As you probably already know, being vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on any fashion fun, you can match any look using vegan alternatives. You just need to be careful to stay away from leather, silk, wool, fur and any other animal skin or hair.
If you’re not vegan yet and it seems like too much to think about changing your diet, cosmetics and clothes all at once, you don’t need to beat yourself up too much about your non-vegan clothes to begin with. It’s a tall order to nail it all at once, so I recommend concentrating on diet first, and then you can phase out any animal products, making sure that any new pieces you buy are vegan friendly! Same applies for cosmetics.
So wether you’re just starting out on your vegan journey, or you’re a level 99 vegan with an urge to splurge, these vegan wardrobe basics will keep you looking and feeling chic through 2018. The more wears you can get out of your clothes, the more sustainable they are, and I’ve picked pieces that are stylish, but also sustainable because they’re timeless and good quality, and where possible, they are biodegradeable aswell. When you think of it in terms of price per wear, they are great value for money too!
The Faux Leather Bag
Just before Christmas my lovely friend Sarah was telling me that she doesn’t like fake leather because it looks cheap. So obviously Sarah was having fake leather from me for Christmas to prove her wrong! I found the perfect thing – a gorgeous faux leather ruck sack. Of course as soon as she opened her gift she loved it and seems she’s not been able to peel it off her back since! So there you go! There are so many amazing, high quality faux leather fabrics available now that I have to double check the label to make sure it’s not the real thing half the time! Check out the rucksack I got for Sarah and my other chic faux leather bag finds.
Top Left – Oasis Betty Backpack in Light Neutral – £30.00
Top Centre – Emporio Armani Gold Faux Leather Tote Bag With Pendant – £230.00
Top Right – LaBante Alanis Bordeaux Across Body Bag – £59.90
Bottom Centre – Dune Danao Pink Tassel Charm Cross Body Bag – £60.00
Bottom Right – Eve + Adis Bucket Bag – £155.83
Bottom left – Stella McCartney Falabella Faux-Suede Shoulder Bag – £720.00
The Faux Leather Trouser
I don’t know about you, but I think a pair of faux leather trousers is a wardrobe essential that never seems to go out of fashion – I’ve been rocking this look for years and I’m still not bored of it! I always feel confident when I wear my faux leather trousers and it’s such an easy look to carry off. Whether you combine with a classic shirt and blazer for work, a cute tee or chunky knit with sneakers for a more casual look, or a dressy top and killer heels for evening drinks, with this wardrobe essential you will always be effortlessly fabulous and stylish!
Top left – Karen Millen Biker Faux Leather Leggings – £115.00
Top centre – Spanx High Rise Faux Leather Leggings – £89.00
Top right – River Island Molly Skinny Fit Trousers – £40.00
Bottom left – Esprit Coated Stretchy Trousers – £55.00
Bottom centre – Free People Vegan Leather Legging – £58.00
Bottom right – H&M Imitation Suede Trousers – £34.99
The Leather Free Heel
Non-vegans are always quick to tell me that you just can’t beat the quality of real leather shoes – after all you don’t want stinky sweaty feet! Well, my favourite pair of Kurt Geiger satin and faux leather heels have been helping me dance the night away for years and they’ve not let me down yet! And honestly, my pre-vegan French Connection leather heels were stinkier. But you’re not here to read about my stinky feet, so let’s skip to the leather free goodies and feast our eyes on the beauties below.
Top left – Kurt Geiger London Park Lane Heeled Sandals in Silver – £99.00
Top centre – Stella Mccartney Metallic Pumps – £475
Top right – Miss KG by Kurt Geiger Faun Sandels in Black – £69.00
Bottom left – Zara satin court shoes with contrasting heels – £39.99
Bottom centre – KG by Kurt Geiger Fate Sandals in Taupe – £79.00
Bottom right – Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Lady Dragon White Heart Heeled Shoes – £160.00
The Vegan Knit
I used to love a divinely soft cashmere jumper as much as any other sane girl, but of course, now I understand the unjust cruelty involved in harvesting animal products, even the softest, most beautiful cashmere can’t seduce me.
