So how to veganize your wardrobe? a friend asked me. As some of you know, I have fully embraced veganism last year, having been on a plant-based diet for over a decade (read my story). While veganism itself can mean different things to different people, veganism is defined as going far beyond food because it is a lifestyle in its totality. I love animals, hence I don’t eat, buy and wear products that are made from animals. This is the ethos that I follow. I have made mistakes in the past, forgave myself and vowed to live and lead a cruelty-free life hereon.
I’m not going to sound holier-than-thou because I was once a slave to designer brands but one of the first few things that I did was to actually donate and sell my leather handbags and shoes. I have few more items left and my goal is to completely get rid of them by February. You’re probably asking why shouldn’t I just keep those expensive handbags? Well I don’t want to be reminded of my past and that’s how I am in general. I don’t want to be constantly hounded by my prior mistakes. I just want to move forward for heaven’s sake. I know that I am quite extreme in that respect so out of practicality, here some tips on how to veganize your wardrobe in 4 ways:
Stop buying. Remind yourself why you embraced veganism in the first place. Do you need mental and emotional reinforcement? I suggest that you watch the documentary Earthlings, it is a tough movie to watch but you need to see for yourself the cruelty involved in leather and fur production. HELL ON EARTH. I also suggest to follow Mercy for Animals on Facebook, they have graphic videos but if that’s the way that will open your eyes to the absolute truth, face your fear my friend. I did.
Support indie or up and coming vegan brands. With the rise in vegan population (more than 1.5 million Americans over the age of 17 are now vegan), the demand for vegan products is unprecedented. Google reports 90% increase in vegan search. The vegan leather industry is set to hit 85 billion dollars globally. Gone are the days when faux leather equates to poor quality. Unless you shop accidentally vegan, there are hundreds of brands now that produce stellar and well crafted vegan products. Amour Vert, Petit Vour, these are just some of the retailers that I frequently check for new vegan fashion releases. For relatively affordable options, shop Etsy or visit your local consignment shops. Farm Sanctuary lists vegan retailers, take a look.
Pare down your wardrobe. I know this advice is pretty generic but once you go vegan, practicing minimalism is not too far away. You may have noticed why I always wear black and I that seem to gravitate to the same style day in day out. I strive for practicality and minimalism. Before I buy something, I ask myself few times if that particular item can be used or worn multiple ways. Case in point, the scarf that I wore as headband for this photo is the same one I tie around my bag to accessorize.
Lastly, check for alternatives. While leather and fur are top-of-mind when it comes to fashion, there are several other animal-derived items that are secretly lurking in your closet. Silk is made from cocoon of silkworms, cashmere from the undercoat of cashmere goats, shearling from sheep skin. Explore vegan alternatives such as rayon, organic cotton, linen, hemp, even recycled polyester (rPET).
Remember, veganism is not an embodiment of perfection. No one is born vegan unless your forefathers were. The advocacy we embrace is to thrive in a cruelty-free planet with the least harm to the animals, add the outstanding health benefits of a purely vegan diet (check out how to transition guide) of course!
Check out my video below if you’re looking for a new vegan tote bag.
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