The Desire for Animal/Eco Friendly Fashion

Pamela Anderson, Stella McCartney, Joaquin Phoenix, Russell Brand, Anne Hathaway – what do they all have in common? Successful, influential, beautiful people, but in fact they are also advocates of animal rights issues. Whilst many of us have a cause close to our hearts, when a celebrity nails their colours to the mast the world sits up and takes notice – rightly or wrongly this is a world of celeb culture, we watch them to the point of obsession. To this end it is hardly surprising that the rich and famous are gathered up by organisations as the “face of” – it´s a win-win scenario benefitting both sides and why not. Pamela Anderson goes above and beyond most with her active involvement with both PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and Sea Shepherd. In this age of social media these people can push out a message to the masses in seconds, and their causes garner support like never before.

Whilst it is easy to back up your animal welfare beliefs by being publicly vegan, the ideal needs to be carried through to all aspects of lifestyle, not only by celebrities but by anyone who holds that cause dear to them, and for that reason cruelty free fashion is on the rise. Fashion with compassion if you will. Animal welfare and environmental issues tend to be closely linked, bringing “eco-friendly” into the mix. We are all looking at what our clothes and shoes are made of, and indeed who made them, where they were made, and were the people who made them treated and paid fairly. There is a trend towards paying more for what we wear, so we can wear it with a clear conscience.Eco designers have even found a way to recreate quality leathers from plant based sources. Until recently, if you wanted to buy “quality” footwear then it simply had to be leather. The alternatives were synthetic, man-made, cheap affairs. The new, innovative “vegan shoes” now available means at last there is a quality alternative.Even recycling clothes is becoming fashionable – The Maintain and Sustain Runway presented at “New Zealand Eco Fashion Exposed” was a well-supported event showing just what eco designers can achieve. With an estimated 90,000,000 pieces of perfectly good clothing going into the land fill every year internationally, this segment is aimed to educate the public that more often than not, clothing and manufacturing waste can be rescued and turned into other garments. The advantage of this is that each individual piece then becomes a one of a kind garment and is therefore more likely to remain in the wardrobe for a longer period of time thus making them more sustainable.

The following buzz words surround us – organic, sustainable, fair trade, animal friendly, ethical – they are no longer perceived as being “hippy talk” – this is the future of fashion.After all, we only have one world…