Vegan Fashion is Fashion.
The idea of not using any animal products in fashion may be overwhelming to think about at first. But, as consumers become more aware of the brutal cruelty of fur farms, treatment of animals in factory farms, and the devastation to our environment, they are starting to demand a different sort of wardrobe. Naturally, the market has responded and designers are starting to show less fur, leather, etc. and more sustainable fabrics and even organic options. The industry is also beginning to expand more rapidly into fabric technologies which is resulting in exciting innovations – especially in the activewear segment. And ultimately, we have seen a notable rise in 100% vegan fashion brands including high-end designers like Stella McCartney.
As artists who care about our planet, people, and animals, we are excited to witness and take part in this movement. Though a full switch to animal-free fashion is likely in the distant future, we enjoy working with brands that are helping to push the industry forward toward a more kind shopping experience with a much smaller carbon footprint.
Brands Making a Difference
We feel lucky to have connected with incredible entrepreneurs and designers who are doing really inspiring work. Like our friend Leanne, creator of NYC-based Vaute Couture, who is among the very first designers to give consumers a legitimate alternative to fleece, wool, and feather outerwear for cold climates. A Chicago native, Leanne was motivated by her own experience trying to survive chilling temperatures as a vegan. She faced a problem and created her own solution, successfully proving that you can look great, stay warm, and be kind all at the same time.
Another of our favorite sustainable and cruelty-free brands is Matt and Nat. They are one of the first lines to provide an alternative to leather bags and wallets for fashion-forward consumers and professionals. All of their products are vegan, made of recycled materials, and look and feel great. All of mine continue to outlast any leather items that I’ve ever had. I am currently staring at a bag from Matt and Nat that I’ve owned and tormented for 8 years through constant travel. It looks amazing, is ridiculously durable, and I still get compliments on it.
I think it’s important to mention that Matt and Nat also caters to men, which is something that was very hard to find at the birth of vegan fashion. Though it made financial sense to prioritize female customers initially given limited budgets of typically small vegan fashion start-ups, it’s important to realize that men are just as in need of clear-conscience fashion as women are. So, thank you, Matt and Nat!
Now, on to our lovely client, Sonas Denim. We first connected with Gerry Kelly, the owner and designer, a few years ago. He and his family joined us at Veggie Grill Pasadena for a tasty vegan lunch. We discussed the motivation behind launching a vegan company that specializes in sexy, unique, patchwork denim. And we shared an impassioned conversation about art and animal advocacy. We also learned a lot that day as Gerry shared the sustainable and aesthetic benefits of patchwork design. It was a great time with new friends and I think we all knew that we’d work together someday.
The opportunity was finally here last month when Gerry was ready to re-brand and showcase his new line. We chose a natural environment as the backdrop to remain true to their eco-conscious mission. The location was also a nod to the festival lifestyle that inspired the brand. Which also appeared in the playful, sexy outfits that the stylist pulled together. The looks bring to mind the good vibes of Gerry’s times at Burning Man. And it felt even more authentic thanks to a very hot day in the canyon. But we managed to keep it cool with good music, people, and energy. All the right ingredients for a successful shoot day.
Looking forward, Sonas plans to expand upon their line of signature patchwork denim. They are on a mission to continue proving that vegan denim is sexy, unique, and feels great from skin to within. Meanwhile, Gerry’s wife, Christine, is planning on opening an animal sanctuary to further commit to their cause. Proceeds from Sonas Denim sales will help fund the sanctuary, giving Gerry’s customers another great reason to buy Sonas. It’s a terrific concept and we wish them much joy and success.