5 Brands Using Technology To Change Fashion’s Attitude Towards Veganism

While a lot of people think veganism is just about what you eat, technology has made it possible for it to be about fashion too.

From knitwear to high heel shoes, it looks like various fashion brands are finding it easier to embrace the vegan way of producing their product. This is mainly thanks to the advancements being made with technology which in turn is assisting well-known fashion brands like Marks & Spencer and Dr Martens to meet the rapidly growing demand for vegan fashion. So if you are seeking something a little different, here are 5 brands whose products have challenged the conventional:

Bolt Thread’s Mylo

We have been big fans of Bolt Threads for a while and can report that Mylo is not their first project. They have also worked with British designer Stella McCartney to create a custom knitted one-of-a-kind gold dress, made entirely of Bolt Thread’s signature protein-based yarn.

Image Credit: Bolt Threads

Constructed entirely from Bolt Threads’ Mylo™ material, the bag was created with leather grown from mycelium, a root structure of mushroom and finished off with a canvas base. Mycelium grows underground in the soil. It forms vast networks of threads that help recycle organic matter on the forest floor while providing nutrients to plants and trees. The threads interweave and self-assemble into a 3D matrix that can spread for miles.

Every tote is hand-cut and sewn with practical functionality and longevity top of mind – combining innovative and sustainable materials with high-quality design, and representing the future of leather accessories. “Our friends at Ecovative pioneered this mycelium fabrication technology, which literally grew out of the great work they’ve been doing in creating soft flexible foams. We’re optimizing this technology to produce commercial-ready Mylo™ material and bring products to market that consumers will love”, shared the Bolt Threads team.

Stan Smith x Stella McCartney

It comes as no surprise that Stella McCartney has designed the first ever vegan Adidas Stan Smiths. Constructed entirely from vegan leather, the high-end, zero cruelty trainers, have already been catching the eye of the fashion tribe.

 the Stella McCartney Stan Smith
Image Credit: Evening Standard via Stella Mccartney/Adidas

Stan Smith’s where first launched back in 1963. A staple piece for any fashion-forward wardrobe, this new version does not look much different from the originals. According to the Evening Standard, the Stella McCartney Stan Smith are not grass green, instead the heel is colour-blocked with navy and burgundy stripes and stamped with McCartney’s logo, and the three adidas stripes down the side are replaced with lines of tiny stars, punched into the leather. Stan Smith’s profile remains sketched on the right tongue, however now the left one features Stella’s portrait.

Biodegradable Vegan Footwear

Four years in the making, Sydney Brown launched their biodegradable footwear range last summer (2018). The sustainable vegan shoe designer, who takes a holistic approach to design, always creates her collection in a way that respects the environment. Working with sustainable material development the brand has become known for revolving around the concept of “reverence for life”, especially when it comes to human, animal and the environment.

Photo Credit: Sydney Brown

Driven to make sure every element of her shoes is free of animal products, Brown’s PETA approved footwear uses non-animal fat glues developed in-house by adhesive chemists. She is also hoping in the not too distant future to develop ‘zero-waste’ technology that allows for the exact shoe pattern to be grown with cellular agriculture. Using fennel, a plant-based material., Brown explained: “[Fennel] has been the most surprising [material] because it’s so water resistant, and it’s very durable, and it’s been an amazing material.”

Cruelty-free, Vegan Knitwear

CROP, a wool alternative led by designer Kate Morris is a brand with the  desire to contribute to changing attitudes within fast fashion. Kate has successfully found a way of providing fun-filled, cruelty-free, vegan knitwear for those seeking something a little different.

Joaquin Phoenix wearing a vegan “wool” suit

A wool alternative that is Cruelty-free but stylish Kate’s mission with CROP is to break expectations around plant-based knitwear. “Sustainable fashion has the image of being a bit beige and hempy which is something I want to challenge,” said Kate to Pebble Magazine. “We have decided to leave out any materials that have come from animals to meet the global needs and beliefs of today’s generation.”

Saying no to wool has meant that Kate has had to look at plant fibres as an option. After some research, she quickly realised that the possibilities within plant-based fibre production are endless. She has tried out yarns that have come from sources such as eucalyptus trees, banana branches and orange peel. Focusing on cutting out waste and improving manufacturing efficiency, Kate has had to consider decisions such as using one fibre type per piece for recyclability and how to incorporate care labels into the jacquard patterns.

The Vegan High-Heel

Jazmine K. Davis is the founder of Jazmine Kionna, a vegan, fashion­-forward shoe brand that features built-in insoles technology. Looking to attract a sophisticated, adventurous customer, Jazmine has utilised her love for colour blocking, print clashing, and texture mixing, to create a versatile, comfortable, shoe collection.

Jazmine K. Davis comes in founder of Jazmine Kionna.

Starting at $140.00, the small range includes various styles that will most likely appeal to everyone’s taste. Ethical, comfortable and relevant, the insoles have been designed to take the impact of each stride by conforming to the pressure point of your foot. On her inspiration, Jazmine confessed, “The catalyst for our creation came about during a shopping trip to Chicago. During this trip, I decided to use my small fortune saved up from my Summer internship in order to purchase my first official pair of designer heels. The sheer and utter bliss I felt was short lived when I finally slipped on a pair of designer shoes and the pain was unbearable!” Adding: “I created Jazmine Kionna to provide an alternative shoe option that is both affordable and comfortable.”

If you are questioning a brand’s vegan credentials, you can find out more at  Peta or The Vegan Society logos.

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Founding editor-in-chief & WearableTechStylist of FashNerd.com, Muchaneta has worked in the fashion industry for over 14 years. She is currently one of the leading influencers speaking and writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology and a regular contributor to digital news sites like Wareable.