So, it’s been a passion fuelled morning here at Beyond Skin HQ as we have been furiously debating some of our personal views on the fors and against of faux furs, leathers and suedes and faux veggie meats, all which generally replace the real thing with a cruelty-free alternative.

It got us all wildly and philosophically discussing the bigger picture and who amongst our throng leaned which way and why.

There are many who feel that to wear faux fur or leather or buy and eat faux meat is simply proving that you can produce something just as amazing but without the cruelty.  Then, there are others who feel that it is simply promoting the fashion status of fur and leather and that there of plenty of lovely veggie foods out there that do not have to replicate meat or dairy.

This naturally led us on to the next discussion of where do each of us draw their own moral line?  Some of us argued adamantly that they would not buy faux fur jackets or faux leather shoes from companies that at the same time promote their very real counterparts.  Take Stella McCartney for example.  Although her label is owned by Gucci, a renown fashion and leather goods label who actively promotes fur, Stella is a beacon of hope in the high end fashion world proving that couture fashion can have a conscience.  Stella has stuck to her ethics and gone against the grain insisting that her label remain fur and leather free, which in couture fashion can not have been an easy task.

There are other labels cropping up all over the place that are now promoting vegan products along side non vegan options bringing in revenue for both but creating options for all.

Obviously, there will always be some of us who wish to purely support brands and businesses which are passionately flying the flag for a specific cause.  Internal conflict will crop up and can be confusing when we feel we have to compromise our moral code by purchasing a cruelty-free or ethical product from a company that also sells products we do not wish to endorse.

Internal conflict may arise but there is hope.  Businesses are cottoning on to the fact that there are a growing number of humans among our midst who do care about human, environmental and animal rights and the fact that they are bothering to cater for our current minority means that demand is excitingly on the rise!

At the end of the day we obviously do what sits with us personally as we all have our own moral line which we draw in the sand at different places but the fact is the more demand we create, the more impact we have and the faster change occurs.

It is empowering to know that the choices we make as consumers and how we spend our well earned dosh can and do make a difference.

Looking after our world may be our choice but is also our responsibility.

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Showing 4 comments
  • Ciara

    We’re not going to make any progress until we can prove there are vegan products that are just as good as the mainstream ones. While changing people’s behavior entirely is a nice goal, it’s not realistic and especially won’t happen if we condemn people for the things they’ve been consuming their entire lives. We need to focus on making great products whether they’re mimicking animal products or not, and show not just tell consumers why these products are better.

    As for supporting companies that make vegan products, but also animal products – I say buy the vegan stuff from them if you like it! It will show them that they made the right decision to create ethical merch and they will create more! Once we can start thinking like marketing people as opposed to activists, we may be able to get somewhere.

  • Catherine

    I think buying a vegan alternative, or faux, is the best thing to do – after all, what, then, is the point in the ‘real’ thing existing?!

    Each pound spent on faux is a pound less for the dodgy.
    x x x

  • Donna

    This is something that can be debated for a long time – and we all come from different perspectives. I myself am not crazy about the faux-fur thing – but- it sure does beat the real thing if someone really wants that look. As a vegan boutique owner, I have stocked handbags that have a faux-leather look and ones that are made from vintage fabric. The faux leather ones tend to sell faster – I’m not sure if it’s because people want that look or somehow think they are sturdier. I tend to mostly source from designers that only do vegan – but – I also work with some great designers who are very happy to customize for me and make a clothing style for my shop in organic cotton that was originally offered in wool. I also have worked with a handbag designer who usually lines the bottom of her bags in recycled leather – for my shop, she uses vinyl. I think that working with others helps to show that there is an audience for these products.
    Every step counts.

  • Shimrit

    You’ll get a lot more people eating vegan food and wearing vegan shoes and clothes if they resemble and are equal in flavour and quality to what they are already used to.

    I’ve known meat eaters to quite happily consume vegan “meat” and some have even started buying fake chicken instead of actual chicken because it’s cheaper, lasts longer in the fridge and tastes more or less the same when cooked.

    If it was a choice between real chicken or a nut cutlet, I don’t think they’d be converts.

    A lifestyle change is hard even if you have high ideal. I became veggie a long time ago and I loved meat when I did. It was not easy. For people who are not as motivated by strong ideals, you have to offer viable lifestyle alternatives.

    We have to choose between expecting everyone in the world to share our views and actually making vegetarian and vegan living more accessible to the masses.

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