One segment of the fashion industry is starting to explode, from $25.6 billion in 2017, it is predicted to grow to $85 billion by 2025. That segment is vegan fashion. The materials used in vegan fashion are free of materials derived from animals. Simply put this means no leather, no fur or any wool.
In the last six years veganism is on the rise across the globe as people have realized there are other options that do not harm animals and more sustainable options to help save our environment. For example, tanning leather requires 130 different chemicals. This doesn’t mean vegan fashion does not use chemicals, synthetics can sometimes be made from petroleum based plastics too.
As the demand for vegan fashion grows, the competition to bring manufacturing prices down grows as well. Soon designers and the manufacturers will face the same critics of the fast-fashion sweatshops. However, a Nielsen study in 2015, found 55 percent of online consumers said they were willing to pay more money for vegan fashion. The cost of a pair of vegan shoes can range from $40-$149.
With modern technology and production facilities, faux leathers and suedes can hardly be distinguished from the animal based products. Vegan shoe company, Ahimsa, features leather shoes that are almost impossible to tell that they are faux leather.
Some other vegan options are offered by companies such as the Cambodian company, Samatoa, which revived the ancient art of lotus flower weaving, in order to produce a soft and waterproof textile. Ananas Anam’s company Piñatex, in the Philippines uses fibers taken from pineapple leaves to create their products. The New Delhi company, Kanabis, offers hemp canvas shoes which are often stronger and longer-lasting than a more traditional shoe.
In the past few years, most of these innovative vegan manufacturers based their sales locally, but now they are expanding into the global marketplace by the growing world-wide demand and awareness of the vegan options that are already available.
One thing pushing this surge in popularity, are online marketplaces such as ImmaculateVegan.com, who specialize in vegan, sustainable and eco-fashion, and offer the consumer a large variety products from many suppliers, designers and manufacturers, all in one convenient place.
The rise in popularity has given birth to events such as the Los Angeles Vegan Fashion Week in October, 2021. Events like these offer a way for vegan fashion designers and stylists to showcase their designs to the world. Eco-fashion events are also on the rise across the globe, where designers will sometimes repurpose or recycle items into their designs.
There is no doubt that vegan fashion is here to stay and will continue to grow in popularity as people across the globe become more aware of the footprints they leave behind.