We are all familiar with the runways of New York, London, Milan and Paris. Many of us are even au fait with Pitti Uomo and Haute Couture. Now, however, there is a new event to add to the fashion calendar: Vegan Fashion Week. The event will take place in Los Angeles, which is fitting given that it's the biggest city in the United States to ban the use of fur, it boasts more than 150 vegan-friendly establishments, and it was named by Peta as America’s most vegan city for 2018. As an aside, California is also the first state to demand pet shops sell only rescue animals.
Vegan Fashion Week promises to bring cruelty-free options to the fashion crowd, from February 1 to 4. Set up and curated by Emmanuelle Rienda, an animal-rights activist and vegan fashion stylist, the four-day event aims to raise awareness of the ethical, social and environmental issues that surround the fashion industry, as well as offer sustainable alternatives.
The opening night will be held at the Museum of Natural History with a runway show of collections by cruelty-free labels and a talk by climate change scientist Dr Robert Lempert.
At present the use of leather and fur is still rife within fashion, with customers often blissfully unaware of the inherent cruelty behind both materials. However, by relying on new technologies or simply by altering supply chains, cruelty-free alternatives are becoming readily available. The number of vegans is at an all-time high, and many are questioning how and where goods are being produced. The full impact fast fashion is having on the planet is becoming apparent, too, so there is growing pressure on brands to be accountable for every stage of the manufacturing process, and the backlash to the wear-once culture is beginning to gain traction.
The world's first Vegan Fashion Week, it seems, is perfectly timed.