With the demand for cruelty-free clothing and accessories skyrocketing in India, designers and retailers are working hard to bridge the gap. Customers have realized that leather and other animal-derived products are not just unnecessary, but also involve a lot of cruelty towards living beings. Since most of the substitutes for animal products have proven to be as durable, if not more, there is no reason why brands and their customers shouldn’t make the switch.
To recognize the efforts of brands, designers and personalities who are already making cruelty-free clothing possible, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has announced the winners of this year’s Vegan Fashion Awards.
The winners are as follows:
Best Fashion Moment: Thirty-three designers pledged to go leather-free following a letter from Lakmé Fashion Week, the Fashion Design Council of India, and PETA India.
Best Vegan Fashion Style Icon: Actor and supermodel Milind Soman encourages his fans to keep animal skins out of their wardrobes. “No leather, no silk, no wool,” he wrote on Instagram. “No pain caused to animals just to satisfy human vanity. If you care, this is the alternative.”
Compassionate Business Award: Luxury footwear brand Empyrean Luxury made the kind decision to stop using animal skins and switch to all-vegan materials.
Best Vegan Kidswear Brand: Actor Alia Bhatt’s Ed-a-Mamma helps nurture kids’ love for animals and nature.
Best Vegan Activewear: From Kunal Avanti and Sunny Leone, I Am Animal’s stylish sportswear is proudly vegan.
Best Vegan Sneakers: Made from recycled plastic bottles and plastic bags, Thaely’s sneakers are kind to the planet and animals.
Best Vegan Bags: The made-in-India, 100% vegan leather handbags by Qisa by Lavie were designed for today’s eco-conscious young shoppers.
Best Vegan Wallets: Traditional Indian style meets modern animal-free materials in Zouk’s handmade wallets.
Best Vegan Women’s Shoes: From juttis and sliders to heels and boots, Paio creates handcrafted, made-to-measure vegan leather footwear.
Best Vegan Men’s Shoes: Monkstory offers both classic footwear and cutting-edge style, all in luxurious vegan leather.
Best Vegan Silk: Vegan materials made by GBM Fabrics use TENCEL Luxe, a new fibre derived from renewable wood sources.
Best Innovation in Textile: Bioleather’s tomato leather is unique, biodegradable, sustainable, and cruelty-free.
Best Vegan Sarees: Shubam Sarees offers a wide range of beautiful vegan silk kanjivaram sarees, from the interior villages of Tamil Nadu.
Best Vegan Cosmetics: Plum’s skin-care, make-up, hair-care, and other products are free of animal-derived ingredients and never tested on animals.
“The winners of PETA India’s awards prove that the future of Indian fashion is vegan,” says PETA India Senior Media and Celebrity Projects Coordinator Monica Chopra. “From silk-free sarees to leather-free bags, wallets, and shoes, it’s easier than ever to get a fashion-forward look that leaves cruelty to animals in the past.”
PETA entities have released numerous videos revealing that workers hit, kick, and mutilate sheep for their wool during shearing; leave goats with bloody, gaping wounds at mohair and cashmere operations; burn and slit the throats of cows and buffaloes for leather; ram metal rods down conscious crocodiles’ spines in the exotic-skins industry; suffocate, electrocute, and bludgeon animals to death on fur farms; and boil silkworms alive to produce silk.
PETA India also notes that turning animal skin into garments requires massive amounts of energy and dangerous chemicals that damage the environment. The 2017 Pulse of the Fashion Industry report revealed that leather, silk, and wool are among the most polluting materials in fashion.