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Top 6 Animal Friendly Luxury Brands

By Rachel Burt


Luxury brands have been attempting to address a very sensitive and hot topic subjects: buying/wearing fur and testing cosmetics on animals.  Find how high-end brands like Stella McCartney and Manolo Blahnik are taking-in on the action…


Stella McCartney


With the Internet and a plethora of information available right beneath our fingertips, it is extremely difficult to hide the facts: helpless animals live caged lives, which are ended gruesomely so humans can wear fur and makeup. With new technology and innovation, needless to say, fur or animal tested products are far from necessary. 

My view: stop animal torture by boycotting brands that produce fur and test products on animals and by supporting animal friendly brands. Brands will listen as they closely the shopping habits of consumers. Below you will see my top 6 picks, and find out what fabrics the designers are using to replace fur and leather. 


Me

I believe that with the continuous effort of animal lovers (e.g., dedicated volunteers and organizations such as the Humane Society crowding around Bryant Park for New York Fashion week to protest against the use of animal fur), the designers are slowly starting to listen. For instance, some are using new fabrics that are almost identical to that of animal products. So, now there is an abundance of luxurious, cruelty-free alternatives available from the world’s top fashion houses. Finally be aware, it is not just the high-heeled clientele, who are regularly seen toting skins of alligator, lizard, and python and raising eyebrows. So, if everyone does their part, we can stop the needless torture of helpless animals. 

My top 6 picks for cruelty free brands: 

Fur Free Brands: Overview

Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Charlotte Ronson, and Betsy Johnson all have pledged not to use real fur and now offer faux-fur. Max Azria and Cole Haan have also admitted to discontinuing the sale of fur by next fall. What is the price tag for the designers’ faux-fur items? It will still keep you in the luxury class of goods. (After all, what are luxury goods but a status symbol?) Faux-fur totes and jackets start from $1,300. 

6 Eco Friendly Animal free Brands

1. Stella McCartney

The queen of cruelty-free fashion, a PETA supporter and the daughter of Linda and Paul McCartney, is featuring several innovative alternatives to fur. She has a reputation ensuring her products  are cruelty-free and does not use anything animal. She does not use leather, fur or exotic skins. Instead, she uses materials that are sustainable and recycled. 


The Face Behind the Brand: Stella McCartney
 (in Her Organic Garden)
Her recent most famous tote bags are made in Kenya and produced with the International Trade Center's Ethical Fashion Program. It is a project that works to support and sustain livelihoods in disadvantage communities in Africa. She uses eco friendly materials, such as Eco Alter Nappa that  are made from 50% vegetable oil and renewable sources, which she uses to make the majority of her shoes and purses.


Stella McCartney Bags 
And just how committed is Stella to quality and the environment? "I design clothes that are meant to last. I believe in creating pieces that aren’t going to get burned, that aren’t going to landfills, that aren’t going to damage the environment."


Stell McCartney 
What drives Stella in her animal-friendly and eco-friendly mission? "I was brought up as a vegetarian on an organic farm in the countryside way, so it kind of came very naturally to me. However, the decision not to use leather or fur is not just because I don’t eat animals or that I think that millions of animals each year shouldn’t be killed for the sake of fashion. It’s because I also believe in the connection between fur and leather and the environment. There’s a huge connection."

2. Manolo Blahnik and M. Patmos

One of the most important accessories fashonistas drool over are shoes. Mr. Manolo Blahnik created a “green-shoe” makeover after teaming-up with Marcia Patmos to create his first ever eco-friendly footwear collection. The shoe collection is made entirely from discarded tilapia skins, cork, and raffia. You have your very own carbon chic footprint!


Manolo Blahnik and M. Patmos
3. VBH Animal Free Bags

Supporting the vegan conscious variety, we have a collection by Designer V. Bruce Hoeksema, who created an animal free alternative using materials that meet the highest ethical standards and not compromising style. The line is andcrafted by artisans in Florence from a manmade alternative to leather, quilted black ecopelle. The line’s most sought after design: the VBH Brera. 


VBH Animal Free Bags
4. Bodkin

Bodkin uses certified and recycled organic fabrics, ahimsa silk, and non-harmful dye processes. Voguette Eviana Hartman is the lead designer of Bodkin. This New York based label specializes in comfy oversized sweaters and day-to-night dresses with a twist. The entire collection is made in the U.S., and all workers are treated just like his line, cruelty-free. "We seek to create items with an optimal balance of utility, beauty, and quality…our approach to style is more about nuance, less about hype, excess and instant gratification," says Hartman.



5. Honest

The Belgian Designer Bruno Pieters has really gone outside the box. His site carries a collection of 56 pieces for both men and woman that are made from natural and ecological fabrics sourced throughout Europe. Items include vegan pieces made from recycled wool and beyond. Each piece under the material section will explain exactly where, what and how it was made, its certification for being organic, and a website for the supplier. Only 20 pieces of each style will be made. Using green design and merchandising his site Honestby.com is being called “transformational,” and a “game changer.”



6. Maiyet

Maiyets mission is to create a design-driven fashion line that supports artisans and companies in economically and politically challenged countries such as Colombia and India. Producing jewelry and accessories, his work helps bring stability and financial welfare to needy communities and a portion of the profit goes toward training local artisans! This brand is a luxury label with a geopolitical statement. 


Maiyet 
Green Movement in Fashion: Wrap-Up

This green movement in fashion is not new. Since the early nineties designers began experimenting with natural and organic fabrics like buying from artisans and utilizing hemp into their lines. 

The huge misconception is that we somehow may have to compromise style and quality when supporting eco-friendly and cruelty-free brands. However, know that when you buy and wear clothing and accessories that are cruelty-free, you will feel good to know no animal was abused and died a painful death because of you. Be part of the trend: join the movement by boycotting animal abuse and supporting cruelty-free brands.

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Rachel R said...

Just wanted to add that Manolo Blahnik isn't cruelty free or animal friendly as he uses leather and suede etc.

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