The compassionate fashionistaTom Levin
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From high-fashion to a sustainable & compassionate fashionista
Arguably, the most difficult part of going vegan is converting my style and fashion desires to those that are not only compassionate but also sustainable. What does that mean for all newbie vegan fashionista’s?
– Thou shall not wear leather
– Thou shall not wear down
– Thou shall not wear wool
– Thou shall not wear silk
– Thou shall not wear animal skins & furs
I don’t know about you, but this is a huge change for me and it makes shopping much harder, a possible explanation for why I haven’t done so much lately ($$$$ saved in the bank). From designers to high street stores, the majority of clothes are made with animal products. It’s crazy! Converting to sustainable fashion is a shock horror for many of my friends and family, who don’t want to believe me. A self-confessed shopaholic, fashion blogger, fashion design student, and designer delicacy enthusiast – goes vegan. Yes, that’s me. I buried a huge part of me in a heartbeat when deciding to go vegan. I grew up in London, the fashion-capital of the world, living, breathing and dreaming about fashion ever since I first attended London Fashion Week at the age of 14. Then at the age of 23, with the flick of a switch, everything changed, and so did I.
What do I do with all my clothes?
I sat on my bed, staring into my wardrobe contemplating its future. Do I clean out my wardrobe as I have my fridge? Surely not, these garments are loved and adorned by me, some vintage pieces dating back generations, amongst others newly purchased.
Many of my garments have sentimental value. I look after my clothes. I work hard to buy myself the things I desire, with others being gifted to me on special occasions. I have an overflowing wardrobe, as do most women I know. The saying “a woman can never have too many clothes” springs to mind. It’s a real conundrum and whilst all this could sound incredibly materialistic from another sustainable fashionista’s point of view, I never had those views and it is only now those views are changing, I am adapting by choice.
My decision? To keep it all. I don’t believe in waste. One environmental problem we are facing in the world today is disposable fashion. Worsening our ever-growing landfill sites with careless purchases, thrown away without despair.
Moving forward, I am now leading a more sustainable life as a compassionate fashionista. This means ALWAYS checking the labels and saying NO even when something looks beautiful. I recently came across a pea green down jacket in Zara – 6 months ago I would have bought it! Yet, now I know and acknowledge that geese and ducks have been pinned down by perpetrators who rip their feathers out alive, without any anaesthetics; sewn back together painfully and carelessly in the same unsterile environment. It happens multiple times in their sad lives. What for? Pillows, coats and duvets. I walked away, opting for a cruelty-free faux leather jacket. Could I really contribute to this cruelty all in vanity of looking good for others? No. Wearing animals no longer makes me feel beautiful. Now ask yourself this… with perfectly good synthetic alternatives available, replicating the exact feel and look. Is it really necessary?
Would you keep your furs, leathers, wools, skins, and silks? We would love to hear you wardrobe conundrums and how you dealt with transitioning to a sustainable and compassionate fashionista.