Organic milk isn’t organic, Vick is a hero and cats wear sweaters, all in this week’s link-o-rama! »
It’s 108 cats in sweaters! And one in a poncho. Let the cat-abuse comments commence!
Over at Pinnacle, read about a study that shows fur is NOT green! Hey Cananda, ADOY!
Michael Vick is getting a “Community Inspiration Award” from some organization in Virginia. I don’t want to talk about it.
Make sure you check out Victoria Moran’s Huffington Post piece about vegan fashion and how far it’s come. She mentions Pinnacle, Vaute Couture and OlsenHaus! Vegan fashion in full effect!
Head over to Grist to read just how organic Horizon milk isn’t. You can’t green-wash the devil!
On Meet The Shannons, you will find this super cool recipe for vegan fried pickles, a necessary part of your vegan Fat Tuesday celebration! What? You weren’t planning a vegan Fat Tuesday celebration?! DO YOU HATE JESUS?! AND BOOZE?! Get to planning!
Here’s a Q & A with Manifest Vegan from Vegan Consultant! I like the way she says this: “I see veganism as not just a diet, but a rejection to any non-human animal use.” Phrased like that, we don’t have to hear any BS challenges about women’s breast milk!
CNN writes all about a screening of Forks Over Knives in Atlanta. It’s a pretty boring read. Why can’t everyone be as funny and entertaining as I am?! But guess what! Dr. Esselstyn was there! I’m so jealous! He did a Q&A after the film and spoke a little about the intentional absence of the v-word. If you recall, Chow Down avoided it, too. Hey! We’re here! We’re vegan! Get used to it!
Have you been keeping up to date on the dead bottlenose dolphins washing ashore in the Gulf of Mexico? It’s up to 80 now, half of them newborns or stillbirths. WTF! Is it connected to the BP oil spill? It’s difficult to say. In my opinion, the answer is very simple: IT’S ALL BP’S FAULT AND THEY CAN GO DIE!
Let’s end on a high note! The Humane Society is having a “Dogs of Valor” competition! Go read some super awesome stories of dogs rescuing people and vote for your favorite! Honestly, I can’t decide. And I feel this will be the most important decision I make all day. Le sigh.
Time Out New York goes (a bit) vegan! »
Time Out New York has a vegan shopping guide among their many pleasures! It includes MooShoes and Vaute Couture so it’s cool by me. Plus! They have a discount code for many of the shops! Just mention “TONY” and you’re in. “TONY,” get it? Time Out New York! I didn’t get it. That’s why I tell you. Anyway, get on it and buy all the cute vegan stuff in the world and know that your consumerism makes you a better person. True. ish.
Matt & Nat, Vaute Couture on sale at Pure Citizen! »
Pure Citizen, which is like Gilt Groupe for eco/humane/fair-trade/etc. companies, is featuring vegan products! Every week they choose a nonprofit to highlight, and this week’s is Peta, so all their merchandise is vegan. Vaute Couture stuff is on sale until tomorrow; Matt and Nat until Friday, Feb. 11 (the sales last 72 hours). They also have a sale on cool vegan perfume company A Perfume Organic—I’m into their graphic design.
You have to register to even look at the stuff but it’s super-simple, you just have to put in your name. Bam! Easier than spotting a beard in Williamsburg. Still annoying but they say that’s the only way they can offer these LOW, LOW PRICES! So just register already, GOD.
Fur and fashion: the revolution is coming! »
On Sunday, Feb. 6, the awesome Joshua Katcher (Discerning Brute, Pinnacle) presented “Fur & Fashion: Decoding and Harnessing the Dialect of Fashion,” with a Q&A including the brilliant John Bartlett, and the amazing Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture. There is sooooo much to be said, I can only skim the points.
Katcher ran through the symbols and psychology of fashion, connecting what is worn by the models and their demeanor, and how they invoke our need for approval! As they look at us, all gorgeous and disdainful, we need their acceptance, to be like them, to wear fur, contribute to inhumane and unethical behaviors! And we’re uncool unless we give in! YES!!! They subconsciously make you want to be evil! He points out that skins were once used for survival, which is no longer the case in our culture, and how there is disconnect between animals and their fashionable skins in many folks psychology. Example: Terry Richardson hugging a dog while wearing a rabbit-fur coat. Creepy!
John Bartlett, Joshua Katcher, Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart
To summarize Katcher’s points on tactics, wardrobe is used as a weapon of intimidation, as in the military trends. And the aesthetic laws put top designer togs in a higher social class, and uniforms such as a maid’s on the bottom. The psychological attacks are quite astounding! Our love of a good villain is used against us and I surmise that this may be one reason why the allure of CrueAnna deWintour is so strong! Joshua points out that the editorials and designers’ campaigns portray a society that has access to the unknown. Often-used dark, occult imagery are ever so attractive. He also notes that as fashion editors continue to cover fur, they intentionally do not cover the whole story.
While the furriers have deep pockets and use their financial influence on the struggling young and naïve designers, the ethical folks do not have the finances.
