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Ethical alternatives to traditional fashion

Who said vegan fashion had to be boring and bland? We now have so many
ethical alternatives to traditional materials that vegan fashion is simply ‘good fashion’.

We are lucky to be living through a time whereby the term ‘vegan’ no longer directly associates to tie-dye hippie clothing and food. Vegan fashion has long been held in many peoples mind as a compromised alternative to traditional fashion, but this is now no longer the case.

High-end fashion brands such as Sans Beast, Stella Mccartney, Ahimsa Collective and many many more are now leading the charge to bring ethical fashion to the mainstream consumer. Not only are they introducing these items into the mainstream, but they are doing it so well that these items are now the go-to items for celebrities and the fashion conscious.

So why do vegans have to avoid some traditional fashion items anyhow?

Well to be 100% vegan, an item cannot contain the following:

Leather – Made from cow skin

Wool – Taken from sheeps skin

Silk – Resulting in the death of silkworms.

Feathers – plucked from live animals

Fur – Taken from the skin of an animal

Whilst many of these materials have long been staples of the fashion industry, over the last few years, companies have begun to take note that consumers more and more are searching for ethical and sustainable alternatives. These brands are now delivering them an ethical and stylish solution with new innovative materials and manufacturing.

Some of these solutions include new forms of leather made from pineapple, apple, banana and even recycled bottles (used by Range Rover & Tesla). Others include synthetic wools and furs, as well as hemp and plant-based materials.

Adidas recently launched a campaign promoting their new range of products made from discarded bottles found in the oceans and Rebook have even ‘veganised’ an already sustainable line of shoes by removing the leather labels.

Locally in Australia, we are also seeing some incredible brands being designed and created with sustainability and animals in mind. Sans Beast is one of these brands and is targeting the discerning fashion buyer with stylish and functional bags and accessories that use no animal products at all (Sans – Without, Beast – Animals). Founder Cathryn Wills has worked in the fashion industry for over 30 years, but after making the connection between the leather bags she was using and her move to vegetarianism in 2015, she realised a change was needed and so begun the journey to Sans Beast.

One other local brand also providing stylish vegan alternatives is Ahimsa Collective. Ahimsa Collective creates a range of luxury accessories all made from pineapple leather and fully sustainable materials. Given that the name refers to ‘no harm’, their whole process of production is focussed on true ethical and sustainable practices.

Even the large fashion houses are beginning to see the benefits of offering more eco and animal-friendly offerings to their customers with a number of the big players (finally) banning fur from their collections, including Chanel, Coach, Burberry, Versace just to name a few.

And whilst there is a still a long way to go before many of these brands could claim to be fully¬† ‘ethical’ we are certainly seeing the change occurring at a much faster rate than ever before, and this is great for the planet, the animals and for people in general.

Making a more ethical choice does better, and should feel better. If you know of an innovative fashion brand doing great work, let us know.


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