You’re already doing meatless Mondays, composting your food and separating trash and maybe you’ve even started growing tomatoes in your back garden. You’re feeling very good about yourself and the changes you’ve made to reduce your environmental impact but then there’s a plot twist.
You step into a store selling vegan clothes. After close examination of all the designs assorted in gradually changing shades (an Instagram pic is a must) you quickly realise that they’re all made of cotton and they come with a high price tag. If this sounds confusing, don’t worry. We also feel tricked. The VEGAN label is now commonly used on all sorts of products, and yet only on some of them it’s completely justified.
You might be already familiar with greenwashing – a marketing trick in which brands and businesses deceptively label their products as eco-friendly or green. Even though some of the claims might be true, they’re usually exaggerated or used to hide the company’s other improper practices. And while greenwashing has long been used to describe unethical products with a green twist, it looks like vegan is becoming the new catch phrase among the marketing world.
We don’t blame anyone falling for the trick. We also ask for oat milk in our morning flat white – and raise our eyebrows if our local artisan café charges us for it. Many companies are taking a bite of the meat-free movement, and with vegan products becoming more popular and accessible (thank you Sweden for your McVegan burger), it has recently become a bit of a mainstream. It no longer applies just to food, but it affects other elements of our lives too, including fashion, where it creates an additional selling point.
If you’ve already jumped on the fashion-conscious bandwagon, you know that animal alternatives such as vegan leather are usually more expensive because of the way they were produced (vegan Doc Martens anyone?). But it isn’t a rule. Sometimes a low-cost high-street shop also puts the V label on its products – think about that new vegan range on your favourite brand’s website – in which case it’s just a marketing trick of the business trying to cash in on our obsession with ethical lifestyle. Distinguishing the difference in theory is easy, but as a consumer who wants to be eco-conscious and still afford to nurse their favourite craft beer on the weekend, things can get a bit complicated.
An ethical brand doesn’t necessarily use eco-friendly materials and vice versa. Vegan fashion products are often not sustainable as they might use synthetics that cannot be recycled and therefore they end up in landfill, polluting the earth. Yes, in the today world it’s difficult to make fair-trade products cheap, because ethical brands spend more on production by paying their workers and suppliers fair wages or inventing new fabrics from pineapple leaves, mushrooms and cellulose fibres (yes, you heard right). That’s why the key to moving to a plant-based territory is to stay as transparent as possible, allowing the customers to see behind the curtains and choose what they think it’s best for them.
That’s pretty much how our journey began. Disappointed with the number of synthetics found in everyday products including our clothes, we decided to start making our own. It wasn’t an easy process, but we were lucky to have mama Irini by our side. With her knowledge and passion for the ancient craft of crocheting and our ideas, we successfully created our first pieces. Soon people started asking us about them and that’s when we knew we were onto something special.
Yes, our products are also made from cotton, but we will never label them as vegan. The ethos of our brand is rooted in an eco-friendly approach of creating everyday items that last, with an emphasis on natural and organic cotton yarns that can be traced all the way to the suppliers. We source our yarns in Greece, where farmers are still working in the traditional ways, using a minimum amount of pesticides and where the plants have a high supply of sun and space to grow. Trust us, sometimes we see some cool textiles on the markets and can immediately imagine the amazing products we could be making, but because they’re often a result of blending cotton with synthetic materials, we must trust our judgment. We want the best for our customers and the best for the planet, and while our products are vegan, they’re also ethical and completely eco-friendly, easily decomposing in the earth after they complete their lifetime.
We’re not saying that we’re changing the world, but we’re taking small steps to help people make the right choices, while doing something we love! So whether you’ve gave into the obsession with house plants, kicking back with some digestivo during siesta or re-organising your home ala Marie Condo, our products will be here to support you every step of the way.