A new detailed report about the UK’s fashion industry has found the majority of Brits want to see more vegan-verified clothes, bags, shoes and accessories on the high-street and online.
The Rise of Vegan Fashion, released today (18 August) by The Vegan Society, centres around the use of non-human animals in the fashion world as well as consumer understanding of different materials and supply chain issues. The report also looks at the use of the Vegan Society’s Vegan Trademark while offering insight into what shoppers are after when it comes to vegan fashion.
A survey within the report, aimed at those who buy new clothing as opposed to second-hand items, shows our attitude towards the use of animals in the fashion industry is changing for the better. It found that 61% believe the use of fur is cruel while 57% feel using leather from ‘exotic’ animals is too. Thirty-seven per cent think the use of cow leather is cruel, with more than half (54%) slamming the use of calf leather.
In 2019, Vogue, the monthly fashion and lifestyle magazine, reported that stock of vegan fashion products increased by 258% across the UK and US, and things have only got better since then. The global vegan woman’s fashion market was valued at $396.9 billion in 2019 (vegan footwear accounted for 41.3% of this) with revenue forecasted to reach $1095.6 billion in 2027.
In total, 95% of shoppers would welcome more vegan-verified fashion with almost half (48%) stating they want more vegan-verified items across all fashion categories. While 35% said they wanted to see more vegan options for items that usually use animal leather such as jackets and boots, 32% would like more vegan-friendly leather bags and backpacks. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they’d like to see the use of pleather extended to general footwear such as boots, heels and sandals with 28% stating they’d be interested in vegan trainers that use vegan leather.
Encouragingly, 35% want more vegan leather options with almost three-quarters (74%) stating they would be willing to pay more for plant-based leather compared to animal leather. Plant-based leathers created from several types of plant materials, including pineapples, mushrooms, apples, cacti and succulents, present an ethical, durable and sustainable alternative to animal-based leathers. Fifty-five per cent of respondents said they were interested in purchasing, or already owned something made from plant-based leather with 42% stating they think it’s sustainable, 34% believing it’s ethical and 31% saying it’s modern – the highest percentages for all materials we surveyed.
Em Mendoza, Head of Business Development at Vegan Trademark holder Ananas Anam, said: “In the past year, we have seen an increase in demand and awareness for plant-based materials such as ours – Piñatex. To create change and impact, collaboration is key. We need to work with more brands and encourage them to make more conscious and mindful choices.”
“We are happy to see that more and more brands are opening up to using Piñatex within their collections and transitioning into using alternative materials – but we still have a long journey ahead. They particularly like Piñatex because using our material will not only significantly decrease their environmental impact but they also contribute to positive social impact as well.”
As of last month, the Vegan Society’s vegan-certification scheme the Vegan Trademark had registered around 4,500 fashion products – almost double the number registered at the start of 2021. This includes accessories, bags, footwear, clothing and sportswear from various high street and luxury brands such as New Look, Forever New, Off Duty Ldn and George at ASDA.