You’re a busy young vegan professional and as such, you’re wont to stress about a lot of things. “How am I going to come up with rent money while simultaneously accompanying my girlfriends to wine tasting this weekend?” “Will I meet my boss’s impossible deadline?” “Am I ever going to find true love, and why am I consistently finding myself on boring, mundane dates?” Or maybe it’s just me. Regardless, us young professionals can unite over one common denominator: fashion.
Every woman wants to appear well polished, even if the rest of her life feels chaotic. If you’re compassionate, you also want your apparel to reflect your ethics, meaning everything should be animal- and sweatshop-free. Finally, your daily office ensemble should be fashionable and suit your personal style.
Follow this cruelty-free guide and you’ll be dressed to impress (though I’m not sure it will help you meet your project deadline):
Tops and Bottoms
Is it just me, or has leather been in vogue this year? Not only have the runways been awash with classic jackets, but suddenly tops and bottoms are studded with leather accents. Unfortunately, most leather in the United States is imported from countries like China and India, both of which do not adhere to strict animal welfare laws. Cows’ tails are broken, and tobacco and chili peppers are forced into their eyes in an attempt to blind them before entering the slaughterhouse. In the U.S., things aren’t much better: the animals are castrated, dehorned, and branded–often without painkillers.
For affordable tops and bottoms made with faux leather, check out Zara and H&M
An outfit without a good coat is akin to a soy latte without a healthy dose of soy whipped cream. In blustery temperatures, many people turn to down coats for warmth. In order to construct a down coat, though, ducks and geese are restrained while their feathers are ripped directly from their skin. Often, the process is so unregulated that the birds’ skin is torn open and sewn back together with a needle and thread. Painkillers are generally not administered.
Commute to your office in coats from Vaute Couture (my personal favorite), Polyvore, or Alternative Outfitters.
Most women can appreciate a good shoe. Just as the leather industry harms cows for your office apparel, the product of their suffering is also used to manufacture shoes. Plus, did you know that the leather in your shoes isn’t even guaranteed to originate from cow skin? Alligators, ostriches, kangaroos, dogs, and cats are all known to be slaughtered for their meat in other countries and their skin is then exported to the U.S. Not so glamorous, right?
Thankfully, there are many popular designers that have jumped on the proverbial bandwagon, blessing us with cruelty-free shoes that are also fashionable (i.e. not Birkenstocks). Visit Beyond Skin, Olsen Haus, and Steven Madden for all of your professional shoe needs.
What’s a work outfit without a day bag? Unfortunately, for many, leather bags have become synonymous with sophistication and class. I encourage you to explore the many vegan-friendly accessory brands that offer faux leather purses, guaranteeing that you’ll remain stylish sans the real leather.
Personally, I like ModCloth, but you can also check out Matt & Nat and Brooklyn Industries.
Also in Style: Librarian’s Guide to Fall Sweaters
Reader Question: I Need Help Finding an Engagement Ring for My Vegan Girlfriend
By Molly: What You Need to Know About Vivisection
Photo: Zara; H&M; J. Crew; Vaute Couture; Moo Shoes; Nae; ModCloth