2.14.2013

transitioning to a vegan wardrobe




yes, hello and happy valentines day.

i hope you are all feeling lovey today.  if not that's ok b/c really it is just another thursday.

ok ok so this is what i'm working on.

letting go seems to be a recurring theme in my life right now so maybe this is why i woke up on monday morning and decided i want to transition my wardrobe to be vegan.  this is not as easy as it sounds.
or maybe it does sound hard.  larry says i just like to complicate my life.  and he may be onto something there.  but i really believe it is just the natural evolution of my becoming a vegan 5 years ago.
so this will be a slow change b/c i don't have the budget to just get rid of everything and start over.
and that is probably a good thing b/c it will take some adjustment emotion-wise to part with a few special things.

for instance...






both the handbag and boots were 2nd hand, which is a good thing and i know there is an issue with a lot of new vegan shoes and bags being made with harmful petrochemical products.
it's just that wearing the leather is what is bothering me.
the cruelty inflicted on these poor animals is so heartbreaking to me that i just feel it is the right thing for me to do.

so it will definitely be a challenge.
and it's not gonna happen overnight but this is something i'm going to be moving towards.



these vegan boots from lulu's are pretty cute.





and so is this handbag from matt and nat.



so like i said it will be a process and if you don't mind i'll share about it here b/c where else would i?

xo
janet




73 comments:

  1. I'm sure this choice will turn out like all of your others...successful and beautiful, and as always, environmentally friendly. :-)

    Tim

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  2. Your kindness and warm-heartedness is an inspiration to me. I enjoy reading your experiences and how you overcome challenges. This new project will prove to be a fascinating journey. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. thank you for the encouragement. so sweet of you.

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  3. Janet,

    Nice to see you blogging again...I'm glad that things have settled down in your life. Like you, I know the stuff we are dealing with right now will eventually pass.

    My daughter also since going vegan, has brought up the issue of owning the leather items that she had previously purchased. Like you she doesn't want to get rid of everything but for her future purchases I know that she is taking it into consideration. She recently bought a pair of boots that were not leather and they are quite stylish. (like your choices that you posted here as well)

    I was reading not too long ago that some of the alternatives to leather come from PVC which are not healthy. What's a person to do? :/

    Linda
    xo

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    1. leather items made exclusively from certified organic roadkill and animals that died peacefully of natural causes?

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    2. linda i just think wse have to keep trying until we find a solution that works for ea one of us. xoxo

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  4. first let me say I do enjoy reading your blog so very much! second I do not comment often but I wanted to share with you that my youngest son (I have 3 too) recently watched the documentary Forks Over Knives and was immediately hooked. He insisted I
    watch it. So I did in order to show an interest and support. OMG now I understand the health ramifications of the American diet.
    I am taking steps to go vegan as well. It is a learning curve to be sure. So last night I was up very late reading all your posted
    recipes. Thanks for sharing and being an inspiration.

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  5. Your thoughtfulness is inspiring. And whatever you decide fits your life will work out.

    One way I look at (second hand) leather etc is that the animal has already given its life. And tossing the shoes does not bring it back to life, but perhaps appreciating it is a way to honour its sacrifice. Sort of like tribal societies honoured the animal that they killed in a hunt for food. Maybe that is just my justification. And perhaps it is painful for you to look at the leather.

    So glad to know that your son is on the mend and your lovely neighbour had a peaceful death and was befriended to the end.

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    1. thank you and i agree. at least that is what worked for me up until now. like i said, i think it is an evolution. xo

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  6. You look lovely, Janet. I completely understand the desire to eradicate the leather from your wardrobe, all mine is second-hand too but I wouldn't dream of buying second-hand fur so why do I make an exception for leather? I've no idea but I'm in awe of your discipline. xxx

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    1. i had that same thought. i'm going to do my best, i have a long way to go though. xo

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  7. Oh, no! Not the boots, lol!

    I love those boots, you know that right?

    Good for you. You are my idol!

    S
    xo

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  8. I can see this is the next step for you and I will be interested to read about your journey. How about Hunter boots, they would be vegan I am guessing?
    Happy Valentine's Day to you and your sweetie.

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  9. I'm doing the same thing! I found a handbag on Etsy made of seat belts, yes car seat belts. I got a black one with an adjustable shoulder strap. It is very pretty, I've had it two years and it looks brand new. It is the only handbag I use anymore. Also got a wallet and one for my husband too (a wallet, not handbag!).

    Rocket Dog shoes are my favorite and not made of leather.

    I can not buy leather any more.