Joshua brought us through the points of how cruelly all the skins are procured. Much of this verified information can be found on PETA, Mercy for Animals, and the HSUS websites. In a nutshell, DO NOT TAKE FROM ANIMALS. And even more, humans seem to always make the exploitation into a greater hell in order to cut costs. The examples are irrefutable and we are accountable. Feathers and silk are a part of this. And sometimes fake fur is too! Look for the “skin” of the fake fur. It should not look like skin! Philip Lim 3.1 and Urban Outfitters have made this mistake. And many folks excuse this as a personal choice as opposed to social justice.
Skins from kombucha-processing, recycled material from plastic bottles, and closed-loop manufacturing systems are all ways to ethically produce fashion. THE SOLUTIONS ARE THERE—but maybe a bit more costly than fur farms in China. And with John Bartlett (left) following in Stella McCartney’s glorious footsteps and then some by nixing wool and alpaca, the designers devoted to this cause are joined by an ICON!
According to Bartlett, “Next time I show, I want to show a fully vegan collection. I want to make sure there’s intention behind it. Over the past year, I have taken leather out of my collections, I will no longer use down and, hopefully by next fall, I will no longer use wool.” He is also actively participating with Pinnacle! The paper will be released for NY Fashion Week, but you can see PDFs here.
During the Q&A, someone asked how you should talk with friends who argue that wearing vintage fur is OK. While some answers were in more of the understanding and empathizing vein, Joshua zinged in with “A vintage Nazi uniform is still a Nazi uniform. You wear fur, you hate animals.” Like a shot to the heart!
When asked how designers can’t know about the horrors, John Bartlett answered, “They don’t understand why fur isn’t fabulous. [Many] consider fur as fabric. There is this incredible disconnect; it’s the same kind of disconnect as eating a hamburger.”
Always a concern is cost, and the ethical clothes are often pricey. Leanne Mai-Ly points out that her clothes are locally sourced as best possible and locally produced here in NYC, keeping her eye on quality and ethical accountability. Clothing should be seen as an investment, not disposable! I agree. Never thought about how the sweatshops are there to produce disposable clothing, which only makes that worker’s toil even more horrifying!
I sense a revolution—style-conscious, ethically inclined superheroes that can finally speak the language of the often oblivious and closed-minded fashion world! Clothes do make the man (and woman), and they can make him heard!
Tell us your favorite ethical designers and sites in the comments!
This review and the photos herein were brought to us by the talented and terrific Jeff Nesmith, an Alabama native thriving in Brooklyn. Designer, draw-er, writer, magazine producer, vegan fry-cook/biscuit-baker, and by day, the editorial production director for Real Simple magazine. He describes his site, welloiledmachinenyc.com, as always a work in progress; we think it’s ridiculously awesome.
How do I know god loves you? Vaute Couture is having a sale! »
Our beloved Vaute Couture is having a 25 percent off sale on most of their coats! This includes the FW10 Vaute pictured above. Just enter “LOVEYOU2” at checkout for the discount. If you were waiting to get your $400 Vaute Couture coat, it’s now $300! Now you too can frolic in the woods with no pants on!
Hey you vegan boys! You’ve got your own store! »
Yes vegan boys, you can stop dressing like a slouch because The Ethical Man is here! I know I neglect you, always talking about women’s shoes and whatnot, but no longer!
The Ethical Man is not just an online shop, it’s also a fashion resource. The store is actually a bit sparse now but I’m into these skinny ties. And they aren’t silk, pals! Holler! They also have bow ties and some other items plus a few dope coats from Vaute Couture. I’m in love with their “About Us” section because they promise all the items they sell are, “MANLY. After all, real men don’t hurt animals.” OMG LET’S GET MARRIED.
And dudes, you can submit yourself to be featured on their Ethical Men series on their blog! I’m thinking our vegansaurus boys should be all up on there!
[Picture from The Ethical Man website]
Vegansaurus Midwest recommends Chicago VeganMania! »
Hello Chicago! And surrounding area! You guys are about to have a lot of fun! EarthSave Chicago is holding the second annual Chicago VeganMania this Saturday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and you’re all invited! Really! It’s at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse (1419 W. Blackhawk, between Division and North Avenue), it’s FREE, and that is all you really need to know, you guys: Saturday, VeganMania, Free.
OK, if you must know more, some details. You’ll get a bunch of chef demos, notably from Soul Vegetarian, the Chicago Diner, and Isa Chandra Moskowitz! You’ll get speakers, like Oakland’s own Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, and, oh, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, she is an unstoppable force! Also performers! See the schedule for particulars.
What about buying stuff? With free entry, you are basically obligated to make purchases inside—that is a tenet of capitalism!—so what will your options be? You can buy food from, yes, Soul Vegetarian, that’s exciting! Who else will be there? Chicago Soy Dairy, naturally, and Herbivore, and Supreme Master TV! Of course your own Vaute Couture, and a whole lot more.
According to organizer Marla Rose, you can also expect “appearances by the Vegan Cupcake Fairies.” That’s a positive thing, y/n? We are assuming yes, as Marla Rose uses the word “amazing” to describe them. Vegans with children, whether for the day or ever, don’t worry—once they get cranky and unmanageable, just dump them in the free “children’s play area” and let strangers deal with it! Brilliance.