As far as vegan jumpers go, there are loads to choose from, but most of the materials commonly available are incredibly damaging to aquatic life once they enter the water supply via our washing machines. I always try to pick knits that are made from fabrics that are environmentally sustainable. Natural fibres like cotton, and artificial fibres derived from cellulose like viscose and lyocell have been found to be less damaging to sea life once they end up in our rivers and oceans compared with synthetic carbon derived fibres. Acrylic – the worst offender – and polyester are ones to avoid.
They way I sea it (:-D) is that the aim of being vegan is to try to reduce their negative impact on animals, and that goes for wildlife as well as farm animals. I just can’t sleep at night thinking about poor sea creatures ingesting all our horrible micro-plastics, so my picks below are mainly cotton, with a little viscose, and I’m sure you’ll agree that we’ll be all the more cosy in these stylish knits knowing we are causing as little damage as possible to our fellow earthlings and our beautiful Earth.
Top left – Polo Ralph Lauren Cable-Knit Cotton Sweater – £119.00
Top centre – GAP Light Heather Grey Open-Stitch Pullover Cotton Sweater – £34.95
Top right – H&M Grey Textured Knit Jumper – £24.99
Bottom left – GAP Three Quarter Sleeve Open Front Cardigan Sweater – £59.95
Bottom centre – Barbour Prudhoe Knit -£69.95
Bottom right – French Connection Mona Mozart Knit Oversized Jumper – £75.00
The Vegan Silk Piece
I used to love silk. I had silk dresses, silk shirts, silk t-shirts, silk vests, silk pyjamas, silk sweaters, silk coats, even a silk pillowcase! You would never have found me in a polyester blend! To be honest, I’m still a bit snobby about which kinds of faux silk type fabrics I will wear – I want to avoid manmade fabrics derived from non-renewable resources whenever I can so I try to buy viscose as a silk alternative rather than polyester. But, I have now discovered my new favourite fabric which I absolutely LOVE!
Lyocell, sometimes also called Tencel (a particular brand of lyocell), is a beautiful silk alternative. It’s breathable, you can wack it in the washing machine, and most importantly it’s light, soft, and drapes just like silk.
Possibly the best thing about this fabric though is it’s super fabulous environmental credentials. Firstly, it’s derived from cellulose from wood (putting it in the same family as viscose, or rayon as it’s also known) which is a renewable natural resource. Secondly, the solvent used in the manufacturing process is non-toxic and non-acidic meaning it has low health and safety risk for workers during production and low risk to the environment. Third, ninety eight percent the solvent used in production is recycled. Fourth, the yield is ten times greater than cotton per acre, and the water required in production is ten to twelve times less than cotton. Finally, it’s biodegradeable, so it wont outlive you, your kids and all your grandchildren in landfill, and unlike synthetic carbon derived fabrics, will be less damaging if microfibres enter the water during machine washing when compared with tiny plastic fibres like acrylic, nylon and polyester.
Without further ado, let me present a few little lyocell lovelies that will leave you feeling luxuriously ladylike, and for a fraction of the price and non of the cruelty of real silk!
Top left – H&M Lyocell Top and Shorts – £19.99 and £12.99
Top centre – Zara Khaki Oversized Shirt – £29.99
Top right – H&M Airy Lyocell-Blend Dress – £39.99
Bottom left – Next Navy Tencel Joggers – £40.00
Bottom central – Marks and Spencer Blue Curve Half Sleeve Tencel Shirt – £39.50
Bottom right – GAP Tie Sleeve Wrap Dress – £44.95
I hope this little list of vegan swaps inspires you to embrace vegan fashion! What are your favourite vegan fashion finds and brands?
Love, Victoria x