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    1. Forgot to sign my name....Betty

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    2. I was going to make the same suggestion about seat belt bags - I have one and in addition to being environmentally friendly, it is indestructible and BY FAR the most complimented item in my wardrobe.

      I'll be curious to hear how you do with shoes, and particularly boots. It's not hard to find vegan shoes and boots, but in my experience they often don't last very well. Good luck!

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  10. Janet,
    Whatever you do...it will be with beauty and grace and it may be a little complicated, but probably only you and Larry will know for sure! Happy Valentine's Day!
    xo
    annie

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    1. oh i have a feeling it will be complicated. thank you annie. xo

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  11. Thanks for this, I would love to investigate cute vegan options for boots and bags...and I wish more of the big companies would take on the challenge!

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    1. Me, too, Sue. Perhaps they will soon.

      As it is, more and more decent cruelty free shoes and handbags are available as people demand them when they learn the horror behind leather.

      Something that might be a game changer is in vitro leather.

      Leather could be replaced in a matter of years due to innovations in bioprinting.

      "The End of Leather in Five Years?"
      http://www.thediscerningbrute.com/2012/09/26/the-end-of-leather-in-5-years/

      “…in an exclusive interview with Txchnologist, company cofounder and CEO Andras Forgacs has broken the silence and revealed some details about Modern Meadow’s goals. Their first project? In vitro leather production.

      “Our emphasis first is not on meat, it’s on leather,” Forgacs says. “The main reason is that, technically, skin is a simpler structure than meat, making it easier to produce… A full-scale leather production facility, on the other hand, could be up and running in five years.” –

      Scientific American:
      "Tissue-Engineered Leather Could be Mass-Produced by 2017"

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=tissue-engineered-leather-could-be-mass-produced-by-2017

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    2. right sue. i wonder that too. why not take a basic and classic design and make a vegan option too. that would be so awesome. xo

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  12. Hi Janet - interesting topic. I bought a pair of boots by Franco Sarto that were faux leather this winter- people have complimented me every time i wear them. If you are interested, visit here:

    http://www.shoes.com/en-US/Product/EC1329994-5187767/Franco+Sarto/Black/Womens+Peak.aspx

    have a good day and i am awfully sorry for your recent troubles!

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    1. oh thank you my dear. those are gorgeous. the most comfortable boots i've ever owned were made by franco sarto. i will check these out!

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  13. FYI, all my artwork is vegan. You can tell Larry he is lucky to have you complicate his world.
    pve

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    1. haha, you are too cute. i will tell larry tonight just how lucky he is. :)

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  14. I think that as one becomes more aware, one is called to more action-be it veganism, politics, or whathaveyou. Goodonya as the Aussies would say :)

    PS-I am sure you saw your boy Jack at the Grammys-wasn't he amazing?! Spin thought so too-

    http://www.spin.com/articles/grammys-performances-2013-video-watch-jack-white-frank-ocean-rihanna

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    1. you are right, it's a matter of time and awareness.

      and yes that man was/is amazing!!!

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  15. I had very little leather when I went vegan - mainly just boots, shoes, and belts. I have transitioned them all out since, however. To me wearing the skin of cow isn't any different than wearing the skin of dog or a cat. Just can't do it. So I do get where you are coming from and wish you the best as you go through the transition.

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    1. you are absolutely right vada. there is not one bit of difference. and the cruelty involved is criminal. i hope to be where you are one day soon.

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  16. It's funny, I've been looking for a new purse for a while and every time I look at a leather one I think of you and say to myself, "is it worth it?". I feel the guilt thanks to you and my catholic upbringing :)

    Happy Valentine's day. Or rather, happy Thursday.

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    1. happy thursday to you too.:)

      well i come by the catholic guilt honestly so what can i say? xo

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  17. So...are you selling your bags on ebay eventually? If so, post a link for us non-vegans out there.

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    1. yes i am! they are a few up now.

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/160975050944?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

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    2. will you be listing the boots if you don't keeping them? what size are they?

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    3. the boots are size 7. and yes, i will eventually sell them. at least that is the plan.

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  18. I love the boots and the outfit looks great! Good for you!

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  19. I would love to read about the process and your progress. Standing up, applauding and wishing you well.

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    1. i am going to try and really post about the process. the ups and downs, you know?

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  20. I love this challenge. It is a process but one I think you are up to. :)

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  21. What happened the day/evening before Monday that made you chance your mind? Maybe this can happen to all of us?

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    1. nothing in particular happened paula. i think losing miss doris, my sons injury...they all led up to it. it just seems the right time to let go you know what i mean?

