Redefining Vegan Fashion
by Sica Schmitz | Posted on November 06 2015
I’m thrilled to see the popularity of Vegan Fashion growing as more and more designers make gorgeous, animal-free options so easily available. It seems that there’s never been a better time to grab faux leather boots and cork leather bags and silks made of bamboo and soy. Hurray!
However there seems to be a misconception about what exactly Vegan Fashion is. I see a lot of brands, bloggers, and other stores talking about vegan options from faux fur to cotton and hemp (organic, hopefully!), and this is great but there’s an important piece of the story missing: who made it?
I entirely support using plant-based and man-made (or woman-made, c’mon it’s 2015!) materials and we sell nothing derived from animal products or testing at Bead & Reel, but ultimately that's not the only thing that makes us a vegan boutique. For me, the humane treatment of people absolutely has to be included for something to be defined as Vegan Fashion. Selling a faux leather jacket made by underpaid workers or forced labor is no more conscionable - no more vegan - than selling a leather jacket made from animal skins.
My goal at Bead & Reel is to exclude all exploitation; that includes animals, that includes people, and that includes our planet. In order to do so the human component has to be taken into consideration for something to be considered Vegan Fashion, otherwise it's just animal-free fashion, and that's a good start but I know we can do better. Let's redefine what #reelveganfashion is.