PETA Fashion Awards 2021
PETA’s Fashion Awards recognise the biggest trends and standout brands on Australia’s fashion scene.
The global vegan fashion market is set to grow by more than 13.5% over the next six years. Meanwhile, the exotic-skins industry is shrinking. COVID-19 outbreaks on mink farms triggered stark warnings about the risks of fur and exotic skins, the huge fires in the Amazon rainforest were linked to leather-producing cattle ranchers, and information about the role of ruminant animals – such as sheep raised for wool – in producing greenhouse-gas emissions have all contributed to a shift in consumer values and buying habits.
From jackets made from recycled bottles that spare geese to leather made from pineapple and apple skin that helps protect cows, here’s a round-up of the 2021 PETA Australia Fashion Award Winners:
FAVOURITE WINTER JACKETTeam Timbuktu Vegan Puffer
While the puffer look remains in fashion, people are turning their backs on the fur-trimmed hoods and feather-filled relics of yesterday. Enter this cosy Timbuktu offering, made entirely from recycled bottles. The pockets are lined with wool-free fleece, and Timbuktu plants a tree for every order!
FAVOURITE ANKLE BOOTS
ROC Chisel Vegan Leather Boots
Pairing a chunky platform sole with a sleek upper, these boots from iconic footwear brand ROC add street style without using anyone’s skin or contributing to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. They’re animal-free right down to the glues used.
Mimco Gala Pouch
Mimco’s ingenious Gala Collection caused a huge stir when it hit shelves. Crafted from leather made of discarded apple peels, not cow skin, the range exemplifies the future of leather – clean, green, and vegan! This cute pouch holds all your essentials and is part of the brand’s “Do Good Look Good” initiative.
No Saints Caroline Sneaker
Stylish sneakers never go out of fashion, and they can be worn with pretty much everything. These No Saints beauties are made of Piñatex, a natural, sustainable leather alternative crafted from pineapple leaf fibres that empowers farmers, rather than harming animals. Plus, they’re unisex – and the gold is like an exclamation point for your outfit.
Unreal Fur Madam Grace Coat
Brands like Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Gucci, and Chanel are all leaving fur in the past, and faux fur has become a luxe alternative. Stylish, warm, and timeless, this long coat in snakeskin print will be your signature piece for winters to come.
A_C Cactus Leather Tote
A_C is the first brand in Australia to use cactus leather from acclaimed materials disrupter Desserto. Made using the skin of the prickly pear, this plant leather is wonderful news for cows and the Earth. While animal-derived leather is water-intensive and harms the environment, these cacti require no irrigation or chemicals and even absorb carbon dioxide. (Plus, the bag is just gorgeous and can hold all the things.)
FAVOURITE WINTER WARMER
Kowtow Composure Cardigan
Layering with cropped cardigans is big this winter, and this offering from New Zealand label Kowtow is ideal. Tied at the waist in acid yellow (shown), blue, rust and black it’s made from 100% organic and fair trade cotton, not wool, meaning it will warm your chest and your heart, knowing no sheep suffered for it.
Outland Denim Athina Jean
Denim is (constantly) having a moment, and boyfriend jeans are always in fashion. Not only are these made using 86% less water, 57% less energy, and 83% fewer chemicals, the brand patch is also made of jacron paper, not leather. Levi’s, take note!
FAVOURITE SILK-FREE STYLE
A.BCH Tencel Lounge Skirt
The satiny feel and luxurious drape of silk need not come at the expense of young silkworms, some 6,600 of whom are boiled or gassed alive in their cocoons for each kilogram of silk. Circular fashion label A.BCH offers a fully transparent supply chain, and this silky skirt is made of Tencel, a sustainable plant fibre.
TWOOBS OG Yamamillah
Platform sandals in vibrant colours are a season must-have, and none are more lust-worthy than the OG Yamamillah. The result of a collab between indigenous art collective Cungelella Art and women-owned Australian footwear brand TWOOBS, these are vegan and eco-friendly. Plus, $5 from each pair sold helps Injilinji Preschool and Kindergarten!
Sultry and unique, X MALI is a hot new label with a fresh way of doing good. Using plastic bottles reclaimed from the ocean and landfills, X MALI refers to its philosophy as a “love letter to mother Earth”, meaning you’ll never see leather, wool, fur, or any other animal-derived materials in its collection.
FAVOURITE FASHION TRENDThe Fall of Exotic Skins
The pandemic – and subsequent warnings from conservationists that the exotic-skins trade could fuel future zoonotic diseases – has seen skins from snakes and crocodiles fall from favour, just as fur did. Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Mulberry, Calvin Klein, and Tommy Hilfiger have already moved to ban these cruelly obtained materials. It’s likely more good news for animals will follow… and we’re looking at you Hermès.
Animals are not ours to wear, and the cruelty that millions of them around the globe endure to satisfy the demand for fashion is astounding. On fur farms, animals are driven insane inside cramped wire cages, where they spend their whole lives, before being painfully killed. The leather industry causes the deaths of over a billion animals every year, including cows, pigs, goats, kangaroos, sheep, and even dogs and cats. Investigations into the wool industry in Australia – the world’s largest exporter of the material – have revealed the large-scale abuse of sheep, who are kicked, punched, and mutilated. And the down feathers used to stuff winter jackets are often torn from live birds, who endure this torture multiple times before eventually being slaughtered.
When used for their skin, wool, or feathers, animals are treated like nothing more than commodities. But thanks to brands such as our compassionate award winners, cruelly obtained materials are being ditched in favour of kinder and more sustainable vegan fabrics. To browse more animal-free clothing, check out these “PETA-Approved Vegan” options: