Vegan fashion: Cruelty-free and ethical labels you should have in your wardrobe
Feels so good
Sustainability efforts and ethical practices in the fashion industry are far from perfect, but that doesn't mean we aren't making progress. Brands like Givenchy, Tom Ford, Gucci, Michael Kors and Versace have in recent times gone fur-free and are incorporating more eco-conscious manufacturing processes. "I don't want to kill animals to make fashion, it doesn't feel right," Marco Bizzarri, CEO of Gucci told Business of Fashion last year. "Do you think using furs today is still modern? I don't think it's still modern and that's the reason why we decided not to do that. It's a little bit outdated."
While the big guns take steps to become more eco-conscious, there are brands who have gone the whole nine yards with their vegan approach, creating stylish wares that are free of the skins, hair or feathers of animals, including fur, leather, wool, feathers and silk. Here are five that deserve your money:
Mats Rombaut knows how to have fun. The vegan designer, whose boots have been worn by Bella Hadid, launched a limited edition of 50 green pool slides featuring a butter lettuce leaf upper and a green kale-hue sole. Hadid's stylist Mimi Cuttrell is a fan of the outrageous Lettuce Slides, showing her love for a pair on her 'gram. The experimental Parisian label uses plant-based alternatives such as fig tree bark from Uganda, wild Amazonian rubber, coconut fiber, and even pineapples for its footwear.
Founded by Marin Hopper, daughter of actor and director Dennis Hopper and actress and author Brooke Hayward, Hayward's cult bags are getting serious attention from the fashion set and beyond, as seen at fashion weeks and toted by Hailey Baldwin and Gigi Hadid.
The word "vegan" brings to mind a bohemian aesthetic, but this label will make you think twice with its edgy mini skirts, skintight pants and motorcycle jackets made with vegan leather. Since establishing themself in the industry with their signature Studded Skinny Classique jeans in 2007, the Manhattan-born brand continues to create slick separates that makes wearing vegan clothing cool.
Started by actress Rooney Mara and her friend Sara Schloat, Hiraeth's clothes and accessories are free of wool, silk, cashmere, suede and any animal by-products. Mara, a vegan, told Vogue: "I realised there aren't many [faux leather] options available for someone like me who is interested in design and wants high-quality pieces. In fast fashion, you can find faux leather boots that are really cheap, but while it's cruelty-free in the animal sense, I didn't necessarily know where those things were made, or if they were cruel towards humans."
MATT & NAT
If your everyday go-to bag is a clean, minimalist, and structured piece, put this Canadian label on your radar the next time you're shopping for a new arm candy. Its luxe-looking handbags and footwear come in a rich colour palette of burgundy, mustard, olive, grey and, of course, black, and are mostly priced below USD200. Linings are made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles, and they've recently introduced recycled bicycle tires to the collections.