How these vegan fashion brands are paving the way for sustainability profitably
If you feel like veganism is getting a lot of attention lately, that’s because it is. Natalie Portman is a vegan. Ellen Degeneres is vegan. So is Madonna, Arianna Grande, and Miley Cyrus. The list goes on. The growth of veganism seems to be steady and is growing faster than ever. Veganism has emerged as a popular cultural shift that reflects the new generation of conscious thinkers who are deliberately making a change in their lifestyle. Grand view research, a business consultancy predicted that the global faux-fur market alone will be worth $85 Billion by 2025. The age demographic for people who are driving this cause is mostly millennials and consumers under the age of 35.
UK, France and the USA, and Germany are among the countries investing most in veganism. The UK showed a 75% increase in products that are described as a vegan. France only showed a 12% growth, but Paris is committed to becoming the world’s sustainable capital by 2024. Denmark is another country that showed a whopping growth of 320% in vegan products. On the other hand, LA has become the biggest city in America to ban the use of fur.
LA is not just a place for cool vegan spots but also hosted the very first Vegan Fashion Week in Feb 2019. It was a 4-day event that aimed to end animal exploitation by educating fashion enthusiasts about social, ethical and environmental issues related to the use of animals in the fashion industry. Also, LA and San Francisco are now fur-free while New York is following. Now that’s something to celebrate!
When it comes to launching vegan products, no industry is moving faster than the beauty industry. Out of all the new products that were launched in the UK last year, a staggering 82% of them were beauty and cosmetic products. It is not just because of the demand for cruelty-free products has increased, but also the consumer’s general awareness against animal testing. Now an increasing number of people love makeup but not at the cost of animals.
Here are a few vegan brands that are paving a way for sustainable fashion:
- Inika- Inika is the world’s most highly certified organic brand. The makeup is made in Australia and sold in over 25 countries. They have won over 35 international awards for product excellence. Their ingredients are natural, simple and luxurious without any toxic or artificial additives. The raw materials are sustainably sourced and can be traced back to their origin. The reason for their success is their strict ingredients criteria. While a lot of brands pretend to be natural Inika actually is. Therefore, Inika has definitely left a positive impact on the industry with their 100% organic, vegan and cruelty-free products.
- Legends & vibes- Legend & vibes is a vegan brand, run by only women that was started by the owner of a vegan boutique called Vegan Scene. Amy Rebecca Wilde launched her own line of vegan clothing after getting tired of finding affordable vegan pieces that were high-fashion for her boutique. Her designs were inspired by deadstock, excess fabric from mills, garment factories, etc. using leftover material meant limited pieces. In the world of mass-produced fashion, it’s definitely a good thing to know not everyone will be seen in the same outfits. After two years, Wilde started Kickstarter Campaign to begin with sustainable scaling and increase in production. Wilde’s said, “We aim to cut the industry a new one from top to bottom by creating systemic change in making informed choices that start with what materials we choose to use, how we source them, where we turn them into garments, and how the workers are treated,”
- Matt and Nat- Matt and Nat was started in 1995 by Manny Kohli who was inspired by MAT(T)ERIAL and NAT(URE) in Montreal. It is a vegan, ethical, sustainable and recycled brand. Their bags are made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles. They use other sustainable material like cork and rubber to make bag linings. The head office in Montreal, Canada is a ‘cruelty-free’ zone. On the last Friday of every month, the staff holds a vegetarian potluck at which time employees’ birthdays are celebrated with vegan cupcakes!
- Stella McCartney- Stella McCartney is a renowned luxury brand worldwide. It was started as a vegan and eco-friendly brand back in 2001. In the beginning, she was ridiculed for starting a luxury business and abstaining from the use of animal leather and fur, which are considered as the most luxurious materials. But Stella broke all the barriers and become the ‘queen of sustainability’. Her brand has become the epitome of sustainability. There is no use of animal leather, fur, PVC and sandblasting. The brand does not use cotton produced in Uzbekistan, Syrian, Turkmenistan or from other countries that are considered high risk for child labor or forced labor. She is a master at disguising sustainability as practical and contemporary men’s wear and women’s wear. Her recently opened flagship store in London is an asylum of sustainability. Office’s paper waste has been recycled and used for papier-mâché, furniture is made of recycled materials and the mannequins are made out of bio-plastic material, all this reflects the brand’s philosophy in a tangible form.
Even though many new brands are emerging as sustainable and vegan, the luxury sector still has a long way to go. However, last year a number of luxury houses pledged to ban exotic leathers and furs from their collections. Gucci, Chanel, and Burberry promised to no longer use fur 2018 onwards.
Every brand has to keep in mind the environmental implications and it is a duty for brands to educate the consumer about what goes into the production of a product. In the end, it’s obviously the consumer’s decision to buy or not to buy but educating them first is a must.
Hi! Shagun here. I am an Accessory Designer from NIFT, New Delhi and working as Brand Manager at ILoveFashionRetail. I am an avid traveler and love to explore new places every now and then.