Fashion

Fashionable and vegan, there is absolutely no reason why these two words should not go together. There are new ‘tribes’ of vegans appearing; goth, punk, environmentalist – veganism is no longer sole reserve of hippies.

To find out why vegans avoid fabrics such as silk, wool and leather go to [intlink id=”114″ type=”post”]Why Go Vegan? [/intlink]

Where to buy alternatives:

Organic/Fair Trade

Other issues when it comes to clothing industry are the human and environmental impact. Consider fair trade or organic which is better for both the farmers and the planet. Some well known brands and most of the high street shops  like Dorothy Perkins, TopShop and New Look now do organic or ‘eco’ fabric (like bamboo) lines and America Apparel are also sweat shop free.

Read more:

  • [intlink id=”387″ type=”post”]The Rough Guide to Ethical Shopping[/intlink] by Duncan Clark

Where to buy:

Vintage

The probably the greenest way to go is to buy second hand or vintage, as this will ensure no new resources are utilised. With all the potential harm that can be caused when manufacturing clothes, we now have to consider what happens to them when we don’t want them anymore. Some would say we are forunate to live in a world where fashion is so readily available and now so cheap that we can literally afford to by something, wear it once and throw it away. But it still comes at a price. Unfortunately these items are most likely going to be man made fabrics which will take hundreds of years to break down in landfills. Obvious places to shop are charity shops and Ebay although you should note vintage has become very fashionable so it’s not always cheaper.

Also look out for companies that use recyled materials or cut offs from the fashion industry.

Read more:

  • [intlink id=”387″ type=”post”]Green is the New Black[/intlink] by Tamsin Blanchard

Where to buy:

Swishing

Swishing has emerged in the last couple of years, this entails getting together some of your preloved but now no longer worn clothing items and swapping them for someone else’s. You can either hold a swishing party with your friends, attend a swishing event or simply register with one of the many swishing websites and do it all online.

Where to swish:

DIY

If you’re handy with a needle and thread you could always customise what you have (to give it a new lease of life) or make your own from scratch. Find vintage and designer patterns on Ebay or Etsy and combine this with vintage or retro fabrics, and don’t forget those knitting needles – it doesn’t have to be wool from a sheep (see top of page)!

Here the Twin and Tonic ladies are sporting their home made army dresses using an original 1940s pattern.

Where to buy:

There are a growing number of vegan/vegetarian footwear companies with really fashionable, contemporary designs – there’s is no need to resort to socks and sandals (although should you wish Birkenstock do a small vegan range see below)!

Bourgeois Boheme  Visit website

Vegan boutique that also sells accessories and pride themselves on being ethical and compassionate with many practical designs.They stock not only  their own name brand products but other vegan makes too for men and women.

Stockists: Buy online

Beyond Skin Visit website

If you need something a bit dressy this site has some very sexy contemporary womens’ designs to rival any high street shop all of which are completely animal free. They even have a bespoke service for wedding shoes!

Stockists: Buy online

Birkenstock  Visit website

They currently only do a limited range for vegans colour, style and size wise but are willing to expand if the demand is there. So if you have non vegan friends who like Birkenstocks encourage them to go vegan, they look and feel just the same!

Stockists: Buy Online, Check website for nearest one

Cri De Coeur  Visit website

Not only are the ankle boots serisouly cool but all the shoes are handmade using materials such as shiny patent and luxe suede. They carry only a women’s line currently.

Stockists: Neon Collective

Ethletic Visit website

Ethical sneakers.

Stockists: Buy online

Ethical Wares visit website

Ethically based mail order company run by vegans with vegan products.  The shoes are nice 🙂

Stockists: buy online

Green Shoes Visit website

Bespoke shoes for men, women and kiddies with most designs available in the vegan variety.

Stockists: Buy online

Izzy Lane  Visit website

Tons of cute sling backs in different colours and fabrics, Vegetarian Society approved and hand made in London. The founder also has her own flock of rescued sheep. They carry only a women’s line currently.

Stockists: Buy online

Macbeth Visit website

Music inspired footwear with a ton of vegan options.

Melissa Shoes Visit website

Jelly shoes! Vegan friendly, smell like bubblegum and completely recyclable – what more do you need? Oh how about collaborations with Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood!

Stockists: ASOS, Fashion Conscience

Neon Collective  Visit website

The New Consumer calls them ‘fashion focused’ and that they are, this is a seriously stylish online boutique stocking some of the best vegan shoe designers.

Novacas Visit website

Shoes made from synthetic microfiber which are meant to stretch, wear and breathe just like leather. They have both men’s and women’s ranges.

Stockists: Bourgeois Boheme, Neon Collective

Olsen Haus Visit website

Uber fashionable flats and heels. Womens line only.

Stockists: Fashion-Conscience, Neon Collective

Opificio Visit website

Italian vegan shoes.

Stockists: Buy online

Sinple Shoes  Visit website

Eco shoes made from organic, recycled or sustainable materials. They have vegan ranges for men, women and kiddies.

Stockists: Buy online

SSOV  Visit website

They are Veganlines official retailer in London and also stock Bourgeois Boheme and Macbeth .

