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.
For more fashion tips by Sascha you can check out our special print edition magazine.