Plant Athletic is a PETA approved apparel brand founded by Cameron Alksnis. The brand produces a range of stylish garments for cyclists, runners, and athletes who want to support ethical production without compromising on quality. We chatted with Cameron about the brand and about his personal vegan journey to get here. We hope you enjoy the conversation.
1. My vegan journey began when…
My journey began when I walked into the bookstore one day. I was looking for some reading about how I could take control of my health. I felt out of control. I ended up picking up the China Study. I read the first two chapters and I immediately changed my diet and dropped all animal products. The science was so strong in support of a plant-based diet it. It was just what I was looking for.
2. The brand talks about a ‘responsible life’ what does this term mean to you personally?
Living a responsible life is about understanding there is more to life than just ourselves. Every choice about food we make has implications on our health, the environment, and the animals. As athletes, we have a platform to influence others.
By making good choices we can be a good example to others and help others change their lives and make better decisions. Together we can the world a better place.
Living responsibly also extends to the products we choose to wear. The apparel industry produces so much waste. We choose to be different. We believe we can produce products that have minimal impact on the environment.
3. You are PETA approved, what does this mean for those not familiar with it?
Being PETA Approved is something that we are very proud of. It essentially means that we do not use any animal products or animal testing in our products or during the process of making our products.
4. You changed your name from Vegan Athletic to Plant Athletic in order to welcome ‘everyone’ into our community, which we think is awesome! What can we do as a vegan community to get better at being more welcoming to everyone in general?
Yes, you’re right it’s about creating a more inclusive environment. We want to welcome people into our community and educate them.
We believe that in order to make change in the world we need more people taking on a plant-based lifestyle. We understand that people have mostly grown up with the idea that eating animal products is normal. It is not easy to change this paradigm overnight. We think it is important to make people feel welcome and not make them feel like they are horrible people if they don’t make the shift to 100% vegan overnight.
From my own personal experience and from what I’ve seen with many others, people rarely change to 100% vegan overnight. Over time, as you learn more and feel more comfortable most people end up going 100% vegan eventually. If we want to have a world that is 100% vegan we need to respect this process and allow people to make the change at their own pace.
I think we should praise the people that are trying to make a change rather than outcast them because they haven’t made a perfect change. Many times this makes people regress and not want to go fully vegan.
5. Where do you hope Plant Athletic will be in 5 – 10 years?
We want to be one of the leading apparel brands in the world. We want it to be normal for people to associate the words plant-based and vegan with athletes and athletic performance.
We hope to have a very big community of plant-based athletes. Community is very important to us. We want people to feel like they are part of this movement and help share their message. We will have a community for people to collaborate and share their message with the world.
6. Your best selling item is? (and why you think it is)
Right now our cycling jerseys are the most popular. Although our new triathlon suits are becoming super popular. The great thing about these products is that they allow people to celebrate their lifestyle and beliefs in a public way. They can wear it proudly knowing they are in support of living a lifestyle full of love.
7. The vegan athlete who inspires you the most is…
One for sure is Novak Djokovic. He is at the top of the tennis world and continues to prove how he can perform with a plant-based diet. It is so amazing to see how athletic, strong, and healthy he looks out on the tennis court.
8. What other vegan brands inspire you?
We are big fans and friends of Plant Strong by Engine 2. The work that Rip Esselstyn and the team do is so amazing. They have a line of food products that are all whole food plant-based with low sodium, sugars and have no oils. They are the healthiest food products out there.
9. What are your favorite vegan eateries from around the world?
Well, that’s a hard question. We love traveling and trying different vegan restaurants all over the world. It is always nice to be able to go to a new place, find a vegan restaurant, and connect with new people who you share a common interest with.
10. You get a vegan meal with 1-5 people of your choice. What is the meal and who would you share it with?
I would love to sit down with Novak Djokovic and hear about his training and nutrition program. I love a nice plant-based burger made with some beans and some veggies like beets and carrots. Some roasted potatoes and a side of steamed kale (with a splash of balsamic vinegar). That’s a dream meal!
Amazing, thank you so much for sharing Cameron!
For those who would like to take their ethical clothing game to the next level, be sure to checkout Plant Athletic Here to see the range.
To read about other inspiring vegan stories, be sure to visit our Vegan Chat Section here.