Vegan Models Share Their Thoughts on Vegan Fashion

As an ethical business owner, I focus not only on offering ethical products, but also on collaborating with ethically minded people. I have always prioritised working with vegan models through my boutique Bead & Reel as well as my annual Fair Trade Fashion Show, and being able to showcase vegan models in vegan fashion has been incredibly rewarding. 

When it comes to vegan models, it’s not just their physical beauty that impresses me (though there’s no doubt plenty of it) but it’s also the passion with which they talk about their values, and the ways in which they show it with their time, social media presence, and personal fashion choices. 

I am excited to introduce you to four of my favourite vegan models as they share what vegan fashion means to them. 

 

Lauren White

Represented by LoveLightModels

Photo by Morgan Pierre

What first sparked your interest in vegan fashion?

My interest for vegan fashion really stemmed from my love for animals, sustainability, and stylish pieces I can wear proudly, knowing that no animals were killed, or humans exploited in the making of that piece. 

What’s your favorite thing about vegan fashion?

My favorite thing about vegan fashion is that wearing cruelty-free clothes is not only trendy, but it’s an act of resistance. It’s a way to take power back as consumers by spending money where cruelty isn’t. I just find so much beauty in that! 

“Cruelty-free fashion is an act of resistance, and I find beauty in that”

What misconception do you want to debunk about vegan fashion?

I’d like the debunk that vegan fashion is expensive, hard to find, and cheaply made. I have found such gorgeous brands that really care about sustainability, fair trade, and animal welfare, and are gorgeous to boot! Vegan fashion doesn’t equate to burlap sacks and tacky plastic sandals (although, if that’s your thing, rock it!). 

Follow Lauren at @Veganlifebylauren
 
 
Photo courtesy of Fair Trade Fashion Show 

 

 

Henrietta Deller-Blue

Represented by LoveLightModels

Photo by Aislin Fall

What first sparked your interest in vegan fashion?

Once I came to really understand how animals are treated by humans for our food, clothes, beauty and other products, I knew that I had to go vegan. I didn’t want to cause harm and suffering.

If I wasn’t going to eat animals or their ‘products’, I didn’t want to wear them either. In fact, the more that I thought about it, the stranger it seemed (and still does seem) that any of us wear animals. They are living, feeling, breathing beings – how can we possibly consider them to be ‘materials’?

What’s your favourite thing about vegan fashion?

To me, vegan fashion is about being compassionate, and being mindful of the impacts our choices have on the world around us.

I feel therefore that vegan fashion extends to the way that people (i.e. those involved in creating fashion pieces & their materials) and the environment are affected too, as well as animals.

My favourite thing about wearing this kind of fashion is that you can feel good about wearing it! When people compliment me on something I’m wearing, I love being able to tell them the cool story behind it – like who it’s made by or its interesting material. I’ve got a pair of gorgeous Pinatex boots from Bourgeois Boheme, and I love the reaction (and often disbelief) I get from people when I tell them that they’re made from pineapple leaves!  

What misconception do you want to debunk about vegan fashion?

There are still a lot of people out there who consider animal products such as fur, leather, silk and wool to be luxurious. I don’t blame them – I used to think the same. But I don’t believe it’s the notion of wearing a dead animal that’s covetable (I sure hope not!). I think that society and branding have taught most of us to covet these things, and also that many fashion items of beauty throughout history have often been made from such materials. 

Knowing what we now do about animal agriculture and its devastating impacts, coupled with our current (and ever-improving) advances in plant-based and other non-animal materials, there really is no reason for us to still make products from animals.

Vegan fashion can 100% be as beautiful, creative, high-quality and luxurious as fashion derived from animals. In fact it’s more so, because it’s made compassionately. That’s a message that I’d love to get out to our wider society. We need to redefine what’s considered luxury.

Follow Henrietta at @futurekingandqueen (one half of)
 
 
Photo courtesy of Fair Trade Fashion Show

 

Monika Cozlin 

Represented by LoveLightModels

Photo by Patrick Dinkfeld

 

What first sparked your interest in vegan fashion?

My interest in vegan fashion stems from my love of animal rights and humane treatment of animals. As an animal rights activist that works in entertainment as well as the fashion industry, it is important to me to learn about and support entities that uphold conscious ethical practices. 

 

What’s your favourite thing about vegan fashion?

My favourite thing about vegan fashion is that there is no animal suffering associated with the process of its creation and production! Energetically, I feel such products are healthier for the wearer as well. 

 

What misconception do you want to debunk about vegan fashion?

I think the primary misconception that I would like to see debunked is that vegan apparel is not only just as fashionable, but also just as durable or “strong” as animal-based materials such as leather. Often times non-leather apparel -particularly shoes- come with the stereotype that the material is not durable, which also leads to the thinking that in order to make such fabrics more resistant, the shoes must be extremely expensive. However there are many sustainable, vegan materials that are attractive, durable, and economical. 

Follow Monika at @MonikaCozlin

 

Photo courtesy of Fair Trade Fashion Show
 
 

Rachel Ford

Photo courtesy of The Tote Project

What first sparked your interest in vegan fashion?

I’ve always had an interest in fashion – and nothing changed when i became vegan. Honestly, the transition was a piece of ( vegan) cake! But what did change was how it made me feel – almost like a sense of purpose. I feel good knowing that every morning when I get dressed, I’m not contributing to the senseless suffering of animals, people, and our planet. 

Whats your favorite thing about vegan fashion?

Besides the fact that that it’s cruelty-free and environmentally friendly –  what I love is the fact that the potential is limitless! We are witnessing the beginning of an era. I’ve come across so many innovative and compassionate brands. It makes me excited for what the future has in store! 

What misconception do you want to debunk about vegan fashion?

That it’s ugly! The tie-dyed, hemp-clad hippie stereotype is no longer relevant- it’s 2017! It’s easier now than ever to find stylish and luxurious vegan fashion. Our options are only going to increase and become more diverse, as this movement becomes more mainstream. Remember, anything you can wear, I can wear vegan!

Follow Rachel at @itsrachelford

 
Photo courtesy of Fair Trade Fashion Show
  
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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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