From Gregg’s new sausage rolls to Kat Von D’s #VeganAlert section on her website, veganism is popping up everywhere! But what does this mean for the world of fashion and beauty? As an organisation promoting sustainable fashion, the British Model Alliance has investigates the areas of fashion welcoming veganism and the brands endorsing it.
Environmentally-friendly fashion and beauty are no strangers to the fashion industry. For years, there have been numerous fashion design houses and make-up brands promoting the improvement of animal welfare and rights as well as industry standards and the environmental impact affecting our planet.
What makes a product vegan?
In simple terms, vegan products do not contain any animal or animal-derived ingredients. Additionally, vegan products undergo no animal research or testing.
However, it’s to be noted that cruelty-free differs from vegan. While cruelty-free products are not tested on animals, they may still involve some animal by-products, like honey.
The United Kingdom has enlisted incredibly strict laws to follow in terms of animal rights and welfare, making it the country with the toughest animal testing and regulations.
What is the benefit?
Obviously there are many environmental benefits when consumers switch to vegan products. First and foremost, the welfare of animals is protected as regulations tighten to prevent unnecessary testing. In 2006, the Animal Welfare Act was passed. This was one of the first major steps forward in adequately protecting animals from cruel treatment administered by their owners. If owners fail to comply with the act’s standards, proper actions will be taken.
Unfortunately, however, even with the Animal Welfare Act instilled in the UK, there is still much more needing to be done in order to protect animals and save them from improper conduct.
Secondly, every year the fashion industry leaves a negative carbon footprint on the environment. From factories in Asian countries using coal-fired electricity to landfill waste overflowing with unsustainable fabrics, the negative impact is immeasurable. Producing a greater amount of sustainable fabrics lessen the waste of materials being added to landfills.
What’s being done to improve the world of fashion?
Designers, such as Stella McCartney and Tom Ford, use alternatives to silk, fur, feathers, cotton and leather to reduce fashion’s carbon footprint. In fact, though it may not seem it, vegan materials are actually incredibly durable, some even more so than their original counterparts.
Even scientists have taken it upon themselves in the continued creation of eco-fabrics. Research is being done to turn recycled material, like plastic bottles, as well as food produce, such as grape skins and mushrooms, into various types of fabrics.
In present day, we are continuing to see improvements in the fashion world thanks to combined efforts by environmental activists and fashion industry innovators. Though the fashion industry still has far to go, there is hope for the future and the vegan alternatives it holds.