Working in fashion as a model, I can see firsthand that customers and buyers value animal-based fabrics much more than plant-based or synthetic ones. The sad truth is that the more suffering a product causes to animals, the higher it is valued.
When I went vegan two years ago, and became aware of the cruelty behind every animal-based item, I started changing my entire wardrobe. I found many vegan brands, such as Matt & Nat, Save The Duck, Sydney Brown, Vaute Couture, and Wully Outerwear, and more have been created since. Still, I couldn’t find everything I needed.
I don’t believe the problem will be solved by creating more vegan brands. The market is already saturated with popular, famous non-vegan brands, with broad influence and loyal customer bases, and we vegans also buy from them – we just need to read labels a lot!
Demand creates its own supply. So what we need to do is to compel already-existing brands to go vegan. How? With our consumer behavior. It’s already working – Dr Martens, T.U.K Footwear, Birkenstock, Free People, and Vagabond have all launched vegan lines. Many high-fashion brands have created faux fur styles, and furthermore, a number of fashion giants including Calvin Klein, Gucci, Michael Kors, and Net-a-Porter Group are now refusing to use or sell real animal fur. In the food industry we can see the same kinds of changes, with dairy producers now offering plant-based milks and meat companies investing in alternative vegan and lab-grown ‘clean’ meat.
Our consumer behavior, along with developing technologies in producing alternative materials – lab-grown leather from Modern Meadow, synthetic spider silk from Spiber, mushroom-based leather from MycoWorks – are going to change the fashion industry and free the animals from torture.
With Human 21, I want to help make it happen. I want people to see and know that there are so many options, so many alternatives, even among non-vegan brands and designers. That we can dress animal-free and look amazing while loving and respecting animals’ lives.
Human 21 is an online feed of animal-free womenswear from all over the world, which I curate by myself everyday. If I can’t find a full description for a product or am otherwise in doubt, I always reach out to customer service and verify whether or not it is 100% animal-free. At Human I’m looking for animal-free, stylish and affordable womenswear. I hope Human 21 makes vegan shopping easier for others, because it sure does for me – it’s how I do my own shopping.
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I know that the future of fashion will be animal-free, and we all together will make it happen.