JL F.
user 25105732
Group Organizer
Colorado Springs, CO
Post #: 19
I don't know about you but for me, when I went vegan, I really struggled with wardrobe issues. I had so much leather and wool in my closet! (I have a serious shoe and handbag obsession). It's taken some time - several years - but I've built a more compassionate closet.

It warmed my heart today to see CNN cover the first all vegan NYC fashion show: http://www.cnn.com/20...­ I met Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart last summer when I went through the Main Street Vegan Academy to become a vegan lifestyle coach. She is a force of nature! I bought one of her winter coats and love it - though I have yet to see winter since moving to Colorado Springs! wink

This week I sent out my monthly Go Vegan newsletter and included a link to PETA's fashion site: http://www.peta.org/l...­ I have found it really helpful when I want to replace animal-based items in my wardrobe; clearly other folks are interested because it was the most clicked link in the newsletter!

Do you have tips on transitioning to a vegan wardrobe?
Shannon
Plant_Strong
Kaiserslautern, DE
Post #: 183
The first vegan fashion Show! That's great to hear and how neat to have had the opportunity to meet her and go through the Main Street Vegan Academy. It's also wonderful to hear the interest to learn more is out there.
On a side note, this is such a mild winter sad!

I once heard, and I can't remember from who, that when you become "vegan" you don't need to rush off and purge your closet of all leather and wool, etc. (boots, shoes, purses, sweaters and so on). When, and if, the time feels right to do so, then go for it and donate those items. Otherwise, just make a conscious effort when buying anything new. My awareness is there now and I do what I can. So much is made with an animal by-product that it's almost impossible to live a pure vegan life.

Unfortunately, it seems people like to nitpick your lifestyle once they find out you're vegan, immediately checking out your shoes, belt, and clothes; trying to find that "one" thing to discredit you. I let it roll off my shoulders and know I'm doing what I can right now. It's a gradual process for some and a "jump in feet first" for others.

Awareness is the first step and you'll find where it takes you on your own personal journey.
JL F.
user 25105732
Group Organizer
Colorado Springs, CO
Post #: 20
I once heard, and I can't remember from who, that when you become "vegan" you don't need to rush off and purge your closet of all leather and wool, etc. (boots, shoes, purses, sweaters and so on). When, and if, the time feels right to do so, then go for it and donate those items. Otherwise, just make a conscious effort when buying anything new. My awareness is there now and I do what I can. So much is made with an animal by-product that it's almost impossible to live a pure vegan life.

Definitely a process, Shannon! It's too expensive to just one day dump your belongings! It took me years to even begin the move helped push things along and I donated a lot of stuff to a domestic violence shelter in NY.

I had to laugh about this "it seems people like to nitpick your lifestyle once they find out you're vegan, immediately checking out your shoes, belt, and clothes;" SO TRUE! I was at a friend's for a dinner party a couple of weeks ago - he made all vegan sides and I brought my own seitan for the grill - I was the only veg/vegan. One of the guests came up to me later and actually touched my boots as I was talking about seitan and vegan foods. He just gave me a grin. I looked down at him and said, "they are vegan. He was shocked and I was happy I was wearing them! LOL

But my car tires aren't vegan and when people bring that I simply say that I do the best I can. That's all any of us can do!

I most certainly wasn't suggesting that everyone do this or that I'm a "pure" vegan"; I simply brought it because a lot of people begin to see the connection between the food on the plate and the leather on the feet on the journey and aren't really sure where to begin. Thought some people might have ideas to share!
Shannon
Plant_Strong
Kaiserslautern, DE
Post #: 184
I've been thinking about this more and went to research what's written but there's not much. I did find your write up on your website JL and like how you highlight each article of clothing in your winter photo and how it's vegan. Neat idea! The link you provided is probably the most informative. I like their quick reference guide. It lets you know you definitely don't have to purchase everything online through an all vegan company and that many alternatives can be found locally. Here's their quick reference list:
http://www.peta.org/living/fashion/cruelty-free-clothing-guide-search-product.aspx­

You're right though, the correlation is eventually made. As we mentioned, those who aren't "vegan" are quick to point out any discrepancies they see (the wardrobe being a big one). The story you told highlights that perfectly. If you're transitioning and making the connection then this can be a subject that weighs heavily on you and can be somewhat of a struggle. I know this feeling firsthand which prompted my initial thoughts above.

Thinking about it more though, I realized a step for me was being able to identify vegan and non-vegan products/materials. Here are a few helpful sites that explain what materials are not vegan and why.
http://www.wikihow.com/Buy-Vegan-Clothes­

http://www.vegan-nutritionista.com/vegan-clothes.html­

VegNews tips! I like how they highlight "vegan clothing is everywhere". This makes the thought of switching out your wardrobe not so overwhelming. Another tip they mention is to become a label reader ; just as you read labels for food you need to do the same for clothes.
http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=3171&catId=5­
A former member
Post #: 2
I am transitioning towards vegan & admit to others I am not perfect. I can relate to the shoe comment. One of the first people that I mentioned my intended change to begand grilling me on whether or not my shoes are leather (the ones I had on that day were not), what do you eat for protein, etc... I too have leather & other products in my closet but have not bought any more since trying to transition. I have been very disappointed on many occasions when I see something I just love only to find it is leather or has cashmere, etc... I have also learned that with a bit of investigation, I can often find similar items that are cruelty-free & usually less expensive too. I have found some great vegan shoes on Ebay & many catalogs I receive have them. It is just a manner of reading the details and being willing to look for alternatives. Love this discussion. As a clotheshorse, I have struggled so thank you for putting some of my concerns at ease...
JL F.
user 25105732
Group Organizer
Colorado Springs, CO
Post #: 21
I have been very disappointed on many occasions when I see something I just love only to find it is leather or has cashmere, etc...

Me, too, Heather! I used a vegan shopping list a couple of years ago to buy good shoes for long flights (easy on and off but sturdy). Some Merrell shoes were on the list. I found a pair, loved them. The next week, mid-flight, I leaned over to grab my laptop out of a bag I noticed a teeny, tiny suede strip at the toe of the shoe. Why?! LOL I give myself credit for trying!
Lisa
user 7165713
Colorado Springs, CO
Post #: 192
This 3 minute video by Stella McCartney is pretty convincing. It's about why as a designer she does not use leather. I even learned something.

Stella McCartney Takes On the Leather Trade
http://www.youtube.co...­

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