Vegan guide – Is it OK to buy vegan products from non-vegan labels? There’s this question that we keep getting almost every day via email from our readers. It goes like this, or somehow similar:
“Hi there, I am X, and I am a dedicated vegan person. I’ve started with a vegan diet – for health reasons – but in time, as I’ve learned more about animals and their suffering, I’ve shifted to total veganism. Not just vegan in food but also my fashion choices. I am very proud that my entire lifestyle is vegan, and I’d like your help with whether it is ok to buy vegan fashion products from non-vegan brands or not.”
Now, I always cherish questions like these, as I had the same issue a few years ago. So here is a vegan guide for those with the same dilemma! 😉
Vegan Guide – What It Means To Be Vegan
I am also fully vegan, but my journey has started with fashion first, and then it slowly morphed into my food choices.
In my case, as I love fashion in general and luxury fashion in particular, I’ve found it very hard to find apparel and accessories that truly represented me, my style, from the vegan labels on the market.
The only brand that I liked at that time – the brand image, the design of the products – was Stella McCartney. However, as Stella as a brand is not vegan but cruelty-free, choosing her products came in contradiction with my strict vegan values.
I remember so many times seeing luxury vegan products, be that a bag, a pair of shoes, or accessories, made by traditional luxury houses and thinking, “Oh, my god, how much I’d love to buy that!”
Obviously, I didn’t buy any of them, as at that time, non-vegan brands were cruel by still using leather, fur, and other rare animal skins. So while the products I loved were technically ‘vegan’, I felt I was a hypocrite for buying and thus support a brand that was still killing animals.
Vegan guide – Is It OK Not To Be So Strict?
Now, as you’ve already guessed from my story, I am no longer that anal about the total vegan purity of the brand before I buy their products, and I’ll explain why.
Of course, I’d love to be able to buy vegan fashion only from vegan brands. It still hurts knowing that I am still supporting animal cruelty through my fashion choices but looking at the offering available on the market, there’s not much I can choose from.
The options here are, either look like a clown trying to save the planet and the animals, or, wear the very few vegan luxury fashion things I’ve managed to find so far, over and over again.
So how did I come to this conclusion? Well, my decision to become a full vegan, not just in fashion but also in my food choices made me realise that the same brands that are making vegan food are making non-vegan food.
It was impossible to find, just like in fashion, brands that were pure vegan. Now, as the offering has grown a bit, things have changed.
And still, go to a supermarket and try to buy vegan food just from vegan brands. To start with, you wouldn’t know if the brand is pure vegan.
Then, assuming you’ve discovered a way to verify if all products of that brand are vegan, you’ll face another issue. As the number of pure vegan brands that are making food is so low, you’ll end up eating the same food, over and over again. So ultimately, it is your choice.
On one hand, you can go hardcore and refuse those brands that are not yet totally vegan, with the hope they’ll eventually die, which let’s be honest won’t happen anytime soon.
Or, you can consume their vegan products, which will hopefully help them see that there is a growing demand for this type of products and could make more money this way.
Vegan guide – There Is No Right Answer
Ultimately, there is no straight forward answer. You have to make the decision, based on what’s right for you and your values. It is up to you if you purchase a vegan product from a non-vegan brand.
Last thing before I close this: I saw Miley Cirus wearing a vegan pair of heels from Saint Lauren at the recent Met Gala, and I love them. Match them with Givenchy’s Antigona vegan bag, and you’re a stunner.
However, the question remains: How happy do you feel, knowing that by buying from a non-vegan brand you’re supporting them?