With conversations around animal-cruelty becoming pressing, even the ‘purists’ in the industry—both creators and consumers—are warming up to the idea of vegan fashion.
Since designer Stella McCartney first turned ‘vegetarian’ in 2001— an idea hitherto much-discussed but barely implemented—a number of labels, both high-end and emerging, have joined forces to create fashion that is cruelty-free and ethical. This essentially means that instead of killing animals for fur, feather, leather, silk, wool and the like, almost identical materials are produced using other, animal-friendly alternatives. In fact, the world’s first Vegan Fashion Week was also held in Los Angeles in February this year—“a tribute to the animals and an ode to the end of animal exploitation in all forms”. Closer home, many designers are focusing attention on vegan and eco-friendly designs, while many organisations, film stars, and sportspeople are putting their weight behind animal-friendly campaigns. The latest to take things up formally on that front is designer Purvi Doshi. In support of vegan fashion, Purvi dedicated her latest collection—Marine Runway—to PETA India’s campaign, ‘Fish In Tanks, No Thanks!’. The idea was to spread awareness about marine creatures and the dangers being posed to them by the human species.
Purvi’s collection is largely in off-white, made using hand-woven Khadi and cotton Kota, and features delicate imagery of various aquatic animals such as octopi, sea horses, penguins, and fish. “The colour denotes the peace and calm of the ocean. Along with animals, there are also scuba drivers, and even mermaids. The point is to show that we can all co-exist,” Purvi tells Cosmo. “We have no right to take innocent lives for our vested interests. Of course, boycotting such sought-after materials hits our sales, and it does get challenging to sustain oneself. But that’s a stand one has to take. Thankfully, consumers are gradually becoming aware of the change, too, and are quite supportive.”
Purvi Doshi's Marine Runway collection