PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has just launched an exciting new event that could have a far-reaching effect on the fashion world. The organisation hosted the first-ever Vegan Fashion Awards ceremony, which recognised the work of ethical fashion designers committed to creating beautiful, cruelty-free clothing and accessories.
The star-studded event was co-hosted by fashion designer and actress Sadie Frost and interior designer Meg Matthews. Sadie, whose label FrostFrench scooped an award from PETA for a stylish pink leather-look purse, is a strong supporter of ethical fashion and conscious consumerism. “It’s phenomenal how many retailers and top designers are using pleather, micro-suede and faux cashmere in their collections” she says. “The new fabrics are kinder not only to animals but also to the environment”.
Let’s take a look at some of the ethical brands and designers who were honoured at PETA’s Vegan Fashion Awards this year:
Stella McCartney’s faux-python pumps received an award for combining gorgeous design with a compassionate, ethical fashion philosophy. McCartney is a lifelong vegetarian and committed animal rights activist. “As a designer, I like to work with fabrics that don’t bleed” she says. “I won’t ever wear the skin of a cow, snake, alligator, seal or rabbit… I pledge that mine is the only skin that I’ll be seen in”.
Punk icon Vivienne Westwood is living proof that any fashion genre we can think of can be designed in a truly ethical manner. Her leather-free tartan Derby Bag was named the Most Stylish Handbag by PETA. In 2007, the fabulous Ms Westwood joined the growing list of fashion designers who have banned the use of fur from their brands.
River Island’s vegan-friendly embossed wallet is classic, functional and made from 100% polyurethane.
Stella McCartney’s animal-friendly Sebellica tennis shoes for Adidas were a runaway hit. Comfortable, lightweight and attractive in lemon yellow, these sneakers are perfect for sporty vegans and vegetarians.
This honour went to Polish-born fashionista Bo Carter. This rising star is exploring the versatility of various synthetic fabrics to create beautiful, edgy and modern clothing that is completely vegan, with no use of leather or fur.
“With ethical consumerism on the rise… retailers need to respond by using compassionately produced materials if they don’t want to be left behind” says Sadie Frost. Let’s hope PETA’s ethical fashion awards set the standard for many more cruelty-free and eco-friendly designs in the years to come.