of Animals, today’s vegan-friendly fashion options are contemporary, compassionate, and chic.
Many vegan designers produce locally, use recycled fabrics and invest in sustainable research to create looks that are kind to animals, humans and the planet. And as cruelty-free materials become more innovative, vegan fashion is set to become an even more exciting field. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store.
It’s intolerable and cruel that animals have to suffer and die so we can wear shoes made of leather and shirts made of silk. – Justine
I think it’s intolerable and cruel that animals have to suffer and die so we can wear shoes made of leather and shirts made of silk. In my opinion it’s important to respect all the living beings on our planet earth, including all kinds of animals.
People automatically tend to buy leather shoes and do not question this habit. Some other people understand what’s happening in the fashion industry but they just don’t want to change their purchasing behaviour, because it seems too stressful to look for alternatives. People creating more awareness on social media or in their circle of friends and family have the power to make a change. For me, it’s important that not only animals, but also humans and our planet, are not negatively impacted by the fashion industry.