May 23, 2015

Runway Recap: Vegan Fashion Show

Saturday’s Vegan Fashion Show, part of the 11th annual World Veg Festival in Golden Gate Park, proved style can send a message that’s about much more than how you look.

Produced by Karine Brighten Events, the happening showcased looks from vegan apparel labels Pansy Maiden, Reco Jeans, Lion’s Share Industries, Vaute Couture, Melie Bianco, Cri de Coeur and Mission Savvy and featured an all-vegetarian or vegan roster of models, cruelty-free hair and makeup products and informative videos from participating designer Vaute Couture and online boutique Mission Savvy about the importance of vegan fashion. Adding to the intrigue, the event was MC’d by Rory Freedman, a celebrity in the vegan world and author of the Skinny Bitch book series.

Before the show, we caught up with Laura Collins of Pansy Maiden and Anika Lehde of Lion’s Share Industries to chat about their work in the vegan fashion landscape and learned a thing or two.

First, Collins, whose one-woman company based out of Boston offers handbags made of animal-free fabrics and textiles, pointed out that many vegan brands are also eco-friendly. For her part, Collins not only stays clear of fur, leather and other animal-derived materials, but also strives to be green by doing additional things like washing all her fabrics in eco-friendly detergent, donating scrap material in an effort to be zero waste and using non-toxic, vegan glue.

“I see my company as a marriage between the handmade movement, the eco-conscious movement and the vegan movement,” she told us.

When we sat down to talk to Lehde, we discovered another entrepreneur dedicated not only to the vegan and eco movements, but also to supporting artists and independent design. Seattle-based Lion’s Share Industries taps vegan artists to create limited edition t-shirts sold in small runs of 180. The artists create the design, choose the shirt style and fabric. Lehde then gives the resulting tee a platform via her web site.

“Fashion gets a bad rap as being shallow, but what we wear is one of the symbols of the way we communicate as human beings,” says Lehde, who hopes her company’s shirts will not only send the vegan message to the world-at-large, but also help vegans connect when they’re, say, knocking back a few at the bar or headed to a concert.

An added bonus: the brand also donates 15 percent of its profits to animal causes chosen by its participating artist-designers.

For more about vegan fashion and what the movement is all about, check out our recent post What is Vegan Fashion?

Jacket by Vaute Couture, boots by Cri de Coeur

T-shirt by Lion's Share Industries, shoes by Cri de Coeur

Sweatshirt by Vaute Couture, shoes by Cri de Coeur

Models close out the show in Vaute Couture jackets.

Photos: 1-3 courtesy of Melissa de Mata for the Vegan Fashion Show; remaining photos by SF Indie Fashion.