I think it’s about time I addressed the question we get asked every couple of months or so.
“Why don’t you have a vegan impact badge?”
Being an ethical fashion marketplace, I can see why people would think that being Vegan would be a core part of our Values and our Impact Badges.
Fundamentally we do believe in the rights and fair treatment of all animals. At the very core of what we believe is that fashion shouldn’t cause harm to people or planet, that includes everything that lives on this planet.
But the reason we don’t have a Vegan Impact Badge and never will is quite simple (and potentially alienating, but I’ve come this far so can’t turn back now!)
We think it’s slightly discriminating.
Ok, discriminating is probably a strong word. But we think that having a Vegan Impact Badge segments out a people group, and elevates their choice in the food they consume, as being better than others.
We know that the meat industry is causing major harm to the environment through the processing of meat. The reality is that the world is not going to stop eating meat – at least probably not in our lifetime. In which case, wouldn’t it be better to put plans in place to support both vegan-friendly practices and to seek out a solution to the current state of play?
The greatest impact is always achieved through incremental change.
By shifting the dial one degree we can change the trajectory of the fashion industry. So, whilst we choose to offer leather products to our customers who currently we don’t have a problem wearing or using leather goods, we do choose to not stock leather that has been created through toxic tanning processes. We see this as being one degree of change.
In addition to this, the fashion industry is shifting into new territory by seeking out some great leather-look alternatives. Pineapple leather has been in development for a few years now and is gaining some traction. We’ve been on the hunt for the brand using Pineapple leather because we think it is a great alternative to leather and I’m happy to say we recently brought on a brand who makes Pineapple leather bags and clutches. Again, we see this as one degree of change.
We don’t completely remove ourselves from vegan values. We still believe in the fair
treatment of animals and believe that treating animals with dignity and care is also about protecting the environment in which they live.
Our Eco-Friendly Impact Badge is aimed at highlighting brands that are doing things like:
- Using regenerative materials to create fabric. Tencel which is made from the Beech tree. The bark is stripped from the tree and processed into a soft, lightweight
fabric. By using the bark the tree remains intact, keeping the landscape beautiful, the air fresh and animals safe.
- Using plastic from the ocean to create recycled polyester. By removing the plastic from the ocean, we are helping to prevent marine life confusing it for food.
- Using existing items and turning them into something new. The upcycling process keeps products out of the landfill that would take hundreds of years to break down, releasing harmful carbon dioxide into the ground and area. Keeping these items out of landfill means our furry friends won’t be breathing the harmful chemicals.
We don’t mind if you don’t agree with our stance. We believe in the necessity of diverse opinions in order for the conversation to continue and for us all to be challenged and changed. That can’t happen if we agree on everything.
What’s truly important, is that we agree on one thing – human life, animal life and the planet should be preserved and cared for. How we go about addressing this vast and complex issue requires a varied approach. We’re offering our approach. What’s yours?