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By Chere Di Boscio
It’s easy to be a fashion blogger: set up a website, style some outfits, get a photo of yourself wearing them, and post. But being a good fashion blogger is a whole other thing – you’ll need a superlative sense of fashion, brilliant personality and high quality imagery. Then there’s the whole technical side: thinking about how to boost your site via SEO and on social media, getting a good, stable web host provider, and possibly a publicist, if budget allows. And even with all that in place, the competition is tough!
One way to stand out is to become a niche fashion blogger: one who wears only vintage, luxury labels, sustainable clothing, or increasingly popular – cruelty free clothes.
What does that mean, you wonder? Of course it signifies no new leather, suede or fur, but what about vintage? Is coral jewellery acceptable? Antique ivory? Is wool ok? What about cashmere, angora, alpaca…it’s mind-boggling when you realise just how much we depend on animals for our wardrobes!
One award winning fashion blogger that tries to set us straight on what’s ethical to wear as well as what looks amazing is Sruti Sethurman. The London based fashionista was dubbed ‘The Best Dressed Vegan’ of 2016 by PETA, thanks to the gorgeous outfits she showcases on her fabulous blog, Love & Blossoms. Inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s feminine style and shooting her looks on rare sunny days around London’s most chic neighbourhoods, Sruti is popularising vegan fashion for the masses.
Clearly you love fashion. How do you feel when you see most mainstream brands parading leather and fur down the catwalk?
Yes I love fashion so much! To be honest after watching a lot of videos and doing my research about fur and leather I do not watch any catwalk shows except Stella McCartney! I don’t just see a jacket or shoes, I think of the whole process of leather and how cows are tortured in places like Bangladesh, it breaks my heart. I feel that fashion can be inspiring without it having to be cruel.
Which major brands do you think have made the most progress transitioning away from animal products?
I think cruelty-free is the future! Brands such as ASOS, H&M and even high-street brands like Zara all have faux options because there is growing demand for them.
Which other vegan fashion blogs or magazines do you follow you self?
I love reading LAIKA magazine, Vilda magazine and Vegan Life magazine. They always have amazing tips and fashion stories! It’s nice to see so many magazines taking an interest in veganism as a lifestyle.
I don’t follow any vegan fashion blogs, but I do follow vegan food blogs and my favourite is Oh She Glows. They have beautiful food photos and delicious plant-based recipes.
When did you become vegan, and what sparked the change?
I was vegetarian my whole life and I made the transition to vegan a year ago. I was on my laptop and and started looking into how leather is produced (at this point I used to wear leather). One search led to another and I started looking into the dairy industry and how chickens are treated for eggs. I cried so much and from that day onwards it was the easiest decision to make, to live a completely cruelty-free life.
What’s the hardest thing about being a vegan?
The hardest thing is when I travel to places like Italy and France! It is a challenge to find something to eat that does not have cheese or eggs in it. So now I always go with Airbnb and make sure the place where I am staying has a kitchen. I love exploring local fruit and veg markets in new cities and cook my own food!
Tell us a bit about some of your favourite vegan fashion brands.
I really like Urban Expressions for vegan bags. For shoes I like Beyond Skin. These are both my current favourites!
Are you as conscious about which makeup brands you use too? If so, what are some of your favourite brands?
Yes I do not use any makeup or beauty products that test on animals. For makeup I use Organic Pharmacy. They have the best foundation and concealer and they use natural, cruelty-free ingredients.
Where do you stand on vintage fur and leather?
I wouldn’t personally wear any fur or leather. I feel the same way about vintage animal skins as I do about animal skins being used in fashion today. I don’t really feel someone needs to wear it to be stylish you can find so many alternatives that look good and it’s also compassionate towards animals!
What about wool and alpaca?
I personally do not wear any wool or alpaca. I don’t feel the need to when there are so many synthetic fabrics available that mimic wool. Alpacas and sheep are beautiful and intelligent animals that deserve a happy life.
What do you hope for the future, in terms of veganism?
Ã¢â‚¬ ¨I hope there will be more vegan fashion in the mainstream that will make is accessible for us to buy from various different brands in the future.
*Watch out for Sruti’s new vegan clothing label, ‘The Cherry Blossom Closet’, coming soon!