Vegan fashion = ethical & fair fashion? What are the alternatives? ǀ Justine Leconte

Vegan fashion = ethical & fair fashion? What are the alternatives? ǀ Justine Leconte



hi everyone it’s Justine. people who are
vegan diet don’t eat or wear
anything coming from animals but in
apparel production in fashion
there are several materials used that
are animal-based for example the main
ones are leather wool silk feathers and
fur. so 5 different things that are
mostly used in this video I want to talk
about what it means to be vegan in
fashion when you shop for clothes. when
they say vegan leather for instance what
does it really mean? what are
alternatives that you can look for when
you don’t want to wear leather wool silk
feathers or fut? and is ethical fashion
vegan fashion? is that synonymous, is thatthe same thing? let’s start with
leather the leather production needs to
be a simple byproduct of the food
industry but now the consumption of
meats stagnates or declines depending on
which country you’re looking at while
they need for leather for apparel
production keeps rising so now there are
animals that get raised and killed not
to be eaten but just for their skin when
you read leather on the comments label
it doesn’t tell you if the animal has
been ethically treated it also doesn’t
tell you if only the upper upper layer
is leather and then plastic underneath
or if the whole thing the whole layer is
leather
it also doesn’t tell you where that
leather is in fact coming from so there
is a huge gap in the information
available to you as a consumer. so what
are the alternatives?
the first one is pleather also called
PVC which is in fact plastic this one
doesn’t biodegrade and it ends in
landfills I have a problem with this one
because it’s really not recyclable so no
animal dies but it’s extremely polluting
during the production process and after
the person the consumer has gotten rid
of that garment. fortunately there are
better alternatives being developed at
the moment: cork is one of them it’s
produced mostly in Spain and Portugal it
is stiff but it works very well if
you’re molding something out of it like
rounded pump or for flat surfaces it’s
also water-resistant the material is
harvested from a cork oak the tree goes
on living and growing after the harvest
every nine years you can harvest the
cork again it does not damage
the tree then pineapple leather is a
quite new option it is made from
pineapple leaves and it’s already used
for instance to make shoes it’s a
byproduct of the pineapple production if
we didn’t use the waste of those leaves
to make something out of it it would
just get thrown away so sustainability
point then a very new new option is
mushroom leather that one looks
surprisingly similar to actual leather
in terms of coloring and differences on
the surface it can be anything from soft
to stiff and it’s very gentle on the
skin mostly hypoallergenic it’s not
water resistant but it can be waxed to
achieve just that one limitation though
it can’t be produced at scale yet but
it’s definitely something to keep in
mind for the future because it’s 100%
renewable then we have wool. wool does
not technically require an animal to die
you’re just shaving off the hair and
then it grows back again it’s a cycle
the problem is when animals get
genetically modified to produce more
hairs or when they’re not being paid
attention to while being shaven because
people have been told to shave faster so
there is eco-friendly sustainable
ethical wool but the biggest producers
usually don’t tell you where the wool is
coming from and it is definitely
intensive production. so what are the
alternatives?
the first one is acrylic this one has
been engineered literally to
replace it is cheaper it’s more
stable it has a similar look & feel and
similar properties it’s just not as good
as wool. linen is another alternative. it is a
bit wrinkly a bit stiff but it breathes
very well. there is hemp as well that one
is a bit raw a bit itchy but if the yarn
is good quality and well spun it will
do the job. then bamboo is another option
it’s very soft and very flexible but if
you have a bamboo sweater and a wool
sweater of the same thickness the bamboo
one will be more expensive. linen hemp
and bamboo are vegan and quite
sustainable while acrylic is chemically
produced. let’s move on to silk. silk is
produced by little silkworms but unless
you’re talking about raw silk or wild
silk, the worms don’t have a great life.
they are doped, they can’t really move
freely. it’s really intensive production.
what are the alternatives?
was invented just like acrylic for wool
to imitate silk. it is way way cheaper
it’s not as light it’s not as luxurious
when you touch it but it is quite shiny
too then Tencel and modal are made from
cellulose they are very new
developments. thery’re okay
environmentally-friendly they’re of natural
origin but they require a bit of
manipulation it is a complex process. if
you look at these two fabrics here can
you tell which one is silk and which one
is model? this one is modal it has been
calendered so the surface has been
pressed by a heavy cylinder which makes
it nice and shiny just like the silk is.
then we have feathers. feathers are not
used much in fashion, you think? but in
fact down jackets and winter coats are
typically filled with duck and goose
feathers. it’s not just about the exotic
ones that you find on haute couture hats.
people used to kill rare birds just for
their feathers, exotic and colorful ones.
down seems like a bit more ethical, okay
option because it’s a byproduct of the
food industry and ostrich feathers are
now commonly replaced by turkey feathers.
they can also be dyed in any color so it
replaces the rare animal. what are the
alternatives? we already have synthetic
down with great properties it dries even
faster than the real down which is great
in winter think of Thinsulate microfiber
thing which is used for outdoor clothing
think of Primaloft which is used to fill
the coats of the US Army.
synthetic down is also more eco-friendly
and recyclable or sometimes even already
recycled. so as far as down is concerned
we have great alternatives already. and
finally fur. that is the most debated
material within the entire fashion
industry. it stands on the one hand for
absolute luxury on the other hand at the
same time for absolute brutality towards
animals. the ethical questioning behind
that debate is obvious. even when people
don’t wear full fur coats, there is this
trim which is trending on the hoodie of
winter coats which can be actual fur. so
fur it still used in the apparel
production probably, more often than you
think. what are the alternatives? faux fur,
already broadly used.
it is synthetic so it’s not
environmentally friendly but it is 100%
vegan. however sometimes you will buy
something that is labeled faux fur and
it might actually be real fur how. to be
sure? look in between the hairs. if you
see a canvas of fabric at the base,
holding the hairs together, then it’s
faux fur. how to be really really sure? if
you burn fur it’s like burning a human
hair. it will burn down and smell. if
it’s synthetic it will melt and smell
like plastic. if the item you purchased is
labeled as fake fur & turns out to be
real fur, you can take it straight back
to the store where you got it, if you
wish. for each animal-sourced material, we
have vegan alternatives. but they’re not
always environmentally-friendly or
sustainable. plastic is really not a
great basis we produce way more than
enough of it on the planet already. then
the next question is how do you put all
the materials together to build a piece
of clothing? or when you build a quirk
shoe for instance, is the glue that
you’re using also animal-free? is the
dye that’s being used also animal-free?
last but not least: what about the
production process itself? Are the garment
workers also treated well ethically? fast
fashion is the opposite of fair fashion
and of sustainability so if a brand is
using vegan leather instead of leather
but has its sewn by children, underaged
and underpaid, it’s not going in the
right direction either. this video is
already very content-heavy so I’m gonna
stop here for today and link down
below in the description to further
video for you guys, if you’re interested:
the first one is about how to shop for
ethical fashion, where to look, what to
pay attention to? what are the criteria?
and about fast fashion, a video that I
did last year: what it is and how does it
work?
if you found some food for thought in
today’s video, thumbs up! thank you so
much! subscribe to my channel if you’re
interested in fashion! I upload new
videos every Wednesday and every Sunday,
so see you soon again, bye!


Vegan fashion = ethical & fair fashion? What are the alternatives? ǀ Justine Leconte


All credits go to Justine Leconte officiel