Choosing vegan to protect cruelty on animal is emerging as a habit worldwide. Interestingly, it is catching the right nodes and spreading the opus amongst people who matter. How far would this trend go, is vegan retailing viable? Can you imagine a world without leather and silk? Seems unnerving, doesn’t it. Well, no bags, no wallets, no silk sarees, no furs, well how would it appear, bland, flat, dull, haa..n?
Well, with Hollywood giving up on Non-Veg and heeding PETA, and Bollywood following it to protect animals from slaughter by saying a no to regular leather and silk, well the above cited world is a small reality if not big? Move over artificial world, have a heart and make a little space for nature that is beckoning you.
Drivers of Vegan
The first and foremost driver is the realization of ethical living. Apart from social activists, the celebrities who are donning it proudly are Natalie Portman, Shabana Azmi and Amala; no wonder, vegan is founding its best promoters in them. Secondly, it is the comfort level and third, the feeling of bonding with the latest fashion.
When asked if she would prefer vegan over normal clothes, Dr. Richa, who had a few in her closet quipped, ‘Certainly if there is no compromise on the quality and look of both. If I have to choose vegan with similar traits of normal textile, I would feel very ethical, good about the fact that I am doing my bit to save mother earth and moreover, the disposal of such stuff also seems pollution free’.She pauses and then adds,’ But it is not possible to introduce it totally in our day to day living, atleast not at this moment since I feel there is still a lot to be researched and innovated in terms of category and usefulness, so let it evolve in its own time while I don for the sheer pleasure of it in small doses’.
Lyla feels,’ It cannot be embraced totally, but in small parts, it is most welcome’.
As per the retailer report, 'Vegan clothing is finding a lot of takers in foreigners. In India, it is still nascent as it appeals to a certain classy and socially responsible people group'.
Saying a no to:
With the new breeding lifestyle, people are fast opting vegan belts and shoes, ahimsa silk, green pottery over the old silk, wool, leather, pearls and even bone china crockery.
Cotton has come a long way from the days of yore when it was pitied against silks and other expensive materials like nylon etc. Now, cotton is the most chic, comfortable and fashionable material. Its linen category is the most expensive and comfortable amongst the yarn pedigree. Cotton is certainly finding its interest intertwined in vegan fabrics made from cotton with no pesticides, linen made from flax, jute, bamboo, soya and banana fiber. Interestingly, high living is just getting more fashionably ethical.
Some china crockery is also made of bones and some pearls of artificial bred oysters which people are cleaving off from their lists.
Find here animal free Silk and Leather
You make a saree using 50,000 worms, so, to counteract that, Leelavati Sabale started her company 'Ahimsa Silks’ in Pune. Today, they export to all leading fashion houses in abroad. The market is still small in India. Kusuma Rajaiah is the inventor and patent holder of Ahimsa silk and Deepika Govind further found a soft silk called “Eri-peace silk”. Man made leather from Italy is being seen as a good option over animal leather.
Some famous retailers in India and abroad
Rina Shah of Mumbai shares,'Vegan Footwear are a rage with the white Caucasians and English'. Her goods find their place in Lisa Sommers in US called Ahimsa Footwear. Mooshoes in New York is run by two sisters, Erica and Sara Kubersky. Jemima Khan’s new couture also promotes vegan clothes.
Why is it still slow in India?
When we asked designers, many were not aware of something of this sort. Some retailers complained it is going to be expensive so they do not want to take a chance; it is still low in publicity as mostly it is covered in fashion shows, so it leaves masses to wonder what it is.
These days it is pretty much essential to have a web presence, even if you are not selling through the web. Take a feedback on your developing products so you can get an idea of which ideas work best. Have a celebrity endorsing it. Find a shop location in up market. And increase ethical and social responsibility awareness by tying with govt.initiatives and through advertisements.
It is good opportunity for exports as there are few suppliers. Designers are willingly taking to it and adding it as a small section in their overall production. Retailing is welcome as the market is increasing although slowly in India as well. Margin is very good and there is likely hood of customer loyalty since retail points are few.
Despite its small market and low awareness, it is very interesting as most of the people would like to associate with it for that cruelty free experience and ego message. Moreover, handmade and natural merchandise have their own charm and beauty. With rising acceptance, the market is gaining momentum and in all probability, it will take the form of revolution. We hope, the smoke of the raging fire spreads far and wide soon.