January might be almost over, but for many veganuary is set to go beyond the month, and the dinner plate. While designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney have been championing ethical fashion and cruelty-free clothing for decades, the conversation has only truly opened up in the last year or so – in fact it was a big theme at this year’s British Fashion Awards.
While completely overhauling your wardrobe isn’t exactly sustainable, you can definitely start adding to it with these vegan clothing brands and vegan fashion designers.
Vegan clothing brands
The two aforementioned designers aside, there are plenty of niche brands you may not have heard of which are creating quite a stir in the sartorial world. Melie Bianco sells only 100% vegan and sweatshop-free clothing, while Umasan’s gender-fluid pieces are made of eco materials.
When shopping for vegan clothing, it’s always important to check the label too. For example, New York brand Miakoda 100% recycled packaging and 100% plant-based material fibres.
Also make sure you ask about packaging. Too many brands still rely on plastic packaging, which we all know end up in our oceans and damaging our planet. Ideally, you’d want them wrapped in recyclable paper or re-usable fabric.
If you’d rather shun leather handbags in favour of some vegan handbags, then there are more brands on offer than you’d think. As you’d expect, we’re not talking animal skin here, but different materials made to look like it. According to PETA, ‘most vegan leather is made of polyurethane, a polymer that can be made to order. It can sparkle, have a nice glossy sheen, or be saturated in all kinds of shades.’
With that in mind, you can also find plenty of high-quality, affordable vegan leather shoes around, from the likes of OlsenHaus and London-based Bourgeois Boheme.
Accessorize's first ever vegan bag collection features a mix of versatile designs ranging from crossbody styles, backpacks and totes. The brand is striving to make it easier for consumers to shop more consciously through its sustainable initiative, ‘Designed For Good’, which produces collections using manufacturing methods which are kinder to the planet.
Threesixfive was created by Tiffany Watson to provide a luxury alternative to leather. The products, which include bags as well as smaller accessories, are made from vegan leather and recycled paper.