The gold standard of fashion weeks is underway in New York City. New York Fashion week attracts thousands from around the world and shines a spotlight mainly on American Fashion designers. It’s a week full of celebrities, parties, and trend forecasting.
As a vegan, one of the hottest trends that I hope will continue in mainstream fashion is the shift away from animal exploitation. Prada, Armani, Gucci, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Versace and others all pledged to stop using real animal fur. It is something British designer Stella McCartney (who is a favorite of Oprah, Duchess Meghan Markle, and many other celebrities), has done since launching 16 years ago. In addition to being eco friendly, McCartney’s products are completely ethical… free of fur, leather and feathers.
Now more vegan designers are making their way into the main stream. So many, in fact, they have their own ‘fashion week’. The creator of LA’s Vegan Fashion Week says the goal is to empower conscious brands by giving them an elevated platform. Their manifesto describes the event as “an experience where fashion meets activism”.
Creator Emmanuelle Rienda is a vegan, animal activist and well respected celebrity fashion stylist who regularly introduces her clients to ethical fashion options. Her first Vegan Fashion week was last February in LA’s downtown and hosted about 2,000 attendees, including many celebrities and an appearance by acting legend Jack Nicolson.
Ethical fashion is officially a global movement. Helsinki’s Fashion Week this summer banned leather and continued it’s focus on sustainable materials. And in the UK… Vegan Food and Living magazine just hosted London’s only vegan fashion show in August.
Rienda is gearing up for her second Vegan Fashion Week in October. Her goal is to eventually take her event to New York and other cities. Rienda is optimistic about the future of ethical fashion. She feels now more than ever when it comes to fashion, food and overall lifestyle people are becoming more conscious and compassionate about their choices.
Leaning into vegan fashion isn’t hard. I did it by simply making the decision to not purchase any more clothing or accessories made from animal products and gradually get rid of the items made from animals that I do own. After all, most of the fashion items we already own are made from materials that are cruelty free, like denim and cotton. Just do a little inventory of your closet. And once you become more aware, you’ll find there are a growing number of ethical brands making quality products that you are going to love. Here are two great lists from LiveKindly and Peta, to help get you started.
Tickets for the LA’s Vegan Fashion Week are on sale now.