You know, were we not spoiled by “sweater in the morning, jacket in the evening” weather most of the year, we’d move to your gorgeous city in a heartbeat, Chicago. The architecture knocks us out, the rent is sickeningly low, the theatre scene is amazing, and clearly you vegans are revered as precious creatures with your own “Mania” day. Unfortunately, your Vegansaurus is a big baby about things like S.A.D. and temperatures that actually kill people. We’ll just have to be long-distance friends.
Have fun at your Mania, Midwest vegans! Report back, with photos!
Guest post: The first-ever San Francisco vegan fashion show! »
When I became a vegan, a list of “projects” arose for me. Looking at my life as different projects makes challenges feel more manageable and gives me an excuse to do Cher’s squeal from Clueless—“Ooh, project!”
There was the “Find a Vegan Cheese” project; the “Find a Cruelty-Free Body Product” project and—being obsessed with fashion—the “Create a Vegan Wardrobe” project.
I gotta tell ya, as much as I enjoy researching my favorite labels for the 3 percent of their merchandise that’s vegan, it’s still a daunting task. So when a clothing or footwear line comes along that is ENTIRELY vegan, I am beyond happy. And when a vegan fashion show arises to showcase the efforts of vegan designers and entrepreneurs, you don’t just sit by. These designers not only have the challenge of researching and acquiring legitimately vegan and ethically-produced materials, but also of becoming profitable in an industry that has mostly no regard for animal suffering. So you go to the show. You go, and you support them.
San Francisco’s first-ever vegan fashion show (Canada’s ahead of us on this one) happened last Saturday, as part of the 11th Annual World Veg Fest. Karine Brighten organized the show pro bono; a planner of eco- and animal-friendly events for places like Farm Sanctuary, Nature’s Express, and Cinnaholic, she’s also vegan. The audience packed the auditorium to see the lovely vegan models walking the show in cruelty-free clothing, accessories, and footwear. Rory Freedman of Skinny Bitch emceed the event.
Six vegan labels showed: Mission Savvy provided pieces from various designers split into five collections that each benefit different animal welfare causes. Five percent of proceeds are donated to related organizations. Cri de Cœur had footwear made with animal-free, eco-friendly materials and without toxic PVC or vinyl. Vaute Couture brought animal-free, classic and trend-conscious outerwear, tees, and sweatshirts made of high-performance, recycled, recyclable, upcycled, closed-loop, zero-waste fabrics and deadstock, and vegetable ivory buttons. Melie Blanco supplied affordable but luxurious faux-leather handbags. Reco Jeans brought their recycled high-end denim. Lion’s Share Industries had eco-friendly T-shirts adorned with vegan-artist-commissioned graphics. Pansy Maiden provided handmade handbags of animal-free, fair-trade, plant-dyed, organic, reclaimed/vintage fabrics and animal-derivative-free glue.
One of the brilliant aspects of the show was splitting the event into sections to highlight each line, including a description. This was a nice way to educate the audience, many of whom may not have known much about these particular designers or the vegan movement in the fashion industry in general.
From a purely design perspective, I had mixed feelings about the pieces—just like how I would feel at any fashion show! Because I’m not a hater, here are the items that I loved and with which I would now like to fill my closet:
1. The adorable “Upcycled Indigo Windbreaker” from Vaute Couture (made with the remnants of another Vaute coat’s lining), with an elasticized empire waist, oversized gathered collar, and bubble hem. [Ed.: LAURA WANTS ONE VERY BADLY];
2. The edgy “Stella Cutout Cage Wedge”, which wraps the feet in bars of faux patent leather;
3. A cropped black blazer with gold trim from Mission Savvy.
As for the venue, I think Veg Fest was a perfect place to have the first show, because it was the most visible way to promote it to the vegan community. For future shows—and according to Rory Freedman, there will be one next year—I’d love to see a more luxe location, one that can house an show focused on style in a way that lives up to the pieces being showcased. A night spot, a gallery, a loft…. The auditorium at the County Fair Building kinda screams “I also did my high school play here.”
Still, that a vegan fashion show even happened, that there is a fashion community that cares enough about animal rights and environmental welfare to put a show like this together speaks volumes about how far veganism has come. Seeing a group of designers and entrepreneurs who have navigated their way to success while sticking to their ethics is beyond inspirational. Here’s hoping that their efforts will not only inspire current designers to rethink their practices, but that they will ignite something in a new set of vegan artists and visionaries who may look at a pair of shoes at Saks and think “if only…”
Check out more photos, including behind-the-scenes shots, here.
This is Vi Zahajszky’s second post for Vegansaurus (you can see her first here!). Vi left her motherland of Hungary as a child and has spent most of her life in Boston and New York. Two years ago she drove across the country to San Francisco with husband Chris Carlozzi and a rescue pup named The Bandit. Here, among other things, she’s studying fashion design and pattern-making, and has plans to develop a vegan clothing line. Also, she’s enjoying no blizzards. Photo enhancing by Chris Carlozzi.