All the Vegan Leather Things

October 12, 2016

Yow! It’s officially fall and New York is making sure I know it. I had no choice but to hijack my sister’s closet this week since I own zero cold weather items after 3 years living in LA, proven by my lonely suitcase frothing to the brim with tank tops and strappy sandals. (Sigh. Christina, google weather is your friend.) Fortunately, I head back to sunny, palm tree laden SoCal later this week, but for those of you contemplating your closet today like “omg I have nothing to wear,” I’ve compiled season-appropriate vegan leather inspiration for you! This post especially dedicated to my cutie pie friend Linh Do who’s been asking for recommendations lately.

But first! I introduce one of the last projects I worked on at PETA before taking my short break, “Leather in Reverse”:

After the success of the organization’s “Chicken in Reverse” and “Milk in Reverse” videos highlighting the process behind these kitchen table staples, we realized that this kind of story telling could resonate for fashion garments, too. Some of our footage here is dated to the 90s and early 2000s, but the treatment to these animals used for leather is still commonplace in countries like India, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, etc., where most of the leather bags, jackets, and shoes sold in the US originate. And although some more high-end leather products sold here may be labeled “made in Italy” or locally made, that doesn’t necessarily mean the animal was slaughtered there, just that the good itself was produced in that location after processed skins were transported. And unfortunately, even animals slated for leather production in the western world undergo painful procedures like dehorning, castration without painkillers, and cramped quarters before workers in the average slaughterhouse rush animals through slaughter lines much to the detriment of the employees as well. More on the industrialized slaughter process in a book I recommend to all: Every 12 Seconds.

No matter all this, I’ve found that there is still a great attachment in the fashion industry to the material–the way it looks, drapes, smells, and especially because so many consumers still associate leather with “luxury.” So let’s shift that narrative. I’m confident that once the mainstream consumer and business owner begins seeing leather for what it really is in our modern marketplace: the skin of an animal who suffered greatly before their death, we’ll collectively become more receptive to trying out other more compassionate, eco-friendly options. Thankfully there are already many to choose from, et voilà the below. All vegan leather, all very much everything I heart:

Alexandra K

Freedom of Animals

The sharkie is back ✨ at @shopmaxandriley #sustainablefashion

A photo posted by Morgan Bogle (@freedomofanimals) on


Melie Blanco

Tate all day and all night ✔️➕ #veganleather #meliebianco #meliegirls

A photo posted by Melie Bianco HQ (@meliebianco) on


The Frankie Shop

We’ll take 2 please ! #realstruggle #impossible #bag choice #overindulge #fall16 #veganleather #thefrankieshop

A photo posted by Frankie (@thefrankieshop) on


Stella McCartney


Angela & Roi


Matt and Nat


SUSI Studio


By Blanch

#byblanch shoes www.byblanch.com

A photo posted by By BLANCH (@by_blanch) on


BC Footwear


Free People’s Vegan Leather Collection

Fall essentials? Check✔️•link in bio to shop• @fptexas

A photo posted by freepeople (@freepeople) on

YRU’s vegan leather booties via Nasty Gal

she came to ⚡︎LAY #yru #slayr #reflective #rainbow via @esqape

A photo posted by YRU ᵀᴴᴱ ᴼᴺᴱ ᴬᴺᴰ ᴼᴺᴸᵞ (@yru) on


David Lerner NY

The Kendall Legging | crafted of vegan leather, this legging features stitch detail that allows for a peek of skin 👀

A photo posted by David Lerner New York (@davidlernerny) on

 

Where to begin! In a perfect world, probably at the Stella backpack… Happy shopping and fall and vegan leather future, loves! Til next time. xo

Life in Uniform

October 6, 2016

Hello lovely humans! It’s been just a little bit since my last blog entry… Or maybe a little longer than a little bit (heh heh). But I’m back and motivated to check in much more often!

Life around here has been weird, wonderful and way out of my comfort zone. Time has also been zipping by (it’s October already?!), though that seems to more so be the case the older I get, especially when things get busy.

