What is Vegan Fashion?

Gretchen Röehrs

Vegan fashion – what is vegan fashion? Luisa from Online Personal Stylist is a professional fashion stylist and editor, on an ethical fashion journey. Whilst many of us are comfortable with understanding vegan diets there seems to be much confusion regarding vegan fashion. If you are an eco conscious individual, read on to see why it is important to support vegan fashion whether we are travelling or staying at home. In this post Luisa shares with us what vegan fashion is, why we should support vegan fashion and vegan fashion tips.  

Luisa decided to switch to vegan fashion and beauty back in 2015 and has not looked back. Whilst she still owns some items that were purchased prior to her ethical lifestyle change, all of the items she now purchases are 100% vegan.

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What is vegan fashion by Luisa from Online Personal Stylist

Luisa from Online Personal Stylist

What is Vegan Fashion?

Not so long ago, it seemed that we simply had “fashion” and that was that. True, we had designer fashion and high-street fashion, but that is about as far as the division went. These days we also have eco-friendly fashion, vegan fashion, sustainable fashion, fair-trade fashion, and fast fashion. Admittedly, this does seem a lot and a little difficult to digest, but I promise that it’s definitely worth investing the time in understanding what they mean.

Vegan fashion is fashion made from materials that don’t involve cruelty to animals. This means that no animal leather, fur or suede is used. In beauty products this would mean that ingredients such as honey would be excluded from vegan beauty products, and the cosmetics would not be tested on animals. There are also other terms used to describe positive fashion, but not all of these are strictly vegan. Sometimes ethical fashion can refer to vegan fashion, whereas others consider ethical fashion to be items that are made to last, which may include high quality animal leather. Typically, any phrase used to describe positive fashion movements will mean that it is good for the environment, doesn’t involve cruelty to animals, is better quality and will last longer (so no need to keep buying/replacing), and supports good working conditions for employees. Some ethical brands focus specifically on just one of these issues, which means that not all ethical/sustainable brands are ethical so it is important to check with them on their vegan fashion status.

Starting Your Vegan Fashion Journey

Image by Gretchen Röehrs

We all want to make positive fashion decisions, but undoing the thoughts and knowledge of everything we’ve learned prior to making the decision to lead a more conscious lifestyle, isn’t going to happen overnight. I’d recommend gaining a thorough understanding of what each of these ethical fashion subdivisions mean, to ensure that you continue your ethical fashion journey slowly but surely. If you’re already following a vegan diet, you might be aware of the dangers of rushing into it without any research and then quickly burning out. Any lifestyle change should be one that fits nicely into your everyday life. It’s like with diet and exercise, an extreme plan that doesn’t suit your schedule, tastes or budget, will be extremely difficult to maintain.  Whereas something that feels quite natural to incorporate into your daily life is more likely to succeed and stand the test of time. The same applies to ethical fashion.

For inspiration on buying your first vegan clothing item from a 100% vegan company check out this post about the ultimate vegan slogan tee from Vegan Outfitters.

Misconceptions about ethical fashion

As a professional stylist and blogger, I’ve encountered so many people who’ve conjured up false belief systems on what ethical fashion is. Some common opinions include:

  • Ethical fashion is ridiculously expensive
  • There’s a lack of choice
  • It’s all baggy clothes and tie-dye

In fact none of these statements are really true. Sure, you can find boho and tie-dye pieces – but you can find the same from fast fashion brands too. Provided that you know where to shop, there is a huge choice available, but this again refers back to the need to re-educate ourselves. If we were to go out shopping on the high-street we’d probably know where to look for what. This is because we’ve became accustomed to these stores and their products. We’ve been around these stores for years, so don’t get disheartened if initially, searching for ethical fashion isn’t as fast and easy as shopping from mainstream stores.

Transitioning to vegan fashion

vegan outfitters tshirt
Vegan Slogan T-Shirt from Vegan Outfitters

The transition and learning which brands you like will take a little bit of time – but that’s completely normal. As for the price tag, the misleading habit here is that many fashionistas who choose to support vegan fashion go from shopping at budget, fast fashion stores to stumbling upon a luxury, bespoke ethical brand. From there, conscious fashion has earned itself the reputation of being expensive and out of budget for the average consumer on the street. But again, these are two completely different price zones. These luxury brands are not the “norm” for vegan fashion; they are the ethical equivalent to brands such as Prada or Chanel, etc.

There are vegan brands out there to suit every budget, so you don’t have to be super wealthy to be ethical.

List of budget-friendly vegan brands:

Buy Less, Buy Better, Choose Well

When adopting sustainable fashion habits, some changemakers follow the “buy less, buy better approach.” Often this means spending slightly more on items with the intention of wearing them more and making them last. This is an excellent practice and one that will save you money in the long-run. If however, you feel clueless about what to buy or what suits, check out these virtual colour analysis and body shape packages. These will help you to gain a better understanding of what garment styles, fits, patterns and colours will suit you best. Plus, with the colour analysis consultations, you will receive your own personalised colour palette, full of shades that best suit your individual skin tone type.

Switching over to vegan fashion is an easy and enjoyable experience. Figure out what you want to spend and what you need and will actually wear. Do your research and find brands that suit your ethical beliefs and your budget. You don’t have to throw out everything in your wardrobe and makeup bag that isn’t vegan because that causes unnecessary waste. Instead, just be smarter with the choices you make next time you purchase or replace something.

Luisa from Online Personal Stylist

Do you support vegan fashion?

Huge thanks to Luisa for this wonderful guide about vegan fashion.

It is important that during our travels as vegans we keep in mind the impact that our fashion choices have on the environment and the people that made them as well. Whilst you may want to buy those baggy pants in Thailand, ask yourself where they have come from, who made them, what conditions they were made in. Do you want to buy a dress from a high street brand for your instagram photo shoot or will you support a vegan company who place ethics at the heart of their brand?

Hopefully you have been inspired to start or continue your vegan fashion journey. Let us know if you have in the comments below!

Vegan Fashion - what is vegan fashion? Whilst most of us now know what a vegan diet is the terms ethical fashion, sustainable fashion and vegan fashion can be somewhat confusing! Make sure to check out this ultimate guide for beginners as to what vegan fashion is to understand how you can transition today!Vegan Fashion - what is vegan fashion? Whilst most of us now know what a vegan diet is the terms ethical fashion, sustainable fashion and vegan fashion can be somewhat confusing! Make sure to check out this ultimate guide for beginners as to what vegan fashion is to understand how you can transition today!

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