2020 has been overwhelming for so many of us, including the planet. Even though travel has been severely limited and manufacturing and production has been disrupted, the active usage of disposable medical masks, gloves and gowns (on a global scale), to protect against the virus has resulted in the production of significant single use plastic waste. Keeping in mind the environmental situation is already critical, it is even more important to switch our lifestyle to a more sustainable and conscious one.
Our consumption habits and the brands we use on a daily basis is one of the key aspects which influence the global market. As consumers, we have significant influence and can actively be part of the solution by choosing sustainable, vegan alternatives over fast-fashion brands. Every purchase we make is a chance to vote for the future we want to see. We need to stop voting for the global conglomerates who thrive on our disposable consumption habits and instead support sustainable initiatives. Our ability to vote with our wallets can force businesses to change their policies and implement more eco-friendly practices. So, what are some other reasons why we should choose vegan clothing brands? Susan Stevens, CEO and Founder of a not-for-profit sustainable online platform Made with Respect, shares her advice:
It’s at the forefront of fashion trends
It is no secret that real fur and leather are out of fashion, with such huge fashion powerhouses like Stella McCartney, Nanushka, Benedetti Life all switching to vegan materials for their collections. Customer behaviour patterns are also clear: according to the 2020 Conscious Fashion Report by Lyst, the search query for vegan leather has increased by 69% within a year. At the same time, Edited verified a 75 percent increase in products described as “vegan” in the UK year over year. Fashionistas, industry insiders, influencers and taste-makers from all over the world are joining the vegan fashion movement, making conscious and eco-friendly the biggest and most celebrated trend.
One of the most common misconceptions about vegan, or sustainable, fashion is that it’s expensive. However, if you take into account the life cycle of a clothing item purchased from a fast fashion store, it’s made and sold cheaply and continuously redesigned to encourage you to wear a few times, dispose and replace. In comparison, sustainably made clothing is produced from natural durable materials, made to wear and wash well and designed to be timeless so that it lasts. There are now plenty of indie brands in the market that prove vegan doesn’t mean expensive: among those are Wolven, Flock by Nature, AmaElla, Elvis and Kresse.
It cares for the environment
The fast fashion industry is one of the largest polluters and most resource intensive industries in the world. Fast fashion brands have evolved from traditional “two collections per year” (winter & summer) up to a whopping 52 micro-seasons per year, we live in a consumer culture that teaches us to buy more things to constantly stay on top of the latest fashions and trends. This behaviour has also augmented waste: the equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill every second. This waste then often contributes to ocean pollution, converting into microplastics which are being found in all water reservoirs and even our food chain. On the contrary, vegan fashion chooses natural materials, steers free from using harmful chemicals and sticks to environmental protocols that reduce waste.
It uses humane production practices
The respect of all living beings is an important aspect of the overall ethics of vegan production; be that fashion, beauty, or any other industry. In 2020, through the evolution of technology and our own knowledge, there is no need for animals to be used for testing, to suffer or be sacrificed so that we can safely apply skincare, makeup or wear a piece of clothing.
One of the goals of sustainable clothing is to lower cost per wear. What does this mean to the consumer? Cost per wear is the cost of clothing divided by the times the person will wear it. The high quality, timeless pieces from natural and durable materials will stay in great condition for much longer and will become an integral part of a consumers wardrobe for many years.
It pioneers technological innovation
Abandoning some materials means the need to find alternatives. Many brands are learning how to combine the positive impact with high quality products; using post consumer plastic and abandoned fishing net waste found in the ocean, repurposing it and creating beautiful designs thanks to new recycling technologies, among these innovative brands are Recover, Solgaard, Gemma Lee Suits, Aurai & Reefcycle. As technology continues to improve, more brands can embrace alternative sustainable materials that are better for our planet and every living being on it.
It Simply Feels Good
Knowing all the stats and the issues that fast fashion brings to the planet...doesn’t it just feel good knowing that through simply choosing to live more consciously you are contributing to make Earth, our only home, a better place to live?
I’m Tiny Sarah, a vegan dream cake maker who creates epic cakes that feed your belly and nourish your soul. I am passionate about making veganism fun, relatable and accessible, so World Vegan Month is really close to my heart. Here are five things I’ll be doing to celebrate throughout November…to read more click HERE