Sunday, February 16, 2014

Vegan Fashionista Part 2

"I would never wear fur." -Kristen Wiig

"There's no excuse for fur in this day and age." -Stella McCartney

“Killing an animal to make a coat is sin. It wasn't meant to be, and we have no right to do it. A woman gains status when she refuses to see anything killed to be put on her back. Then she's truly beautiful.” -Doris Day

"I don't wear fur and I understand their cause.  I'm the biggest animal lover in the world.  I have four dogs and two horses, and I have rescued animals all my life."  -Gisele Bundchen

Out of everything I've written on this blog, the post that continues to receive the most attention is "Vegan Fashionista."  I see where our priorities are, people!  I'll chalk it up to the fact that finding something stylish and cruelty-free can be pretty frustrating at times.  This past winter, for example, I really liked  some lovely sweaters that The Gap was selling in a variety of pastel shades.  Unfortunately, they were made from wool.  I also had quite a bit of trouble finding a warm winter coat that didn't involve a down lining.  After having lived in Boston for two vegan winters, cruelty-free fashion has presented more dilemmas at this time of year than during the summer, when everyone is dressed in cotton and khaki.  I'm not trying to be a proponent of capitalism, but shopping at thrift stores is just not my thing.  Sorry, Macklemore.  For many, including myself, an important part of the vegan philosophy entails living simply.  However, you have to look presentable, especially if you're in the professional world.  Here are my latest recommendations.

I would not say that Aldo sells the highest quality product, but there are a variety of stylish man-made bags and shoes to choose from.  I've purchased a few pairs of flats here, my famous "bird scarf" pictured on the right, and even an awesome beaded evening bag.  I like Aldo because it's pretty much a staple in any regular mall, so I can pop in and expect to find what I need when I'm on the run.

DSW Shoes
Walking into Designer Shoe Warehouse is both overwhelming and exciting for me, especially when I know there are a bunch of vegan choices on the shelves.  I've purchased three pairs of man-made boots at DSW, and I've gotten lots of compliments on all of them.  If I see something I like but they don't carry my size, I order it online.  I have really big feet.

Vera Bradley
Lots of ladies like their purses.  Vera Bradley are high-end bags made entirely from fabric.  There are so many different colors and sizes, there is something for everyone.  I was having a really hard time finding a wallet that wasn't either leather or a coin purse designed for a teenager, until I started shopping at Vera Bradley.

Columbia Sportswear
This company and some others are now making coats with a completely cruelty-free heat-reflective material, which is sometimes even made from recycled products.  It leaves me to wonder why all coats can't be made this way.

Did you know that Saucony makes vegan running shoes?  I literally just now learned this.  As a runner, this is the best news I've heard in a long time.

You've probably noticed that I'm talking about regular brands which happen to carry some vegan items.  Vegan products are all around us, even when it seems like everything is made from leather or wool.  Just start reading your labels!  Of course, there are some companies which have received the PETA badge of approval because they sell only cruelty-free products.  You can find a list of those companies here.  I also found this great site called VeganKnit, which explains in detail the cruel practices used to acquire animal products, and provides links to high end shops which sell gorgeous vegan items.  The point is, you can be mainstream, vegan, and a sophisticated fashionista all at once.  


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Ellie Goulding - "I Know You Care"

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