The big ticket item for the last few months has been putting the Army uniform on every day for the Defense Information School’s public affairs course (I graduated yesterday!). For those unaware, a Dept. of Defense PA officer tells that service/unit’s story through the written/spoken word (press releases, interviews, editorials, blogs, etc), multi-media (photo, vid and social), counseling up and down the chain of command regarding what and how to engage with media, and liaising with reporters. It’s been a waterhose of information, but interesting to learn how our military is getting smarter about working through those channels to share our victories (and more credible through sharing our missteps too). I also learned a lot in the way of communication planning and social media strategy that I can’t wait take back to the office at PETA (and apply here for a personal project too… *Mr. Burns fingers*).

Proof that I graduated.

Proof that I graduated.

It’s been an invaluable experience, but I won’t miss the mountain of homework every night (anticipating messages and talking points nightmares for some time). It’s also been tough being away from Los Angeles, city of my dear friends, bundle of puppy joy love, amazing coworkers, VEHICLE, and vegan food… I will admit that though I’ve always said living a vegan lifestyle in the military ain’t so bad, a girl can only eat veggie burgers at the base dining facility for so long before you start feeling like they’re going to grow out of your ears. Thankfully, the commissary at Fort Meade stocks some plant-based products like Beyond Meat “beef crumbles” and Silk yogurt, though I can’t say much for their produce selection (or any Army base Commissary’s for that matter).

Let’s just say… Whole Foods and hipsters has been a distant memory. And that’s a good thing, because while I’m blessed to be going back to the vegan mecca that is Los Angeles, the more suburban parts of our country aren’t so conducive to a plant-based lifestyle and I needed to be reminded of that. There’s a lot of progress to be made not only in educating people on why eating more plant based foods is medicine for the planet, animals, and oftentimes our own health, but also extensive infrastructure to be built that will make it feasible for everyday folks to take part. Which only inspires me to work harder to plant seeds of inspiration in the ways I’m able.

As for right now, it’s peace out Fort Meade, hello Atlanta to visit my very cute parents and pup for rest and reboot time, followed by a trip to New York City to explore with my sister who’s taken a time-out from ICU nursing to learn vegan cooking at the Natural Gourmet Institute (my hero), and finally HOME. Los Angeles, I’ve missed you and am so thankful for your endless energy and inspiration.

As I’m thankful for all of you. Til next time, friends. xo <3

Brand Spankin Inspiration

February 27, 2016

I’m realizing that when I decide I like something, I kind of unhealthily really like that thing. This rings especially true for like-minded apparel brands that I can spend hours thumbing through on Instagram. (Let’s just call it market research.) Whether for their dedication to vegan fabrics; passion for sustainable, eco-conscious practices; or support for keeping it local (and yes, bonus points for that minimalist/boho California cool it factor thing that makes it so hard to keep my credit card in its pants), the below brands excite me in all the ways that they look and do good.

A peek at my current daily inspirations so that we can share in the good vibes:

LC LoveChild – The only issue I have with this vegan lifestyle boutique is that they’re based in Australia and I can’t go there to hang out every day. Visit them for all the pretty lacy underthings and vintage vegan logo tees.


Christy Dawn
-“Hellooo, spirit animal” was my first thought when I landed on this brand’s feed. A spiritual experience if you’re into long, drapey lines and little house on the prairie vibes. Also, all their clothes are made in LA, typically with organic cotton or good for planet viscose, and there’s a shop in Santa Monica that I’m steering clear of until I win the lottery cause there will be damage.

Just kicking it with @langleyfox Pic by @on_abbotkinney

A photo posted by CHRISTY DAWN (@christydawn) on


VAUTE
– What I love most about this brand beyond the unprecedented innovations like wool-like fedoras made with recycled plastic bottles, vegan everything, super passionate CEO, and “I’m sweet but powerful” girl-next-door aesthetic, is its unapologetic vision to change the world. With Vaute around, you just know things are gonna be alright.


Melissa – Completely cruelty-free, funky designs, and collaborations with major players like Vivienne Westwood and Jason Wu. Melissa’s got those jelly looking shoes you never knew you needed but really do.


