Beyond Food: Vegan Fashion

In my relatively short time as a vegan, I've realized there are two camps: those who become vegan for ethical reasons, and those who give up eating animal products for their health. In fact, a recent article by Your Daily Vegan asks whether "dietary vegans" fit the Vegan Society's definition of vegan:
…a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude – as far as is possible and practical – all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose...
I'm not here to pass judgment on anyone's reason for becoming a vegan, because 1) I can't stand the "vegan police" who make people feel bad for minor, likely unknown infractions (and tend to leave their snark in anonymous blog comments), and 2) I feel like any steps toward a cleaner, healthier, more cruelty-free world are beneficial. My point is that some people who consider themselves vegan may not apply the "clothing or any other purpose" part of the technical definition.

I became a vegan for my love of animals, but love the many resulting health benefits. I didn't start a bonfire in the backyard and torch all my sweaters and shoes, because that's quite honestly not in the budget, but made a commitment to make forthcoming purchases vegan whenever possible.

I recently decided to purchase a new purse (because sometimes girls just need one), and was surprised by the wide range of options available. I have a sneaking suspicion some websites are just passing off cheap purses as "vegan," but I was able to find a website, Pure Citizen, that offers legitimate, purposefully made vegan options.

After great deliberation (because that's what girls do before buying a purse), I purchased the Navoh Zoey Vegan Bag in black. Its hardware rivals my Kate Spade purses, and my hairstylist was shocked to learn it wasn't genuine leather. The inside is a comfortable faux-suede, and overall, the purse looks like I paid a lot more for it than I actually did.

Image from http://fab.com/inspiration/zoey-black.

I feel proud of my first vegan fashion purchase, but have been struggling to find black boots that don't look like they're made for the stereotypical militant feminist. I'm hoping that vegan fashion is catching on - New York Fashion Week just had its first all-vegan show last month. A girl can dream!

I'd love to hear where you find cute vegan clothes and accessories. Please share!


  1. Cute purse! I know what you mean about the desire to switch over your clothing and accessories to ones that are cruelty-free. It took a year or so until I had phased out my leather boots, belts, wool sweaters, etc. Finally I took them to Goodwill and donated them.

    For vegan accessories, I really like the purses from Matt & Nat, and I often get shoes and boots from Alternative Outfitters. (They're based out of Pasadena but have a big online presence as well.) They don't have as many boots in stock right now because we're moving into spring, but you should check them out in the late summer/early fall!

  2. I had been having a great deal of trouble finding vegan shoes, but lately I've had some good luck at JCPenney's and Kohls. I did just get a great pair of flats for work from DSW, too!