This World Vegan Month, delicious vegan food is on offer everywhere – but veganism is more than just what we eat. Living a vegan lifestyle means choosing to do as little harm to animals as we possibly can, including in areas that go beyond the kitchen. Vegan fashion is on the rise around the world: in 2019 alone, the number of shoe designs described as ‘vegan’ increased by 27% year-on-year in the US and 36% in the UK.
It looks like this World Vegan Month will be one when fashion will get as much traction as food – and labels around the globe are taking note. Brands and consumers alike are choosing to look beyond animal skins to create a more conscious and compassionate fashion industry. We’ve selected some of the most forward-thinking and style-conscious labels that make their collections animal-free.
What makes this handbag brand stand out is the fact that Luxtra only uses fruit leathers. Each of the London label’s designs are made from pineapple leather Piñatex, apple leather from Frumat, or the latest in vegan innovation – mango leather. In fact, Luxtra’s mango range looks just like exotic animal leather, but is made from food waste. The mango leather used by Luxtra is produced by Fruitleather Rotterdam, a company aiming to “rescue” unwanted and unsold fruit and give it new life by transforming it into luxurious vegan leather.
House of Fluff, New York
Kym Canter was a creative director in the fur industry – until she had a change of heart and decided that not only did she no longer want to sell fur, she no longer wanted to wear it. So she sold the 26 (yes, 26!) animal fur coats in her wardrobe and used the money to launch House of Fluff, a New York-based faux-fur brand. The label, which now also offers sweatshirts and outerwear in vegan-friendly cactus leather, has sustainability at its core– the Eco Fur is made from 37% bio-based fibres and 67% recycled polyester. The label is aiming to eliminate polyester and virgin synthetics from their range by 2021.
Taylor + Thomas, Los Angeles
This vegan shoe brand was founded by Jessica Taylor Mead and Elizabeth Thomas James, who met in a shoe design class after long careers in the fashion industry. They launched their label in 2018, offering a curated collection of designs perfect for a capsule wardrobe. Heavy on ankle boots, sleek stilettos and statement loafers, their collection is crafted from water-based polyurethane (which doesn’t use toxic chemicals in its production practices), recycled plastic bottles, corn and recyclable rubber.
Many of the recently launched vegan fashion brands seem to focus on accessories. But what about apparel? Well, this Dutch brand has got that covered: its casually glamorous aesthetic is both very current and guaranteed to stand the test of time. Championing ethical materials such as ramie and Lyocell, Noumenon is also big on recycling: one of the label’s specialties is giving surplus fabrics and upcycling for a truly unique look.
This is Scandi chic done to perfection – and it’s all vegan. Mayla, which is approved as vegan by PETA, is all about that Northern minimalism that is both nonchalant and extremely Instagrammable. From soft, puffy-sleeved knits and vegan coats made from deadstock materials to day dresses and WFH-appropriate sweatshirts, this is the go-to label for the perfect cruelty-free capsule wardrobe
This Paris-based vegan fashion label focuses on offering a wearable, versatile selection of vegan leather, from classic biker jackets to sleek mini skirts and French-chic faux-leather trousers. This Poetique minimises its impact on the environment by choosing leather made from apples, recycled materials such as plastic bottles, and cellulose made from grains and cereals.
No Saints, Sydney
Vegan sneakers are definitely having a moment – but this was not the case when Caroline Breure found herself frustrated with the lack of leather-free shoe options. So she created No Saints, a label that crafts on-trend sneaker designs in leather made from pineapples, apples, and recycled polyester. From gold-toned Piñatex statement styles to more subtle, classic low-tops in black or white, No Saints’ cruelty-free, ethically produced designs are the perfect companions to an effortlessly chic weekend outfit.
Disclosure: Details are correct at time of publishing. Opinions are that of the writer’s. This curated list does not fully take into account all the ethical considerations that are unique to each individual. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to do your own research paying particular attention to the supply chain and your own particular set of ethics. You can also check out online tools and apps that provide product reviews and brand ratings here. Click here to read more about our policies.
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Cover image via Mayla.