Animal prints in vegan fashion paradox. One thing that’s sure about fashion is that there are endless trends, coming and going, that one can choose to be temporarily ‘defined’ by. And while most fashion trends make no sense or dissipate faster than the blink of an eye, some trends leave a long-lasting impact on both, the fashion industry and the buyers.
One of these long-lasting and impact making fashion trends is animal print on vegan fashion apparel. While it is evident that animal prints are not animal skins, there is a fundamental problem with the promotion and commercialisation of animal prints in fashion, as it undermines the idea of vegan fashion, by its own nature.
We’ve come to the understanding that both, the use of animal skins in manufacturing and the phenomena of fast-fashion are causing irreversible environmental damage. As a result, the number of conscious fashion buyers is growing fast, showcasing a genuine interest in eco-friendly and 🌿vegan apparel.
For example, at the end of 2018 Pinterest stated that searches for vegan and sustainable fashion rose 40%, at an all-time high. Similarly, Lyst declared a 49% increase in searches using keywords related to sustainable fashion, such as ‘organic cotton’ and ‘vegan leather’ or, ‘leather alternatives.’
It is a trend that has seen consecrated fashion houses seeking to help and further drive forward vegan fashion, by making sustainability a priority of their marketing and communication strategies. Labels such as Stella McCartney, Adidas, and Levi’s, have started to use innovative materials to create sustainable and vegan clothes, seeking to meet consumers’ growing demands for eco and animal-friendly fashion.
But at the same time, the same brands are using animal printing in their fashion lines, more than ever. At the last year’s fashion week, the catwalk was packed with leopard, python, zebra, and other rare animal skin prints, as it was the case of Gucci, Christian Siriano, and YSL’s Anthony Vaccarello’s entire collections.
And worse than that, according to Pinterest, searches for ‘snakeskin prints’ increased by 642% last year in the U.S., and leopard-printed footwear comprised 32% of the entire market. Animal prints in vegan fashion is an approach of aparadoxical nature which damages the meaningful statement vegan fashion attempts to create. I am vegan, but with a twist?
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