In January 2018, I started my vegan journey. It was an immediate switch–I didn’t think about it too much and just jumped in at the deep end (something I tend to do in life!). I’d had a dodgy meal the night before, and my vegan friend who came over to visit from Dubai was a staunch vegan, so I thought “what the heck.” That week I only cooked vegan meals, we only ate vegan food, and the litmus test came when I had my first oat milk latte. It was everything I wanted it to be and more–creamy, sweet and full of flavor. I had no reason to go back, just to look forward to the tasty journey veganism was about to take me on. Next in line was the fashion…
It’s easier said than done with fashion. It’s not just expensive to throw out all our belts, shoes and accessories, but also ultimately environmentally damaging. The transition process to plant-based wardrobe can take time, and I had to transition based on my lifestyle and finances before I could wear sustainable and ethical materials. I made sure at any given opportunity that I didn’t wear leather, used organic cotton and began turning to hemp and other plant-based materials for my clothes. It’s where I began to find some of the below brands, which have become staples in my now vegan wardrobe.
Research is key, and it takes a little longer to find what you want; both in terms of dietary requirements, and style, but I got there in the end and so can you. You must read-up online, check every label on every product, and if you don’t know what a substance that is being used is, Google it! Google is my savior when it comes to learning about substances, materials and ingredients – it’s also shocked me at times; what I thought was vegan wasn’t, but there are some gems that I thought weren’t vegan that actually turned out to be vegan, like Biscoff spread! Yes, Biscoff spread IS VEGAN!
Granted, checking labels is a laborious task, but if like me, you’re desire to change to a vegan lifestyle is genuine, the time spent will be well spent indeed.
So, without further ado, the below vegan fashion brands are my favorites for both men and women, check them out and start your vegan journey here…
5 Up-And-Coming Vegan Fashion Labels To Know
1. Love Is Mighty
If you like colourful character, you’re in for a treat. Love is Mighty is the lovechild of BFA in Fashion graduate Monisha Raja, who has designed for the likes of DKNY, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and more. Love is Mighty creates vegan shoes and fashion accessories that really stand out. They believe in social consciousness, sustainability and animal welfare. Their trademark patterns provide a wonderful taste of Asian culture, using vintage embroidered textiles with no two shoes being the same!
2. Kuma Design
A fashion accessory brand that is STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified. Kuma Design base their vegan leather fashion accessories on the beauty of the butterfly. Each butterfly brooch, necklace or earring is handcrafted using Swarovski crystals, vegan leather and sustainable metal. They’re also dyed by hand too, so each accessory is individual to the person holding it.
3. Tokyo Bags
What’s interesting about Tokyo Bags is their focus on men’s bags. These are handcrafted vegan leather satchels and rucks sacks that have grown so popular over the years, Tokyo Bags moved into crafted women’s clutches and handbags too, to cater for the popularity of their product. Tokyo Bags appreciate the vegan and sustainable movement, staying away from fast-fashion and catering for a longer-term more luxurious product for their customers.
4. Unreal Fur
Using 100% vegan and sustainable fur, Unreal Fur has a real passion for social responsibility. Their missing is to end the use of real fur in the industry, and what a mission that is! They’re a top-tier label providing in-vogue fur and are stocked in Bloomingdales, Saks Sixth Avenue and Revolve. As Unreal Fur says it – everyone that wears Unreal Fur is saving a life!
5. Bead and Reel
Bead and Reel isn’t a label–it’s a sustainable community and a marketplace connecting ethical companies to consumers. Its online boutique is the perfect place to find an organic cotton t-shirt, sassy jumpsuit or reclaimed metal jewelry.
If you think that’s it, you’ll be pleasantly mistaken. There are loads of cool ethical and sustainable fashion brands making their way into the limelight. Not only that, big brands that use animals are switching to, or at least providing vegan alternatives, too. The fashion world is moving into a vegan way of life – make sure you don’t get left behind!
Which one of these designers are you looking forward to?
Photo: Respective brands