“I’ve Gone Vegan…” – And Your Wardrobe Can Too
21 November 2019
Author: Jasmine Waters
If you aren’t a convert already, chances are you’ve had an in-depth conversation with someone you know about the new ‘taboo’ V word - Veganism. It’s a phrase that has earnt itself a noticeable reputation throughout the last year, with more people more than ever not opting to make the switch. With this reputation comes an impact, and we’re starting to see a growth in areas of business aside from food, with New Look becoming the first UK high street brand to register products with The Vegan Society. So how will this new lifestyle direction effect businesses that choose to embark on supplying the new consumer demand?
Have vegan products made an impact?
Many might think the idea of ‘vegan’ anything would be a short-lived fad, but already statistically speaking this is proving not to be the case. In the last 10 months, there has been a 75% increase in products described as vegan in the UK (according to Edited), with the Brits, Americans and French being among the top countries investing in the vegan market – although vegan products have seen the biggest increase of a staggering 320% in Denmark. The global faux-leather market is set to be worth $74 billion by 2025, and there is an abundance of cruelty-free, natural materials now at hand, including soya-bean fibre, bamboo and leather made from substances such as pineapples and apples. It might seem a far-fetched method on paper, but the facts remain that more consumers are seeking out product alternatives to fit with the moral obligation we now may have to make more educated decisions on what we buy and how we live. The internet has proved to be a huge tool in bringing factory farming practices to light, having negative ramifications for both brands and consumer alike. But what would it mean for a brand to be more ethically and environmentally conscious?
What effect could this have on brands?
In an interview conducted by FashionUnited with selected upcoming 100% vegan brands, many cited initial start-up costs to always be one of the most difficult first steps, with vegan brands often seeing very little reward in their first stages. Maintaining commercial belief in the products at this stage is key – as an environmental strategy is more dependent on customer feedback and satisfaction than usual, taking the time to talking about the products and letting customers touch and feel quality is of the utmost importance. Some also noted that sourcing the right products took time, but has to be done in the face of the change with public awareness and demand. Brands must be aware of exactly what products they use, focusing on their eco-impact, from water-based inks to screen-printing cleaning products. Even in the face of Brexit and the ongoing uncertainty of the global retail market, Vegan products are proving to put their money where their mouth is, with both mainstream and luxury brands committing to making change that the industry desperately needs.
Image source: https://www.instagram.com/groehrs/