Sustainable Fashion VS Vegan Fashion?
Is it one and the same?? Labels such as “slow fashion”, “sustainable” and “vegan” in the fashion industry are there to help us make better choices when it comes to our purchases, but is it just making it more complicated?
Here’s a few you’ve probably heard being thrown around;
- Slow fashion
- Fast fashion
- Vegan fashion
This is just a few but how many more words do we need? And what do they all mean?
You’re not alone when feeling a tad lost, as we are constantly being told what’s right and what’s wrong; what’s on trend and what’s not.
The words vegan fashion and sustainable fashion have been circulating online, like it’s literally going out of fashion - hashtags like #veganbag and #sustainablefashion have been popular searches. The vegan products and sustainable lifestyle brands, are more often being seen in the same category, within the fashion industry, by both consumers and brands. Obviously, there is going to be some confusion, right?
But if you’re searching for a vegan bag, do you expect it to be sustainable as well? We’re going to crack down on the differences to help you make your own choices and see what fits.
Let’s start with our all time favourite - ‘Sustainable Fashion’
Sustainability refers to how the materials and production processes affect the environment and the people that make your clothing / products. It is not only what is used to make the clothing, but also how it’s made. This can refer to water usage, material waste, shipping materials, wage subsidies, working conditions etc. The aim is to make the least amount of environmental destruction and provide fair and healthy working conditions, as much as possible.
Here’s some main points, that make up a sustainable product, that you can use in order to determine if the sustainable fashion garment, is right for you:
- The raw material needs to be derived with the least amount of environmental harm
- The textile needs to be produced in a sustainable and ethical way
- The finishes, dyes, washes, prints and designs are completed with minimal environmental impact
- Opportunities for the end of the product’s lifecycle… biodegradable, recyclable and/or up cyclable?
- Fair wage support and equal opportunities
- Clean and healthy working conditions
Let’s talk about Vegan Fashion...
Vegan fashion refers to the lack thereof animals in the material sourcing and production side. This means NO silk, wool, fur, leather etc. are used within the materials or in any production stage.
Importantly, no animals are harmed whatsoever! If you’re unsure as to why vegan fashion is trending and want to know more, check out this article and let us know what you think; https://www.shoplikeyougiveadamn.com/blogs/what-is-vegan-fashion/bl-263.
What is the difference?
It is very important to note that NOT all vegan fashion is sustainable and VICE VERSA. It is possible to do good for the animals by investing in sustainable products, as lots of ethical brands are ditching certain fabrics that do more harm then good, in support of the vegan fashion movement. However, as the definition of sustainability has little to do with animal harm directly, we can never assume unless they specifically state it’s a vegan fashion garment, specifically.
When products are vegan, their materials are not directly sourced from animals, so it’s correct that they can call themselves a vegan brand. For all intents and purposes is the product truly vegan, if they are making little to no effort, to minimise environmental harm during production stage. That's another debate we can tackle at a different time.
In the mean time, let's start separating these two labels, so they get credit for what they are. Both are great practices to uphold within impactful core brand values or within personal values, but it’s important to recognise that they are very different and cannot be used synonymously.
We’d like to hear whether you agree or disagree in the comments below, or even if you'd like to know more about this topic...we could ramble on for days!