Being vegan and being a conscious consumer of fashion doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. You skip the leather and wool but in return, you might buy cheaper alternatives that aren’t necessarily good for the planet – or the humans who make them. Anna Kierkegaard faced exactly this dilemma when she turned vegan a few years ago and decided there should be an easier way to shop conscious yet stylish clothes and shoes. That was the beginning of new online shop Lendemain Organic. The shop launched earlier this year and currently displays its fashion collection for a limited time in a small pop-up shop located in the hip area of Nørrebro in Copenhagen.
Anna is busy when we arrive and the small pop-up shop, located inside of a café, is filled with people who are interested in seeing the clothes and shoes, as well as to have a chat with Anna. “Is it really not leather?” someone asks and touches the Noah Shoes boots in awe, as Anna reassures them that it’s really, truly vegan.
When we finally manage to grab a hold of Anna, she gives us her full attention. With an eco beer in her hand, she tells us all about how she got started:
“I was telling my friend one day that I had gone vegan and wanted new shoes but thought that all synthetic shoes were of such poor quality, and they were often very cheap and probably produced under poor working conditions. We asked ourselves if we could ever be completely sure that our clothes and shoes haven’t been made by child slaves – and the answer was no. I figured I wasn’t the only one who had these thoughts and wanted to make it easier for others to buy conscious clothes”.
And so Lendemain Organic was born. Not only are all the products sold in the shop completely vegan, but also made under good conditions, where Anna herself can check the process by visiting the different factories.
“When you buy from many shops, you can’t be completely sure that your clothes come from good conditions, that you don’t affect the environment in a negative way, support child labour or that the water used in the production is pure, Anna points out. “Lendemain is an oasis where you can buy things that do not affect you or your surroundings negatively”.
Anna describes the typical Lendemain customer as a chic, conscious consumer who “doesn’t want to wear big, loose hemp pants” (which she points out is just fine – but it’s not her style). Lendemain’s style is a bit more chic and urban – clothes that fit well and look good, still leaving room for being conscious.
Some of the brands you can find in the online shop are Noah Shoes, an Italian/German producer of high-quality shoes and bags, Swedish Stockings, which makes stockings made from recycled nylon, and soon the brand Anna has had an eye on from the start will be available too: Vilda favourite Matt & Nat. There is everything from jeans and sweaters to dresses and ponchos to choose from. So how does she choose which brands to sell?
“There’s a difference between a company that makes a collection of green or ethical clothes and a company where the entire foundation is based on ethical manufacturing. That’s what I like about these brands – you can see that their passion for it is why they got started in the first place”.
The last few years, conscious fashion has grown increasingly popular with huge brands like H&M launching conscious collections and Vagabond launching a vegan shoe line etc., so the future for a more animal-friendly, conscious fashion industry is looking bright – as is Lendemains:
“The fact that H&M made a Conscious Collection means that there are more people who are conscious of what they buy. I am a first mover in Denmark – at least with the vegan part – which I think is a great advantage for me, but I also think it’s great that big companies do the same thing and I hope they continue to do it.”
So what does the future hold for Lendemain?
Well, first of all, Lendemain’s online shop is currently being translated into French and Anna hopes to be able to open up a pop-up shop in Paris, where she resides, later this fall.
“In five years I hope that everyone who cares about veganism knows what Lendemain is. It’s hopefully a known brand and people buy from us. In ten years I would love to have a shop – one in Copenhagen and one in Paris.”
If you are in Copenhagen, visit the Lendemain Organic pop-up shop at Lulu on Ravnsborggade 12 until September 10.
5 Quick Questions with Anna:
Something you always have in your bag?
Nothing! I always forget something – especially my keys!
What’s your favorite meal?
Vegan “boller i karry” (traditional Danish dish with meatballs in curry sauce – Ed.)– and pizza
If you were an animal you would be…
A panda…but people have told me I’d be more of a gazelle…Okay, maybe more of a panther than a panda – but I’m also very sweet so… I don’t know!
One thing you can’t live without is…
The best thing about Copenhagen is…
All my friends and family here.
All pictures courtesy of Linn Gullberg.