Woron. –
These guys are based in Copenhagen and don’t ship to the US yet, but I suppose we can forgive them cause they’re sewn in a family owned factory using modal (sustainable wood pulp that’s spun into fiber) and are sexy in that understated “I woke up like this” way. For now, I will be happy for Copenhagen girls (and boys) and admire from afar.


Matt and Nat – 
They’ve been around forever, the pioneers of chic vegan style you might say. Take a look at their website and you’ll find dozens of bags you can’t live without and the best part is that they’re all vegan leather, lined with 100% recycled plastic bottles, and are now carried in countless retailers across Canada and the US, further proving that the demand for animal friendly fashion is no passing trend.


Aritzia –
I recently discovered this retailer through my daily “vegan fashion” google email alert. Completely off my radar yesterday and one of my favorite brands today cause I’m a sucker for any company that highlights their faux styles as “vegan leather” and “vegan suede”, especially when it’s touted as “better than the real thing” all over the website homepage. Don’t mind the cows and I doing our happy dance over here.🎈🐮

Your fall uniform, sorted. Link in bio.

A photo posted by Aritzia (@aritzia) on


Hipsters for Sisters – This photo speaks for itself, but basically, fanny packs are back and they are everything. Find one that’s made in LA with vegan materials that gives 5% of proceeds back to organizations that empower women and/or protect the planet (Rainforest Trust wins this Earth Day), and uhhh, you better hold onto that pack or hand it over.


Freedom of Animals – If you’re in the market for a bag that oozes luxury but integrity too, you’re done looking. Freedom of Animals is an H&M Conscious Collection partner, has collaborated with PETA several times on bags that make a statement for animals while also donating back to the cause, often advocates for animal adoption on their IG, and is made in NYC with love and all cruelty-free materials. They’re also just super pretty. 😍

I hope these brands inspire you as much as they get me! Support them and other do/look good-ers if you can — the more demand there is for ethical fashion, the more other companies will find ways to streamline sustainable practices and embrace animal- and human- friendly fabrics to join in on our fun. xx

With Love

February 15, 2016

Well well well. Another Valentine’s Day come and gone. Besides making me hyper-aware of my single-dom (not entirely true – my mom asks me to be her Valentine every year), this day’s a reminder that beyond the fancy dinners and Hallmark cards… we’re all ridiculously lucky to have people (and animals) in our lives to love on and be loved by. And wouldn’t the world be a much more magnificent place if we made a point of sharing what’s in our hearts the other 364 days a year, too?

I’m sure I speak for the lot of us when I say that we’re here to connect, to find belonging with others, to leave an impression on the world while we can that proves we cared – that we took the time and energy, shared our experiences, sacrificed, created in the hopes of inspiring, led with love. Gosh darn, love is rad. So I guess I’m cool with this day in all its commercial glory for being a feel-good reminder that there’s nothing without it.

In less emo news, I found THE ONE in this romantic little number from Reformation (might as well start direct depositing them my paycheck) and think safe to say they found their match in these tie-up vegan suede heels from Lulu’s. 😊 Naturally, new clothes = photos to follow! Hope you’re all enjoying the long, love-filled weekend. xx

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8 Must-Have Kicks for Almost-Spring

February 2, 2016

Happy February, everyone! I can’t believe how fast the time is going — we’re already 1/12 through with 2016… what?! This makes zero sense. The more I consider it, the further convinced I am that this is all just a really trippy dream.

One thing’s for certain, though. Temperatures are rising oh so slowly but surely to a point where Grandma’s double-knitted socks and those emergency snow boots can be thrown back in storage (we never took them out in LA, I’ll be honest), and the more colorful booties and loafers can come out to play! I call this time of year… the Almost-Spring. Novel terminology, I know. To help get you excited for all the possibilities, here’s a compilation of the top vegan shoes I’m dreaming about dipping my toes in this season. And yes, I’m serious about #5. You can take the girl out of Graceland…

Vegan Shoes for Spring 2016