In the immediate wake of the down-on-NYFW post I wrote yesterday comes an example of fashion I feel good getting excited about.

Vegan Fashion Week was held from February 1—4 at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles and California Market Center in Downtown LA. The event gives an empowering platform to conscious brands and designers to showcase game-changing fashion.

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Vegan designers and activists were invited to showcase innovative, cruelty-free, and sustainable collections. They offered an inspiring look into a future—a place where compassion is the industry norm.

Groundbreaking textile solutions were presented, including Piñatex® pineapple leather (woah!), apple leather, eco-friendly faux fur by Ecopel®, faux wool, and more. If you’ve never heard of some of these, you’re not alone—but how exciting. And you know I love faux-fur! 😉

Designers included Dr. Martens, Matea Benedetti, Noemie Devime, Altiir, Bayem, Ecopel, Enda, New Rock, Mink Shoes, Mistohn, Sarah Regensburger, Chloe Trujillo, Vegan Club, WastedLA, and Arsayo.

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Apparently, the event was such a success that Vegan Fashion Week creator Emmanuelle Rienda is already preparing for next season’s showing: “I am on a mission to challenge the fashion industry at its roots until cruelty-free is the norm.”

Here are some looks from the runway & a few snaps backstage.

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Backstage snaps:

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Photos by Mckinsey Jordan, Gabrielle Faulkner & Bee Rios

Whether or not you’re vegan, I think it’s worth staying on top of cruelty-free trends. You never know when you’ll see something that inspires you to move toward a more compassionate lifestyle.

I’ll be real with you: my diet isn’t vegan (you guys know this if you follow my Insta—I don’t eat much red meat, but I’m far from full-blown veggie). However, I’ve been steadily reducing my meat/dairy intake over the years for a multitude of reasons.

When it comes to clothing, I avoid wearing fur or leather. There are so many amazing innovations in textiles now that it doesn’t make sense to wear animal skins. The same could be said about food, of course, and I’m still exploring ways I can replace some of my non-vegan staples with more compassionate alternatives.

We can all adopt a more compassionate lifestyle, even if it’s gradual or partial. It makes a difference. Progress over perfection!

If you’re interested in learning more visit the Vegan Fashion Week website.

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Written by Mishka
Michelle Christina (a.k.a. Mishka) founded heymishka.com in 2008, and has since documented her love of DIY, thrift-shopping, and creative living here. Fueled by strong coffee and sparkly dreams, MC also mentors freelance writers at Freelance Writing Cafe, hosts the Sugar x Spice Market in Brooklyn, and writes digital marketing copy for some of the world's biggest brands.