1) “It’s cool to be kind”
As we learn more about the exploitation of animals in the food, fashion and beauty industries, there’s no need to ‘use’ animal products when we have some amazing cruelty free vegan alternatives such as Piñatex (pineapple leather made from the cellulose fibre of pineapple leaves), faux fur, fleece made from recycled plastic bottles, plant based cosmetics, hemp and bamboo to name a few.
Buying vegan products increases demand and raises more money for these industries to find even more innovative and sustainable methods of creating cruelty free alternatives, protecting animals from the often cruel and harmful rearing processes before slaughter and the inhumane methods of slaughter.
2) Environmental Impact
The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, second only to the oil industry. It is also one of the highest ranked industries for water waste. In 2017, 12.8 million tons of textiles were discarded and scraps of fabric that accumulate after cutting are not always reused but often thrown away as standard practice. Dyes and chemicals used to colour and clean clothes have also massively contributed to the pollution of the world’s river systems and oceans.
The ground-breaking 2017 Pulse of the Fashion Industry report found that three of the four most environmentally damaging materials are derived from animals, with leather as the worst offender, followed by silk, conventionally grown cotton, and wool. It was also stated that synthetic leather has only a third of the environmental impact of cow leather so switching to alternative vegan materials can directly improve a product’s footprint.
The best way to mitigate our environmental impact is to buy eco-friendly vegan fashion which minimises water use, recycles, protects animals, addresses energy efficiency, avoids toxic pesticides and chemicals and to stop buying into fast fashion.
We are putting pressure on a lot of our natural resources and are coming closer and closer to these running out, as well as energy costs going up, material costs increasing and energy costs getting higher and higher. We’ve already seen from H&M launching their own ethical clothing line and the likes of Gucci and Jimmy Choo banning fur from their products that there is an increased demand for vegan and ethical fashion, from high street to luxury brands. The Pulse of the Fashion Industry report stated that the world economy would gain about €160 billion annually if the fashion industry would successfully address environmental and social issues.
If we continue supporting vegan and ethical brands, we will positively impact both the economy and the environment.