By Simone Preuss
Vegan fashion including cruelty-free cosmetics and completely animal-free clothes, accessories and shoes – once snickered at as a short-lived fad at best – is now becoming fashionable, if not mainstream. Even top luxury brands are catching on and increasingly do without fur, angora, mohair, exotic skins and even leather, wool and silk. Innovations in plant based sources, environmentally friendly materials and consumer awareness are the driving forces behind the winds of change in the fashion industry. Here are seven trends that show how.
1. While first practised mainly by a small tribe of enthusiasts, veganism is becoming a way of living and a lifestyle choice for an ever growing part of society. In fact, it has become the V word: the animal-free ethical trend booming across fashion, beauty and homewear .
2. A plethora of new, reusable innovative materials like fur coats made from hemp, bags made of bananas and shoe soles made of chewing gum serve as alternatives to fur, leather and even synthetic fabrics.
3. Vegan fashion is in. But the boom is calling on more and more critics, who accuse animal rights activists of lacking sustainability, of all things.
4. Banning fur, US cities are leading the way, with Los Angeles and San Francisco having already become fur free while New York City is following suit.
5. Fashion giants in leading nations like the US, UK, Germany and France are investing most in the vegan market.
6. The year 2018 has been marked by apparel companies banning plastics, releasing plant-based products, promoting recycled textiles and backing startups bringing sustainable innovations to the table, to name but a few initiatives.
7. The first-ever Vegan Fashion Week made its grand debut in Downtown Los Angeles on February 1. The weekend included a series of events for designers, media and influencers, as well as the public, to attend and learn more about the animal rights movement in the fashion industry.
If those seven trends should really become mainstream, the future of the flora and fauna of our planet looks promising with more and more fashion brands and retailers taking responsibility. This development is also driven by consumers, largely Millennials and Gen Zs who question accountability and do not shy away from introspecting into their own ethics in fashion.