Posts Tagged ‘fashion’

Vintage Fur

Yo Vegangstaz!

I’m not going to get into the vintage fashion industry and it’s current explosion in popularity here. I know there are people who love it to bits (quite literally with some vintage clothing) and there are others who abhor the very idea of it. I want to focus upon the issue of fur within vintage fashion.

Many have come to see vintage fur as ok (including vegetarians and even vegans), as the animal has not been killed recently and the garment would otherwise go to waste. However, by this token, surely it’s ok to eat a bacon sandwich that no one else wants? I feel any vegetarian/vegan with any integrity would say they wouldn’t eat that sandwich, so why has it become acceptable by many to wear vintage fur (and leather)?

My main difficulty with the stocking of real fur in vintage stores is not so much about seeing the fact that it is vintage as an excuse to wear it, but rather the effect the support of real fur has on the fashion industry. As mentioned previously, vintage seems to be one of the most prevalent forces in the fashion industry at the moment. However, it is worrying how aspects of the fashion industry can perpetuate other trends. Up until recently, fur was a huge no-no. However, there has been a constant battle by the fashion industry (with most major fashion labels in support of this) to reintroduce fur into fashion. Fortunately, their success was limited, until the recent arrival of the vintage trend. “The coming year is an extremely important one for the fur industry, with real fur being pushed back onto the high street using the vintage fashion craze. However, some top furriers have admitted that this is all a part of the plan to revitalise the fur trade and make their image appear acceptable. ” Essentially, vintage fur has set in motion the idea that fur is acceptable once again.

More worrying though is the lack of ‘vintage’ in vintage fur. To illustrate what is meant by this, I’m going to take the example of a vintage company which has stores in Brighton UK, London UK, and Sweden: Beyond Retro. The company has been under attack from its inception for its policy on stocking fur, but more recently has been uncovered to be stocking fur which is barely a few years old and is undoubtedly a product of the cruel Chinese fur industry. Beyond Retro have allegedly been taking in real fur items that are barely a few years old and selling them as vintage items which are a few decades old. By stocking fur that is relatively new, Beyond Retro are potentially selling cat and dog fur labelled as rabbit and mink, conning people who are buying it into believing that the fur is decades older than it actually is, and keeping a horrific industry alive.

Perhaps it’s time the vintage fashion industry washed its hands of such a difficult topic and helped bury fur altogether. And perhaps it’s time that anyone who is against fur (the vast majority thankfully) showed support for faux fur in fashion, highlighting to labels everywhere that designs don’t have to suffer just because animals won’t.

Urban Decay- cruelty free beauty (part 1)

Urban Decay

In my opinion, Urban decay are a bit of a rare breed of make-up company. They are not only one of the hippest make-up companies out there, constantly bringing about beauty with an edge and never failing in their attempts to put the fun back into your make-up bag, but they do this all with a strict cruelty free ethos. Thereby showing you it is possible to have it all without resorting to testing on animals. Furthermore, although not a vegan company they still find the time to appreciate and recognise their vegan clientèle by creating specific vegan make-up palettes and adding ‘Marley’s purple paw’ to their vegan products whereby making it easier for their vegan customers to shop their range. On their website (the US version), they have a specific vegan section which contains a printable list of all the vegan products in their range (which you can easily pop in  your handbag so you can always be sure you’re buying vegan) and a set of ‘Vegan looks’ you can create using these products. Check it out here.

It is also worth noting here that many people conscious of what they are spending their hard earned money on do not realise that companies routinely use animal hairs in their brushes. Good news though: Urban Decay are here to save the day, yet again, by creating a range of synthetic make-up brushes.

While you’re here why not check out our list of other cool, cruelty free companies here!

Introduction to vegan beauty

Welcome to the vegan beauty section, you beautiful people! What’s this vegan beauty thing about, I hear you ask. Well, this category will encompass all things glamourous, and that are intended to make you that bit more beautiful. So primarily, it will be looking at cosmetics from make-up brushes to perfumes to more general stuff, such as toothpaste, as well as cruelty-free and vegan companies. There is also a sub-category for vegan-friendly fashion, where we will post our latest fashion finds, vegan designers, or simply the latest cool vegan info from the fashion world.

If you are confused at this point and don’t get what veganism has to do with cosmetics and fashion, let me explain briefly.

Firstly, fashion. Animal issues and fashion have been interlinked for many decades now (and, unfortunately, not usually in a positive way). The most obvious example of this somewhat negative relationship is the use of fur by the fashion industry. Fortunately, the cruel and unnecessary use of fur has been brought to the public’s attention and the majority of people (not necessarily just vegetarians and vegans) oppose its use for fashion. We now rarely see real fur exhibited by the fashion industry, despite attempts from fashion superpowers such as Chanel and DKNY. This is obviously a very positive thing, but ethical vegetarians and vegans see further difficulties. Key examples of materials that are used extensively in fashion but are derived from suffering or slaughtered animals are leather, silk and wool. Fortunately, there are two growing trends. Firstly, there is a growing trend for ethically sourced materials. Whilst leather cannot ever be ethically sourced (all leather will be from a slaughtered animal), silk and wool fortunately can. If you are confused as to why silk and wool are unethical in the first place, then please look out for future posts where we will talk about the difficulties behind both materials, and the positive trends developing in their production. The second trend in the fashion industry is the growing number of vegan designers. There is now a large range of shoes, bags, and other clothing which are free from leather and are 100% vegan. Look out for future posts detailing these companies and products.

Now, onto cosmetics. I’m sure we can all agree that testing cosmetics on animals is wrong. A common misconception (at least one that I have heard a few times) is that testing cosmetics on animals is a thing of the past, and no companies continue to do it. Sadly, the situation is quite the opposite. In the US, the majority of companies do test their products on animals. In the UK, whilst the testing of the final product was actually outlawed, many companies test every ingredient individually on animals to see the effects. On top of this, many companies make brash claims about not testing on animals, but are actually owned by companies which do (for example, The Body Shop is owned by L’Oreal, who are notorious for their animal testing policies). On top of this, the EU recently put into effect the REACH initiative, which proposes that all ingredients (including those which have been in use for thousands of years) should be independently tested to examine their effects on human health. This means a massive hike in animal testing across Europe. It’s not all bad news though – there are companies which are going out of their way to do their bit in protection of animals. There are also many cruelty-free initiatives by charities such as Uncaged and BUAV. We shall be discussing some of these companies and charities, their availability and their products in the future on this site. We shall also be discussing key issues in animal testing, companies that should be avoided, and some of the difficulties involved in avoiding cosmetics, as this is arguably one of these most confusing and least concrete areas of following veganism.

Stay gawjuz!

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