Style For All, Part One: Vegan Voices on Vegan Fashion

This series is presented in collaboration with Bead and Reel

As someone who comes from a background in costume design – storytelling through style – I hold great reverence for the power of what we wear in shaping narratives told to others and to ourselves. It’s part of the reason I started my ethical boutique Bead & Reel, as a way of offering new stories and thereby solutions to the numerous problems from garment worker rights and animal welfare to environmental impact and women’s relationships with their bodies and their clothes.

A lot of the stories in fashion – even ethical fashion – are being told by magazines, bloggers, models, and brands, however it’s really the consumers – every person who buys and wears fashion – that have the most important stories. Shoppers are really the ones who determines what values the fashion industry will uphold, and yet I feel that these stories are greatly underrepresented.

I reached out to friends and followers on Bead & Reel’s social media and asked if anyone would like to participate in helping me tell a different story about ethical fashion by joining me for a photoshoot and interview. I was overwhelmed with the positive response – so many women were eager to talk about their ethics and their bodies and how it relates to their clothing choices, so we created the Style For All project.

Each woman was offered a rack of sustainable fashion options from Bead & Reel – all vegan, all ethically produced, all made from earth-friendly textiles, and all from women-owned businesses. They styled themselves in whatever pieces they felt most beautiful and comfortable in because I wanted to capture who they really are and how dressing this way makes them feel, and it resulted in the following story.

PART ONE – MEET SEVEN VEGAN WOMEN TALKING ABOUT VEGAN FASHION

Sarah “Veggie” Bluff | Vegan Health Coach/ Personal Trainer

“Vegan fashion is a beautiful thing!  I want to see it more mainstream.  I cannot look through an InStyle magazine without getting sick to my stomach from seeing the celebration of animal skins used for purses, shoes, etc.  No animal products are necessary to look stylish and cool.  Killing an animal to steal their skin is actually quite ugly. The water and resources used for animal skin production for a damn leather jacket or snakeskin boots is hideous.  It’s unnecessary and cruel as well.”

Top / Scarf

Anissa Eve | Actress and Self Love Life Coach

“The most important aspect of ethical fashion to me is vegan fashion because I am very passionate about animal rights.  There is no reason to harm innocent beings for any aspect of our lifestyle. Vegan fashion is the future.  Fashion is a form of artistic expression, and it’s important that we keep it ethical and sustainable.”

Dress / Necklace

Laura Murphy | Barista/Personal Assistant

“First and foremost, I don’t believe animals or people need to suffer just so I can wear some flimsy, negative energy-ridden piece of fabric for a few months. Second, fast fashion is the second leading cause of our climate changing behind factory farming so it’s our responsibility to make wise choices in all aspects of life but especially in what we choose to eat and wear. Mother Earth will thank us.

Ethical and vegan fashion is more important now than ever. Society has been conditioned to believe that they need the newest, hottest article of clothing regardless of where or who it comes from. Otherwise he or she isn’t “cool”. I believe people with a strong ethical mindset and people who are willing to stand up for what they believe in no matter what are the coolest of all!”

Jumpsuit / Shoes

Agnes Muljadi | Social media influencer/ballerina

“There’s really no good reason for us to harm innocent animals to dress ourselves. Plus vegan clothes are super comfortable and they feel so good on the body.”

Top / Long Sleeve / Pants / Shoes / Necklace

Tia Howard | Actress

“I’ve been vegan for about two years now and I think it’s amazing to make beautiful and fashionable styles without harming other creatures on this earth. I think that vegan fashion is becoming more popular and expected. It’s no longer cool to wear leather or fur and it’s a fantastic move for the planet.

Vegan fashion is amazing and groundbreaking. Being able to express yourself without harming other creatures is important and needs to become mainstream. It’s important to me because animal rights is something I’m extremely passionate about. We live in a time where we don’t need leather and fur to be fashionable or practical. It’s time to make the change.”

Dress / Scarf (similar) /  Belt / Shoes 

Marci Joy Frumkin | Marketing Director, Whole Foods Market, Southern Pacific Region

“As someone who is vegan, I want to know that how I’m living is compassionate. That extends to everything – what I wear, how my furniture is made, the material on the seats of my car… So the extension to fashion is that I want fun, stylish, on-trend things to wear without them being part of the throwaway fashion culture that is prevalent.

I wish there was more vegan fashion, and much like food, I would love to see it labeled. My friends can attest to the fact that sometimes I sniff shoes while shopping to see what the shoes I am looking at are made out of when their materials are not readily apparent.”

Dress / Shoes / Necklace

Julie Wilyat | Founder/ Creator Be Free Active Wear

 “I truly believe vegan fashion is the future. To me, vegan fashion encompasses the aspects of eco-fashion and fair trade fashion. By using sustainable resources, we are considering the environment and the future of our Earth. By providing fair wages to the people making our clothes, we are impacting communities. And by not exploiting animals, we are sending a message of compassion and giving a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves.”

Jumpsuit / Earrings


All clothing from Bead & Reel

Shoot location – Pollution Studios
Photographer – Felicia Lasala
Hair/Make-Up – Genevieve Garner
Creative Director – Sica Schmitz
Interns: Ruby Leon, Adam Montelongo

Special Thanks to Asher Brown and all these beautiful women for helping bring this to life

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Sica Schmitz

Sica Schmitz is the founder and curator of Bead & Reel, the online ethical boutique for eco-friendly, cruelty-free, sweatshop-free fashion, and the winner of the 2017 Sustainable Business Council's Sustainable Business Award. With a background in costume design and sustainable styling, she is active in fair trade and vegan fashion both locally and globally as a Fair Trade LA board member, the Fashion Editor of Vilda Magazine, and the founder and host of the annual Fair Trade Fashion Show Fundraiser in Los Angeles. A frequent speaker and writer, she has been featured in dozens of publications including Bustle, Origin Magazine, The Good Trade, and Vegan Life Magazine.

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