Vegan fashion = ethical & fair fashion? What are the alternatives? ǀ Justine Leconte
hi everyone it's Justine.
people who arevegan diet don't eat or wear anything coming from animals but inapparel production in fashion there are several materials used thatare animal-based for example the main ones are leather wool silk feathers andfur.
so 5 different things that are mostly used in this video I want to talkabout what it means to be vegan in fashion when you shop for clothes.
whenthey say vegan leather for instance what does it really mean? what arealternatives that you can look for when you don't want to wear leather wool silkfeathers or fut? and is ethical fashion vegan fashion? is that synonymous, is thatthe same thing? let's start with leather the leather production needs tobe a simple byproduct of the food industry but now the consumption ofmeats stagnates or declines depending on which country you're looking at whilethey need for leather for apparel production keeps rising so now there areanimals that get raised and killed not to be eaten but just for their skin whenyou read leather on the comments label it doesn't tell you if the animal hasbeen ethically treated it also doesn't tell you if only the upper upper layeris leather and then plastic underneath or if the whole thing the whole layer isleather it also doesn't tell you where thatleather is in fact coming from so there is a huge gap in the informationavailable to you as a consumer.
so what are the alternatives?the first one is pleather also called PVC which is in fact plastic this onedoesn't biodegrade and it ends in landfills I have a problem with this onebecause it's really not recyclable so no animal dies but it's extremely pollutingduring the production process and after the person the consumer has gotten ridof that garment.
fortunately there are better alternatives being developed atthe moment: cork is one of them it's produced mostly in Spain and Portugal itis stiff but it works very well if you're molding something out of it likerounded pump or for flat surfaces it's also water-resistant the material isharvested from a cork oak the tree goes on living and growing after the harvestevery nine years you can harvest the cork again it does not damagethe tree then pineapple leather is a quite new option it is made frompineapple leaves and it's already used for instance to make shoes it's abyproduct of the pineapple production if we didn't use the waste of those leavesto make something out of it it would just get thrown away so sustainabilitypoint then a very new new option is mushroom leather that one lookssurprisingly similar to actual leather in terms of coloring and differences onthe surface it can be anything from soft to stiff and it's very gentle on theskin mostly hypoallergenic it's not water resistant but it can be waxed toachieve just that one limitation though it can't be produced at scale yet butit'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 dieyou're just shaving off the hair and then it grows back again it's a cyclethe problem is when animals get genetically modified to produce morehairs or when they're not being paid attention to while being shaven becausepeople have been told to shave faster so there is eco-friendly sustainableethical wool but the biggest producers usually don't tell you where the wool iscoming from and it is definitely intensive production.
so what are thealternatives? the first one is acrylic this one hasbeen engineered literally to replace it is cheaper it's morestable it has a similar look & feel and similar properties it's just not as goodas wool.
linen is another alternative.
it is a bit wrinkly a bit stiff but it breathesvery well.
there is hemp as well that one is a bit raw a bit itchy but if the yarnis good quality and well spun it will do the job.
then bamboo is another optionit's very soft and very flexible but if you have a bamboo sweater and a woolsweater of the same thickness the bamboo one will be more expensive.
linen hempand bamboo are vegan and quite sustainable while acrylic is chemicallyproduced.
let's move on to silk.
silk is produced by little silkworms but unlessyou'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 woolto imitate silk.
it is way way cheaper it's not as light it's not as luxuriouswhen you touch it but it is quite shiny too then Tencel and modal are made from cellulose they are very newdevelopments.
thery're okay environmentally-friendly they're of naturalorigin but they require a bit of manipulation it is a complex process.
ifyou look at these two fabrics here can you tell which one is silk and which oneis model? this one is modal it has been calendered so the surface has beenpressed 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 infact down jackets and winter coats are typically filled with duck and goosefeathers.
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 thefood 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 thealternatives? we already have synthetic down with great properties it dries evenfaster than the real down which is great in winter think of Thinsulate microfiberthing which is used for outdoor clothing think of Primaloft which is used to fillthe coats of the US Army.
synthetic down is also more eco-friendlyand recyclable or sometimes even already recycled.
so as far as down is concernedwe have great alternatives already.
and finally fur.
that is the most debatedmaterial within the entire fashion industry.
it stands on the one hand forabsolute luxury on the other hand at the same time for absolute brutality towardsanimals.
the ethical questioning behind that debate is obvious.
even when peopledon't wear full fur coats, there is this trim which is trending on the hoodie ofwinter coats which can be actual fur.
so fur it still used in the apparelproduction probably, more often than you think.
what are the alternatives? faux fur,already broadly used.
it is synthetic so it's notenvironmentally friendly but it is 100% vegan.
however sometimes you will buysomething that is labeled faux fur and it might actually be real fur how.
to besure? 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? ifyou burn fur it's like burning a human hair.
it will burn down and smell.
ifit's synthetic it will melt and smell like plastic.
if the item you purchased islabeled as fake fur & turns out to be real fur, you can take it straight backto the store where you got it, if you wish.
for each animal-sourced material, wehave vegan alternatives.
but they're not always environmentally-friendly orsustainable.
plastic is really not a great basis we produce way more thanenough of it on the planet already.
then the next question is how do you put allthe materials together to build a piece of clothing? or when you build a quirkshoe for instance, is the glue that you're using also animal-free? is thedye that's being used also animal-free? last but not least: what about theproduction process itself? Are the garment workers also treated well ethically? fastfashion is the opposite of fair fashion and of sustainability so if a brand isusing vegan leather instead of leather but has its sewn by children, underagedand underpaid, it's not going in the right direction either.
this video isalready very content-heavy so I'm gonna stop here for today and link downbelow 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 topay attention to? what are the criteria? and about fast fashion, a video that Idid 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 somuch! subscribe to my channel if you're interested in fashion! I upload newvideos every Wednesday and every Sunday, so see you soon again, bye!.