So you’ve gone vegan or vegetarian – or just watched a horrifying fur-farming video – and are now looking to put a compassionate spin on your wardrobe. You want your clothes to reflect your values: kindness, respect for nature and all living things…and a kick-ass sense of style of course! But wait, aren’t the two mutually exclusive? Not at all – in this beginner’s guide to compassionate shopping, we will cover everything from leather-free shoes and wool-less coats to bags made out of plastic bottles (yes, really).
Of course, grabbing a huge black bin bag and getting rid of all the leather and wool in your closet may seem a little daunting. So start small. Next time you need a new pair of shoes, take a look at the faux-leather options available. Of course Stella McCartney is the queen of leather-free accessories (are we all dying for a Falabella bag? I know I am!) . Other chic options include Olsen Haus and Cri De Coeur. Keeping your purse strings tight? H&M, Asos and MooShoes have great leather-free accessory selections.
Master the art of giving.
Got a leather jacket that you will no longer be wearing? A vintage fur coat? Donate, donate, donate! Throwing clothes away is wasteful and those that aren’t ready to take the cruelty-free step yet will appreciate your gift. Alternatively, you can sell your old clothes to a second-hand shop and give the money to charity….or use it to build your new, compassionate wardrobe!
Don’t skimp on style.
Just because you’re sporting a new cruelty-free style, you haven’t got an excuse to dress frumpy. Compassionate shopping can be just as stylish and on-trend – if you know what the trends are, that is. So don’t forget to check out some fashion week coverage on Style.com and pick up a glossy magazine or two – you need to know your trends to tweak them your way.
Explore new brands.
You might have your go-to stores, but if they don’t stock cruelty-free styles, you may have to look elsewhere. Discovering new, exciting brands is one of the more exciting aspects of transitioning to cruelty-free! Online shopping is your best friend here – look no further than sites such as Free People, Beyond Skin and Compassion Couture for new, kind shopping and a good selection of vegan-friendly items.
It’s easy to pick up the $8 polyester sweater from Forever 21 and rejoice because it’s not wool – but do you ever stop to think what cheap man-made fabrics do to our planet? Whenever you can, shop ethical brands – have a look at Matt & Nat, who make fabulous bags from recycled plastic and Vaute Couture that offers beautiful eco-friendly and vegan coats.
Set the trends.
When you choose vegan fashions, you become a walking, talking advertisement for cruelty-free dressing – so remember to look your best. Don’t compromise on style – dress with the same flair that you had before your cruelty-free transformation. That way, others are likely to see that dressing with compassion is far from boring and jump on the bandwagon.