Yep, a lot of vegan stuff is made of plastic. But not if it comes from these eco friendly vegan fashion brands!
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Now that Gucci has promised to ditch the fur, it seems like cruelty-fashion is now a mainstream thing. But what about eco friendly vegan fashion?
Consumers are increasingly demanding clothing that doesn’t involve the killing of animals, and why not? For us, it’s a total no-brainer.
The problem is that a lot of companies greenwash their plasticky, toxic ‘vegan leathers’ as being cruelty free, but my friends – they are not. I mean, polluting waterways, air and land with nasty petroleum based textiles (or worse – PVC) is anything but cruelty free!
Luckily, there are increasing numbers of chic vegan labels who get it. These are the new, eco friendly vegan brands we’ve got an eye on, not only for their style, but their sustainability, too.
Eco Friendly Vegan Fashion Brands We Love
Here’s a material we never thought of for vegan bags before: stainless steel! STEWART/STAND is an absolute innovator with this material, and their vegan stainless steel wallet and clutch collection is redefining vegan fashion.
More like jewellery than a bag, these clutches and wallets were designed by the two brothers who founded the company. They were created not only to be kind to animals, but also to protect against the growing problem of RFID theft. Not sure what that means? Basically, someone can walk by your wallet with their phone and scan the data on your cards. These wallets stop that by shielding your credit cards from any nearby thief who may be trying to scan them.
2. Rafa USA
Rafa shoes are cool, chic and fun – not to mention sustainable, too. The brand uses a bunch of recycled materials, including bottles, textiles and even bungee cords to make its eco friendly vegan fashion. But equally importantly, they employ sustainable processes to do so, too.
For example? Their footwear isn’t pre-made; you need to order the style and size you want, which will then be made by Rafa’s 20 artisans in Los Angeles.
No wonder animal-loving fashionistas like Pamela Anderson, Natalie Portman and others love this brand. You’ll find Rafa shoes at some of the most stylish online stores like Reformation as well as online at RafaUSA.com.
Always striving to be ever-more eco-friendly, Svala is a sustainable vegan handbag brand that uses materials like cork and Pinatex to create its bang-on-trend accessories.
But their dedication to the environment doesn’t stop at materials! Their innovative designs are often 2-in-1, too. For example,one of our favourite styles is the ‘wallet purse’ which can either be a simple wallet or clutch,. But when the elegant chain is added, it becomes a refined evening bag!
Their ‘Emma’ backpack (below) also does double duty: remove the two back straps and add one single strap, and it easily transforms into a purse. How cool is that?
Moroccan artisans are the creative force behind AMAZ sneakers, under the guidance of the brand’s founder Fadila Bennani. This footwear label honors local craftsmanship through a special programme that contributes to improving access to education for girls in landlocked areas of Morocco.
Of course, AMAZ is one of the most eco friendly vegan fashion brands around, too! This is mainly thanks to their use of waxed cotton and recycled plastic bottles instead of leather for their artistic uppers, and natural rubber for their soles.
This is a brand that started with men’s shirts and beachwear made from sustainable ramie and hemp materials. It has since grown to become a vegan fashion powerhouse that caters to modern designs to both genders.
The label uses only sustainable and recycled fabrics, such as organic cotton and hemp, helping them to lower their impact on the planet whilst making green fashion more mainstream and readily available.
From the first to the final stitch, each Thought product is made in the same country, so it’s never shipped from place to place, allowing the company to reduce its CO2 footprint.
6. Bag Affair
This is one ethical French brand that’s working hard to bridge the gap between the practicality of briefcases and the elegant designs of handbags. Realising that finding such bags is even more difficult for vegans, they spotted a gap in the market and designed a range of fashionable bags/cases using cork as their main source material.
All of their bags are handmade in Portugal at the hands of cork-specialised artisans. Each chic bag is completely natural and biodegradable, from the smooth, sturdy cork exteriors to the wooden ‘hardware’ and cotton interiors.
We used to love Rothy’s for their incredibly chic vegan flats, made from recycled plastics. But now…? This is definitely one of our very favourite eco friendly vegan fashion brands! And that’s because they’ve also launched a gorgeous range of recycled plastic handbags. All of which we want!
The bags are mainly large totes (though there are some smaller styles, too, like clutches and crossbody bags). They’re all made from recaptured marine plastic taken from over 30 miles of coastline. They come in an array of vibrant hues, and they’re just the thing to complement a pair of their adorable shoes!
Their name may be a play on words, but everything that this brand conveys is the polar opposite of every single thing associated with the phrase “Made in China”. Departing from the ordinary, Mayd In Chyna is an ethical brand that makes it easy to dress in your values, while serving the interests of people, animals and the planet.
The vegan brand whose ethos is to be timeless, elegant and kick-ass when they need to be, ensures that all fabric used is not only organic and sustainable but sourced entirely in the USA. Their range includes ladies’ and men’s clothing that is ethically and certifiably produced, providing everyone with the ability to dress both exquisitely and purposefully.
What are your favourite eco friendly vegan fashion brands? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below!
First two images: Poethica. All images courtesy the brands