adventures and misadventures in vegan fashion

i’ve practiced a largely vegan diet for over 10 years now with the raw emphasis and influences coming in roundabout 2005-2006, but I’ve hesitated to call myself, even dodged the term vegan, and rightly so. while besides honey and some medicinal items my diet fits into the vegan category, i wasn’t a lifestyle vegan in any sense of the word. like most people, it’s not that i enjoy torturing animals, but that i didn’t make a concerted effort to consider animals in my life. now i’m working on changing that practice and embracing not so much “vegan” products (some of which contain harmful chemicals albeit animal free) but those made in wholehearted consideration of the overall environment and well-being of all living and non-living entities collectively. i instinctively made this transition with skin care and makeup products from the start as i’m kind of sensitive about what touches my body’s largest organ. unfortunately clothing has been an entirely different story until very recently.

when sharing my intention to switch to animal-free fashion with a friend over a raw meal, she exclaimed, “but you love leather!” and so it is true, or at least it was. i had to force myself to watch some really disturbing videos to get myself into the mindset of never being able to purchase leather items again for love leather i did. i wasn’t shafting it in leather jackets; my main dilemma was bags and shoes. i don’t consider myself a fashion follower/trend whore but i’m picky about the things i wear and abhor merchandise that looks like it’s poor quality or imitative of so-called high-fashion (i.e. canal street with fake louey vuitton prints, fake chanel bags – you wouldn’t catch me dead in these facsimiles or the real thing either for that matter). i’m not a fan of wearing items where the designer’s name is on it or highly evident in it’s form but my picky ways and insistence on quality have historically lead me to purchase primarily leather bags and shoes. vegan bags are one thing but finding quality vegan shoes that don’t make me look like i live in a tree (if i lived in a tree i hope i would be barefoot, eating fruit, communicating with salamanders perhaps) is an entirely different challenge. bags are somewhat more versatile and easy to use a wider variety of fabrics on (i.e. burlap, cloth, plastic, higher quality pleathers). since they aren’t worn on our feet, they don’t accumulate the wear and tear that shoes do. i’m a walker averaging an hour each weekday of footwork and my shoes need to hold up my movement as well as the colder weather elements including shoe-eating salt used to melt the winter ice on the streets.

how timely that after a multi-month search i run into the perfect pair of leather almost flats at a kenneth cole outlet. toes pointed at the right angle, with a kitten heel and priced right, in my size and all. still i held myself back and stuck to my promise. as for misadventures, it took me months to pick out this coat i liked. i even had to have it shipped in from france as it was nowhere to be found in my size stateside. when it arrived, of course after i put it on and discarded the packing materials and receipt it was pointed out to me that the brand label was embroidered on a small leather patch on the side of the coat 😦 alas, one success, one failure, live and learn. to end it on success, i’m pleased with my latest big buddha bag pictured above. i picked it out carefully and rather enjoy it’s non-pleather looking pleatheryness, size and functionality. i’m continually looking for interesting vegan/eco-considerate clothing and products and have come across a few vendors to further explore and plan to share my findings in time.

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*i didn’t even want to post this today  since i’m really really sad about whitney houston – not in a crying like she was a part of my own family kind of way – it’s just really shocking and sad to see such a legend leave the earth so early. she was truly THE BEST post-1970s female vocalist in my view and i hope she will rest in peace. i am not a fan of the star spangled banner but whitney’s performance here gives me goosebumps.

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~ by cyrah on February 12, 2012.

2 Responses to “adventures and misadventures in vegan fashion”

  1. I just adore your thought process!

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