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What Is Vegan Fashion and Why It Matters?

When you think of going vegan, it’s quite common to associate the lifestyle with a plant-based diet — but how you choose to consume fashion is also a huge piece of the vegan puzzle. And just like the dietary preference, choosing vegan fashion means you are protecting animals from undergoing extreme cruel treatment.   

Key Takeaways: 
  • Vegan fashion is all about cruelty-free clothing, i.e. unlike fast-mainstream fashion, the processes used in manufacturing these garments do not harm animals 
  • If we do not change our choices now, 430 million cows will be slaughtered every year to produce fast-fashion leather 
  • Practicing fashion veganism extends to the use of vegan/plant-based leather alternatives instead of virgin leather
So, What Counts as Vegan Fashion?

Going vegan with your fashion choices means choosing plant-based clothes, shoes and handbags over their animal-derived counterparts. Contrary to popular opinion, vegan fashion goes beyond organic cotton. Plant-based fibres include the likes of hemp, bamboo, flax (linen), peace silk and lyocell. Whereas, vegan leather alternatives are now coming from unforeseen sources like pineapples (Pinatex), mushrooms (Mylo), apples (Frumat) and even cactus (Desserto).

Images courtesy: A.W.A.K.E. Mode, Veja, Stella McCartney

Leading brands like Stella McCartney, Veja, Nanushka, A.W.A.K.E. Mode, to name a few, are already using vegan leather for their range of luxury handbags and shoes. To add to the list, luxury automaker, Tesla recently started offering vegan leather seating for its cars. Following which, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Ferrari and Lexus hopped on the bandwagon too.

Veganism is a way of living which rejects all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

So, if you were to adopt a strict vegan lifestyle, that would not only involve giving up meat and dairy but also animal-derived materials like leather, wool, down, cashmere, mohair, and fur. 

The process of obtaining these materials have repeatedly come under fire and been exposed for their relentless abuse of animals for fashion through investigations conducted by animal rights organisation PETA.

Why Bother Going Vegan with Fashion?

Nearly half of the global leather trade is carried out in developing countries, where cows are subjected to constant abuse and torture before they are skinned. 

In order for brands to keep selling and thriving off leather goods, the fashion industry would end up slaughtering 430 million cows annually by 2025.

And it isn’t just cows that get butchered mercilessly; crocodiles, snakes and lizards also meet a similar fate for their exotic skins that are often used in leather goods. 

Despite being banned in several countries, fur-farming is still rampant in China and across Europe. 100 million animals are killed every year for their fur. Of which, 2 million dogs & cats are prey to this heinous practice every single year. The cruelty goes to lengths by capturing animals in the wild using spring traps and metal teeth that crush bones and tear muscle. 

In addition to animals, insects like silkworms are brutally dunked in boiling water in order to create conventional silk. To put it into perspective, 6,600 silkworms are slaughtered for the production of just 1 kilogram worth of silk.

Not only does vegan fashion make you look good, it makes you feel good too.

At ZAVI, we realise how animals and cruelty-free clothing are often a forgotten part of the sustainable fashion dialogue. Which is why we choose to source peace silk to produce some of our sustainable womenswear range

Peace or vegan silk is procured in a manner similar to that of its conventional predecessor, with the key exception of not killing the worms. Peaceful sericulture encourages the silkworm’s natural process of metamorphosis by obtaining the cracked cocoon after the moth has broken free and emerged. So, you can be rest assured knowing that no silkworms were sacrificed for your silk clothes.

Now that you know better, feel free to check out our sumptuous range of vegan silk tops and vegan silk dresses for women.

Published by: Jharna pariani/ 2021-02-05

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