by Isabel Butler
In December, PETA US held their first-ever Fashion Awards- an expansion of their annual UK function.
The event allows the organisation to celebrate some of fashion's most artistic and cruelty-conscious creators and brands, shouting out their achievements over the past year. Many brands old and new walked away with a new accolade, include GAP who won ‘Overall Most Vegan-Friendly Company.’
As we are beginning to see the effects of climate change, with little time to reverse it, celebrating animal and environmental safety creatively and engagingly in a way that relates to many of us across the globe, is an ideal way to spread awareness.
Before getting into some of this year’s winners, it’s important to be educated on the negative effects of fashion that is not cruelty-free.
PETA have an online guide to vegan shopping, it’s helpful for those wanting to educate themselves on animal safety in fashion. This resource is extremely informative, explaining issues such as how leather contributes to environmental deconstruction and is a product of cows that have been killed for beef and milk.
When retrieving wool from sheep, their ears are hole punched, tails are cut off and males are castrated. This is all done with no pain relief. Not to mention that sheep only grow the wool they require to keep them warm and safe, by being selfish we leave them with no protection.
The guide on PETA’s website goes into more detail and lists several other materials such as fur and feathers and how they’re wrongly curated. Every animal has the capability of feeling pain and fear, including the worms boiled alive in their homes to make silk. When shopping make sure to look for the PETA-approved stamp.
PETA’s Executive Vice President, Tracey Reiman, explained how “vegan fashion is not only chic and luxurious but also everywhere.”
Reiman went on to explain how the 2023 PETA Fashion Awards honoured “the innovative designers and brands that are helping kind consumers keep animals out of their wardrobes”, but also handed out dishonours to brands H&M and Reformation.
H&M received the ‘Villain of The Year’ award after it was discovered the high street label supports the down feather industry. This is a trade that hacks into live, struggling birds' necks whilst cutting their feet off and using their feathers to stuff jackets.
Reformation was titled ‘Greenwasher of the Year’ as they sell detrimental animal-derived materials whilst claiming to be sustainable.
Now, on a more positive note, PETA mainly acknowledged those that are providing us with a creative outlet whilst looking after our environment and animal’s welfare. All winners receive a year’s bragging rights as well as a personalised framed certificate.
The award for ‘Best Vegan Fashion Moment’ was given to Kylie Jenner’s new label ‘Khy’ with a collection full of faux leather essentials.
Versace gained the title of ‘Hottest Vegan Leather Product’ due to their use of recycled polyester and nylon in their Fall/ Winter 2023 Croc-Lacquered Cloquet Jacket.
Canada Goose was awarded with ‘Coolest, Warmest Down-Free Fashion’ as their Carlyle Quilted Shirt Jacket used Tencel, a sustainable fabric made from wood pulp that’s a popular alternative for cotton.
After releasing its first-ever Vegan bag,a new version of The Horsebit 1995 shoulder bag, Gucci received ‘Best Luxury Product.’
‘Best Vegan Heel’ went to Stella McCartney for its Ryder Knee High Stiletto Boots - as seen on Taylor Swift. The boots were made from vegan leather and VEGA, a bio-based material sourced from grape waste.
Other winners included Alex + Olivia for ‘Best Vegan Exotic Skin Staple,’ Aupen won the ‘Most Wanted Award,’ and Max Mara was awarded ‘Best Vegan Suede Staple.’ VASEGHIA earned ‘Best Vegan Feathers,’ and Abercrombie and Finch won ‘Best Men’s Fashion’.
Fashion is an ever-growing industry with more and more enthusiasts daily. Conducting an event that keeps up with trends and catches attention whilst educating is the perfect way to raise awareness and hopefully drive social change to contribute to a brighter and more sustainable future. One that will be made up of a fashionable and mindful society.
Edited by Emily Duff