Stockists: Buy online, visit their King’s Cross store

The Third Estate  Visit website

All vegan shoe store in Kentish Town.

Stockists:

Tivydale  Visit website

Vegan and Vegetarian Society approved women’s shoes.

Stockists:

TOMS  Visit website

Every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS will give a pair to a child in need. They have a small range of men and womens vegan styles.

Stockists: Buy online

Vegan Line Visit website

Men’s and women’s vegan shoes.

Stockists: Buy online

Vegan Store Visit website

The aim of this online vegan shop is to make going and staying vegan fun. They stock shoes for both men and women.

Vegetarian Shoes  Visit website

A site with a massive range of men’s and women’s shoes, including safety footwear, sports shoes, hiking boots and even creepers of all things (guess Teddy Boys can be vegan too!).

Stockists: Buy online, visit their Brighton store

Wills Shoes  Visit website

All vegan shoes for men and women.

Stockists: Buy online

The high street is by no means off limits, places like New Look, Peacocks and Dorothy Perkins have labels with material symbols on them so you know what each part of a shoe is made of, but this is no guarantee that the glue used in these shoes are not made from animals, it is unlikely sales staff will know this so you may need to contact customer services ahead of your visit:

Symbols for leather, textile and other materials

Symbols for leather, textile and other materials

 

For animal friendly equivalents to popular shoes such as Uggs, Nomads, Timberlands or Snowjoggers try Ebay or discount shoes stores but again you will need to check whether synethtic adhesives have been used.

Fashion Conscience Visit Website

Ethcal online fashion retalier that stocks a range of vegan handbags.

Feelgood HandbagsVisit Website

This is an online company which seeks out animal friendly suppliers and designers to supply their handbags.   All the bags and accessories on the site are vegan.  There are other vegan items such as shoes  and belts.  I would suggest checking the description and if you are unsure email to check.

Herve Chapelier  Visit website

The shape of their signature bag is very distinctive (available in different sizes) with it’s simplistic styling and the two tone block colour combination options have been added to by patterned and even patent and camouflage alternatives. All the bags are made from nylon, most of them are vegan friendly but there are a few styles that have leather handles but this is listed in the description, enquire about specific items if in doubt.

Stockists: Buy online, Fenwick (New Bond St, London – email or call them beforehand to check they have what you want as they only have limited stock)

LeSportsac Visit website

Designers who have collaborated with the label are Gwen Steffani (LAMB) and Diane von Furstenberg, although the most notable would have to be Stella McCartney because of course she is a vegetarian and her own line of handbags are all leather free (she does sometimes use wool).

Unfortunately there is currently no shipping to the UK via the offical website, but you can find many items on Ebay. Generally with the classic collection you shouldn’t have to worry about fakes but apparently they are around. Selfridges used to stock it in the luggage department but they no longer appear to have a section since they had a big sale clear out in 2008.

Stockists: Items can easily be picked up in most Japanese department stores (should you happen to be in the area!) , the London branch of Mitsukoshi, of course there are a number of boutiques in the US, Ebay (try the US version of the site for a huge selection), and Stella’s collections for LeSportsac have previously been available in the UK via Matches and My Wardrobe

Lulu Guinness  Visit website

Another make to check out is Lulu Guinness, she does some super cute purses and handbags with quirky embroidered slogans and illustrations. Different fabrics are used across the collections including silk and leather (as well as man made satin, pvc and canvas) so please enquire about specific items.

Stockists: Check website for your nearest one

Lacoste  Visit website

Lacoste do ranges of bags made from nylon, check out this seasons designs on their website (under Leather Goods – don’t be put off!), hover over the design you are interested in and it will tell what material it is made from, you can then find your nearest store too.

Stockists: Check website for your nearest one

Matt & Nat  Visit website

Should you wish to steer clear of companies that use leather all together MAtt & Nat are at the forefront of cruelty free equivalents to designer handbags. Wholeheartedly vegan they are determined to prove animal friendly can be fashionable too. Take a look at their divine metallic silver collection ‘Poole’ and while you’re on the site have a browse of their blog too.

Stockists: Buy online, The Natural Store, Nature’s Boutique

Nica  Visit website

Featuring ranges of bags made from soft faux leather and fabric, they update their bags and purses each season by releasing them in new colours.

Stockists: Check website for your nearest one

Neon Collective  Visit website

The New Consumer calls them ‘fashion focused’ and that they are, this is a seriously stylish online boutique stocking some of the best vegan designers.

Plum Ethical Visit website

An online bag shop specialising in leather free, eco friendly and recycled bags. Please contact them about vegan suitability.

Susie Faulks Visit website

PeTA approved vegan bags made in the UK..

Wilby Clutch Visit website

PeTA and Vegetarian Society approved bags made in the UK.

If you are not into labels the high street is also a good place to look there are plenty of options and it is now common place to label the materials. You can also try asking sale staff, but faux leather can often look so authentic it’s hard to tell the difference from the real thing. On fashion store ASOS you can browse the handbags by non leather and they have many brands as well as their own line of handbags.

 

 

Get our Happy News

* indicates required