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  22. I admire your resolve to commit to your ideals wholeheartedly and not just the easy parts that put on a good face.

    I had a Matt & Nat handbag once and it was really great. I didn't even know it wasn't leather until I thought about the price, which was amazing.

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    1. that is good to know re the matt and nat. this morning was the launch of their spring line and it is already sold out.

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    3. Cornelia Guest's- "Peri Weave" handbag is on sale at Bloomingdales
      http://www.corneliaguest.com/accessories/

      For those who live in cold climates, Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture has a terrific line of coats inspired by the long, freezing Chicago winters:

      "Ethics: Vegan, Eco-conscious, Constructed locally in NYC.
      Weather Prepared: Windproof, Heat Retaining, Snow Resistant.
      Fabrics: Recyclable Made in the USA 100% Vegan Shell lined
      with 100% Closed Loop Zero Waste Recycled Satin Ripstop"

      That's hard to beat

      See Vaute Couture's great cheongsam-esque coat from the 2010 collection here:
      http://www.ecouterre.com/vaute-couture-serves-up-cruelty-free-comfort-for-fallwinter-2010/vaute-couture-fall-winter-2010-14/?extend=1

      Read about Vaute Couture's debut at the 2013 New York Fashion Week here:
      http://www.ourhenhouse.org/2013/02/vaute-couture-at-new-york-fashion-week-an-historic-moment/

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  23. I respect and admire your choice but I say keep the bags and boots.

    happy Valentines Day Janet xxxx

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  24. You are so wonderful. xo
    -Suzanne in Illinois

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  25. Janet you are inspiring- please don't stop blogging!
    I have been a vegetarian for 30 years and have always bought "organic" dairy but am now finding that "organic" does not mean that the animals are treated without cruelty. I found a websight "cornucopia institute" that rates dairy farms. What do you think of dairy products bought from farms that treat their animals ( hopefully-supposedly) ethically,humanely and have no cull numbers,etc.?
    I am purchasing all my dairy from their highest rated farms now. Maybe I will try to give up dairy someday. Shoes? You are so far ahead of me....
    J

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    1. You are too right, J. The new labeling on meat and dairy attempts to hide the misery and environmental degradation from consumers.

      The public is being mislead by labels such as "Cage Free," "Free Range," "Humane Certified," "Grass Fed," "Organic," and "Local," etc.

      Cows used for milk and cheese production are some of the most abused critters in animal agriculture and at the end of their tragic lives, they end up in the same place as cows used for meat - the slaughterhouse.

      Happy Cows: Behind the Myth
      http://www.humanemyth.org/happycows.htm

      More cows are harmed for cheese than for milk
      http://countinganimals.com/more-cows-harmed-for-cheese-than-for-milk/


      Humane Myth: Deconstructing the Myth of Humane Animal Agriculture
      http://www.humanemyth.org/

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    2. The bottom line is those animals are killed in the end. When they can no longer produce milk, or eggs, no matter how "humanely" or "ethically" they have been raised, they're disposed of at the slaughter house just like their less fortunate kin. They're turned into meat, probably expensive meat that's labeled sustainably raised, organic, etc. If we consume dairy and eggs, we're contributing to the misery and death that is "farming" in America.

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  26. I am so excited! I emailed you about this a few months back, and still have been having the internal debate. I agree with Larry, it will make things more complicated. It has for me already, but in the end I think its just like anything else; hard until you figure it out and then it becomes the new normal. Honestly, I think it will help me buy less too. When I see how many pairs of shoes and bags I have (where leather usually creeps into my closet) I think, REALLY, does one person really need this much? Probably not. So, maybe we'll have to hunt some more, but that is part of the fun (I hope!). If I find anything good I'll let you know. Jambu is a vegan line I have discovered (don't love them though) and TOMS has come out with a vegan line. Maybe if more of us ask for it they will make more....and that is how we change the world, right? one shoe purchase at a time:) Best, Ava

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    1. it is complicated but like you i think in the end it will be a wonderful wonderful feeling. i'd appreciate you sharing any great products you find. and i do want to look at the toms leopard flats. they really look cute.

