Fashion trends have always come and gone. Season after season, we’ll see fads and trends that take over the industry for a short period and disappear just as fast into the fashion archives at Vogue Magazine.
However, over the last few years, we’ve seen the exponential growth of a new side to fashion.
A more sustainable, eco and animal-friendly version of the fashion industry that is continuously proving that it is here to stay. And that is vegan fashion, which now even had its first vegan fashion show in LA.
With the global faux leather market expected to be valued at £58 billion by 2025, it’s no surprise that the most prominent brands and fashion designers in the world are aiming to take a piece of this delicious vegan pie for themselves.
Vegan fashion is and will continue to be at the forefront of the mainstream fashion industry from now on, and these ten major brand launches prove just that.
Nat-2 – Vegan Sneakers Made from Coffee
Last year, Sebastian Thies, the founder of German engineering firm Nat-2, launched his Fungi Line of vegan shoes that featured mushroom-based leather.
This year, we’ve seen the debut of a vegan sneaker line made from repurposed coffee grounds as part of the vegan fashion initiative.
Each pair of sneakers in the collection is designed in both high and low-top unisex styles, featuring an upper made of up to 50% coffee grounds, sustainably sourced from various regions.
The remainder of the shoe, which smells faintly of coffee, is made with recycled polyethene terephthalate (PET) bottles.
The shoes from the collection also include a natural rubber sole, water-based glue, reflective glass details and an anti-bacterial cork insole.
Alongside the shoes themselves, all of the Nat-2 shoes are made in a family-operated, ethically-run facility in Italy, making the entire process vegan, ethical and sustainable.
Hugo Boss – Vegan Footwear Made in Pinatex
In 2018, German fashion label Hugo Boss made headlines with the release of its latest Boss menswear shoe, which is made from the vegan leather alternative pineapple leaf fibre, Pinatex.
One of the first mass-market retailers to use the innovative faux-leather in a vegan fashion range, the new shoe collection is part of Hugo Boss’ ongoing commitment to using more sustainable materials.
Pinatex is an innovative natural material made from pineapple leaf fibres, which are harvested as a by-product from existing agriculture by Ananas Anam.
The upper part of the new shoe is crafted from Pinatex, and the fabric is coloured using natural plant-based dyes. The sole of the shoe is made from recycled TPU, making the shoe 100% vegan.
TOMS – Ethical Climbing Shoes
California-based and famously ethically responsible shoe company TOMS is launching its first-ever cruelty-free climbing shoe in collaboration with climbing gear company So iLL.
The initiative, named “Shoes to Get Kids Climbing” will benefit the 1Climb organisation, who build kid-friendly walls around the US to encourage children to get into the sport.
The vegan climbing shoe, which comes in men’s and women’s sizing, features a material called “Dark Matter Rubber,” originally developed for Navy Seals to ensure foot placement on slippery surfaces.
Thanks to a donation from TOMS vegan fashion efforts, 1Climb will build a new wall in Los Angeles, but the campaign ultimately hopes to inspire a love of climbing in more than 100,000 children across the country.
Stella McCartney – Collaboration with Adidas
The latest chapter in collaboration with Adidas, Stella McCartney has made her signature take on the iconic Stan Smith sneaker, using switched-up details to renew the silhouette.
The vegan sneakers are made from alternative leather for the first time in the sneaker style’s history. At the same time, they are doing a fantastic job staying true to their original design.
The classic three stripes are replaced by stars on the vegan style, and Stella’s portrait and signature adorn the left tongue.
Paying homage to Stan Smith, his face remains printed on the right sneaker, proving that vegan fashion has a real place amongst the biggest names in the industry.
Marks & Spencer – Women’s & Men’s Vegan Footwear
High street store Marks & Spencer is expanding its vegan fashion range into shoes and accessories after vegan searches on its website doubled in the last year.
The new vegan footwear collection is available across Womenswear, Menswear and Kids wear, and is identifiable by an M&S vegan logo already used within the food department.
The store has stated that 100% of women’s synthetic footwear styles will be vegan-friendly (including slippers) with womenswear shoes ranging from £19.50 to £35 and featuring Insolia technology.
Converse – Vegan Pride Sneakers Collection
Converse’s 2018 Vegan Pride Collection was partnered with Miley Cyrus, who is famed not only for her music but her dedication to veganism and animal rights, as well as a strong connection with the LGBTQ community.
The vegan footwear line includes a variety of shoes and festival-wear, featuring rainbow designs, polka dots, and celebratory glitter.
Pieces in the collection, including high-top sneakers with a rainbow-coloured platform sole, are stamped with Miley Cyrus’ “HH” logo.
The logo represents the singers Happy Hippie Foundation, a social-justice organisation that the vegan singer started to support the homeless and LGBTQ youth.
“There is so much that attempts to separate our beautiful and diverse queer community,” says Rooney Donnelly, one of the campaign’s illustrators. “The reality is that we are so much stronger together.
We belong together, Festivals and parades aside, pride to me means unity.
Skechers – High-Performance Fabric Footwear
Skechers have made their way into the world of vegan fashion with their You by Skechers collection for women.
Designed with a foundation of health and wellness, the You range is for the young woman who wants to go from the office to the yoga studio to dinner in comfort and style.
“The YOU collection is an exciting crossover between our lifestyle lines and performance and speaks to the way the modern, busy woman is living her life,” says Kathy Kartalis, Senior Vice President of global product at Skechers.
“This unique evolution for Skechers utilises the best technologies and innovations from our performance division and leverages that into a new collection that meets the lifestyle and wellness needs of the self-aware woman searching for more balance in her life.”
Gucci – Calls A Halt on Use of Fur & Angora
Gucci, which stopped using fur last fall, has officially announced that it will no longer be using angora as part of its latest animal-friendly, vegan fashion decision.
Gucci joins other companies such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Anthropologie, ASOS, BCBG Max Azria and Gap. All of which have banned fur and angora from their respective collections.
In advance of World Environment Day, the luxury company launched Gucci Equilibrium, where you can find out all about the brand’s aim to balance design with a responsibility to the planet.
Gucci Equilibrium is “designed to connect people, planet and purpose”.
Stella McCartney – Continuing to Set Vegan Fashion Style Standards
Another launch for Stella McCartney in the vegan fashion space is one of the brand’s most synonymous shoe styles, The Elyse collection.
A firm favourite from the Stella McCartney shoe edit, the Elyse style transcends seasons and remains a key part of the collection.
Crafted in Italy with a sleek black finish, the platform shoe comes with a sustainable wooden wedge and a tonal rubber saw-edge sole.
The squared-off toe adds a dose of contemporary-cool which is furthered by plush velvet stars, while the brand’s commitment to animal and eco-friendly fashion keeps your conscience clear.
Allbirds – Branching Out into Tree-Made Footwear
Allbirds managed to revolutionise wool (even after thousands of years), and in 2018, they did it again.
This time as part of their vegan fashion mission, however, they did it with the help of trees.
Made from the fibre of the eucalyptus tree, the shoes are designed to be breathable and endlessly comfortable. Like their predecessors, the Tree styles are moisture-wicking and can be worn sockless, if you’re so inclined.
From some of the biggest names in the designer world of fashion to high-street brands and independent labels, there is no denying the demand and need for sustainably-sourced, ethically-made vegan fashion and footwear.
At Alive Boutique, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this kinder and more socially and environmentally conscious part of the industry we love.
Keep up to date with vegan news and all things vegan fashion on the Alive blog.