August 19, 2021
From The Vegan Kind

Good news for the animals! Shoppers attitude towards the use of animals in the fashion industry is changing for the better.

A new report about the UK’s fashion industry has found the majority of Brits want to see more vegan clothes, bags, shoes and accessories on the high-street and in the online shops. 

The Rise of Vegan Fashion, commissioned by The Vegan Society, focuses on the use of animal-based materials in the fashion industry, the consumer understanding of different materials and supply chain issues. The report offers insight into what shoppers are after when it comes to vegan fashion.

According to the study, 61% believe the use of fur is cruel and 57% feel using leather from ‘exotic’ animals is cruel. Thirty-seven per cent think the use of cow leather is cruel, with more than half (54%) slamming the use of calf leather.

In total, 95% of shoppers would welcome more vegan-certified fashion. While 35% said they wanted to see more vegan options for 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 vegan leather extended to general footwear such as boots, heels and sandals with 28% stating they’d be interested in vegan trainers made with animal-free leather.  

Almost half (48%) stating they want more vegan-certified items across all fashion categories.

Thirty-five per cent of respondents want more vegan leather options with almost three-quarters (74%) stating they would be willing to pay more for a more sustainable plant-based leather. Plant-based leather can be developed from several types of plants, including pineapples (Piñatex), mushrooms, apples, cacti and succulents. These materials offer an ethical, durable and sustainable alternative to animal-based leather.

Fifty-five per cent of shoppers said they were interested in purchasing, or already owned something made from plant-based leather. Among them, 42% stated they think it’s sustainable, 34% said it’s ethical and 31% stated it’s modern.

Em Mendoza, Head of Business Development at Vegan Trademark holder Ananas Anam – producer of Piñatex, 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.”

The number of products verified by Vegan Trademark is increasing very fast. Only last month, The Vegan Society had registered around 4,500 fashion products – almost double the number registered at the start of 2021. 

In 2019, the fashion magazine Vogue 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.