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  27. You go, Janet! I started this process a couple of years ago and am left with just a few items made of leather. (Old dansko clogs that still fit great though I am hankering for their navy vegan clogs, and a couple of dooney and burkes, second hand or gifted to me, and one belt. )My worry has always been, that if people like My bag or boots, then I am advertising for leather and that will not do! I know that I feel so much better not having a closet full of some poor souls skin. Thank You for posting about this, your voice is important .<3

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  28. I considered doing this when I stopped eating all meat but fish 5 years ago. The animal cruelty is so devastating, if more people only knew. I found it difficult and didn't follow through. I admire your commitment. I'll be watching your progress and reading for tips, hoping to do it as well now with someone to lead the way, in a chic way! BTW...made your "egg salad" and hubs and I are both hooked!! Down and feather pillows also fall into this category of cruelty as well.
    On another topic, I wondered which skin care products you recommend and if they are also cruelty free. I've been on a hunt for good ones, unsuccessfully. Thanks Janet.

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  29. It never occurred to me that there could be vegan clothing and shoes. But it totally makes sense. I admire your committment! Looking forward to seeing what you find :)

    Have a great weekend Janet!

    (still in love with your kitchen...it haunts my dreams)

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  30. That's wonderful. Such a kind and loving thing to do for animals and yourself. And I imagine it will feel freeing to live more in line with your values.

    I need to follow your path. I don't eat meat, yet I still own leather items even though that goes against my theoretical beliefs. It's easy to justify that no new life was taken if I buy second-hand or that I'm not harming anyone by wearing the coat I inherited from my grandmother that has a fur-trimmed collar. Yet I feel self-conscious and awkward every time I go outside in such goods. I know that I'm sending a message to the world that wearing skin is okay. And I'd never wear a cat skin or a human skin, and there's no difference (other than made-up human justifications) for wearing any other skin.

    So, maybe I'll take steps to change myself as you change yourself.

    Also, I wonder if you do any direct service/action in your area to help animals. If not, you'll find it adds so much to your life. I volunteer at an animal shelter (cats and dogs) and at a farm sanctuary (all sorts of farm animals). It feeds my soul. There are also volunteer opportunities through groups like the Humane Society or PETA doing community education on veganism and vegetarianism. You might try giving a little of your time to these causes - it's very rewarding.

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  31. good call, janet! My daughter would be so proud. She's always on the hunt for vegan shoes. I love leather and justify my habit by only buying it second hand. The leather pieces I have purchased in the past were from long before I was aware of the cruelty. I guess I was a cruel person. :)

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  32. Well, I am in a quandry. Seems like you and I are in similar places in our lives. I too am transitioning to a vegan wardrobe, and a vegan decor as well. And as much I adored my friends expensive leather sofa, I opted for a USA made fabric upholstered sofa, when it came time to buy one myself. The problem is, I grew up with leather cowboy boots, and riding horses, and (used to) love the smell of a new leather saddle. And, I LOVE those boots you are wearing. And I am a size 7. Hmm ... thinking of trying to buy them when you put them on sale, because my old cheap boots are completely worn out. It's a dilemma. But I would never buy new leather shoes or purses. So I am curious, has it been difficult to transition your decor as well?

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    1. hi michelle.

      well last christmas i got a new ottoman to replace the leather one i had. that's the only leather product that i had in my decor, so i suppose it was pretty easy. :)

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  33. I am so happy to learn that you are taking this step. I love reading your blog and looking at your pictures, but it has bothered me to see that you continued to use things made from animals in your wardrobe and home. We all have to get there in our own way. I am not a clothes horse by any means, but the things that were hardest for me to give up were my Birkenstock sandals and my down pillows. I have not looked back since I did it, and I am glad you are getting there too. You will feel so much better, take it from me.

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  34. I am so glad to learn that you are making this transition. I did it two years ago and haven't looked back. The hardest things for me to give up were my Birkenstock sandals and my down pillows. Also, I wear a really unusual size shoe -- size 12 AAA -- so finding vegan shoes in my size is nearly impossible. Fortunately for me, I have few occasions to wear fancy shoes anyway. New Balance running shoes are a mainstay of my wardrobe, and there's no animal parts on them!

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  35. I so admire your open arms toward change. If only we were all so adaptable. I think your life will be even fuller and richer for this choice, and you'll be supporting businesses that need you. Nothing weighs more than guilt, and removing more of it from your life is always a healthy choice. Glad with some of the negative things recently, you're forging ahead into positivity :)

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  36. You are truly an inspiration!! I admire so many of your convictions & actions towards them. I am a slow learner when it comes to going vegan (so very hard since I love dairy products!!). Please post manufacturers of vegan products whenever you come across them. Especially in the shoe & bag department. Thanks!
    Leigh

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  37. Does this mean wool and silk are next? While I have no desire for a down/feather pillow,nor do I wear silk, I will admit an attachment to my wool pillow, socks and yarn.

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kindness is never out of style.