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There’s a misconception that vegan fashion means a reliance on plastic-based materials like polyester, but that’s no longer the case in a world of innovative plastic-free materials. Discover some top rated fashion brands using vegan plastic-free materials in their stylish designs, leaving a lighter impact on people, the planet, and animals.
The evolution of vegan fashion
The journey of vegan fashion is an exciting one infused with many people who care deeply about their impact on not only the planet but also the human and non-human animals we all share it with.
In its infancy in the mid-20th century, vegan fashion primarily responded to ethical concerns about using animal-derived materials such as leather, wool, and fur. In the early days, options were limited, and styles often lacked the sophistication of conventional fashion. Think beige shift dresses and hemp socks.
However, the movement has gained momentum over the decades as consumers, designers, and brands recognise the importance of cruelty-free and eco-conscious fashion. Today, vegan fashion has blossomed into a thriving industry. Lyst reported a 178% page view increase for “vegan leather” in 2021, and trends across the board indicate increases in searches around terms like “vegan” and “cruelty-free” alongside “organic” and “second hand”, speaking to the ever-increasing consumer awareness of reducing their wardrobe’s impact.
With innovative materials like plant-based leather alternatives, organic fabrics, and more sustainable production methods becoming increasingly mainstream, not only is vegan fashion more accessible and stylish than ever, but it also reflects this growing awareness of the interconnectedness of fashion, ethics, and sustainability. The evolution of vegan fashion serves as a testament to the power of conscious consumer choices and the capacity of the fashion industry to adapt to changing values and preferences.
But isn’t vegan fashion just plastic?
A common misconception is that vegan fashion equates to plastic fashion, but this is far from the truth. While much of the technically “cruelty-free” fashion you can find lining the racks of fast fashion stores is made completely from harmful plastic-based materials like polyester, nylon, and PVC, vegan fashion by better brands today often takes a more holistic approach, ensuring the materials they use aren’t just free from animals, but from unnecessary harm to the environment and workers, too.
Many (vegan) fashion brands are adopting innovative non-plastic materials that align with the principles of circular fashion, such as recyclability and biodegradability. More common materials like TENCEL Lyocell, hemp, and organic cotton often take centre stage, but more and more innovative options are also becoming available. It’s important to note that some of these products may contain small amounts of materials like recycled polyester, but that doesn’t discount the reduced impact of the items overall. Some of the brands listed are not entirely vegan, but all products mentioned are.
Vegan plastic-free materials and the brands incorporating them
MIRUM is a 100% USDA Certified Biobased Product made from a combination of virgin natural materials such as natural rubber, plant oils, and cork. In addition to having an extremely low carbon footprint, MIRUM requires no water during manufacturing and dyeing.