Veganism has been on the rise throughout our cafes, restaurants, and supermarkets for a number of years now. Meat-free substitutes, healthy grains, and avocados are all the rage right now. However, veganism is also causing a revolution in our wardrobe, footwear, and handbag choices.
There has been a substantial increase of products registering with the vegan tag this year according to The Vegan Society, with 1,956 products being registered in 2019, which make the 119 products registered in 2018 pale in comparison.
Dr. Martens has seen a 300% rise in their vegan versions of their leather boots this year. Both top-end designers like Stella McCartney have shunned leather and fur for quite some time and high street retailers like New Look at stocking vegan ballet pumps and laptop bags.
Several years ago, these products would have simply been called ‘synthetic’. A cheap knockoff. Not the real thing. Of poorer quality, even. Many of these so-called ‘vegan’ products are just that (barring the poorer quality of course!), as they’re made from the synthetic materials. However, by calling the items vegan, the connotations are completely different. Eco-conscious. Caring about climate change. Simultaneously bucking the trend whilst completely following the trend of divisive veganism. Or woke.
Surely these products should have a cheaper price tag if using cheaper materials, but this does not seem to always be the case. The vegan Dr. Martens is similar in price to their leather ones, with many companies citing production costs to be the reason for this.
Regardless of the spin put on these products and prices to consumers, if we are purchasing less leather or fur, this is surely a brilliant thing, even if only because of clever marketing strategies. Some critics have said we simply need to buy less, but shunning leather in mass numbers at least is a great start and shows even more groundbreaking change is ahead.
By Keenal Majithia