This past year, in the wake of COP26 has been a busy one. We have talked about the need to provide ethical, sustainable and cruelty-free fashion options more than ever before, whether it was the meteoric rise of second-hand and rental fashion, the awareness of the environmental impact of fast fashion, or the excitement around a new generation emerging designers who place sustainability at the heart of all they do. The PETA Fashion Awards was launched at the right time. They recognize brands from around the globe who are making industry-changing steps towards creating a more sustainable fashion future.
These are the names you need to know when it comes animal- and cruelty-free, environmentally-friendly fashion
These awards are held every year to honor big-name fashion brands as well as emerging designers who are committed to animal cruelty elimination. They also recognize those who create pieces that are more sustainable for the environment. PETA shines a spotlight on those who want to make a difference in a time when we need to be more attentive. These are the 12 award recipients for this year and all you need to know.
Kering: Biggest Fur-Free Moment
Kering, a luxury fashion group, owns some of most respected labels in the industry, including Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, and Saint Laurent. Many of their brands have been eliminating fur for years. Gucci was one of the first to do so in 2017. However, it wasn’t until September that Francois-Henri pinault, the CEO and chairman of Kering, announced that fur had been officially banned from the Autumn/Winter 2022 collections.
Valentino and Armani are the best luxury moments
Angora is a luxurious material that has been prized for its softness and lightness. It is not well-known that Angora rabbits are kept in farm facilities to have their hair removed. It begins at eight weeks of age and is repeated every few month. Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger had banned the use in their collections of the material, and now Valentino and Armani, luxury powerhouses, have done the same. This move is an important step towards ending this cruel practice.
Innovation Award: Gucci
Gucci has made sustainability a core pillar of their fashion house. In 2015 they announced a ten year plan to strengthen a culture based on purpose. They will reduce their environmental footprint by 40% by 2025, and create new eco-friendly sourcing methods, raw materials, and processes. Demetra is their in-house vegan leather made from 77% of raw, plant-based materials. This new textile took years of dedication to perfect and will be used for the brand’s signature accessories.
Best Vegan Bag: Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney, one of the UK’s most prominent environmentalists and queens of eco fashion, was no surprise to be honored at this year’s awards. Her label was the first to use sustainable materials and practices long before it was accepted. This includes Econyl, which is a fabric made of recycled plastic bottles. Or Koba, which is a sustainable faux fur made with 37% plant-based materials. She’s now experimenting with vegan mushroom leather and crafting the Frayme bag of the moment out of Mylo which is made using mycelium threads.
Ganni, Progress Award
Ganni, a Cult Copenhagen-based brand, has sustainability practices at its core. This includes their Re-Cut collection where they upcycled their most popular past season pieces to create a new capsule collection. Or their collaboration with Ahluwalia (sustainable London-based label), which saw them work closely together on a collection that reimagined Ganni’s surplus stock. The Danish brand decided to stop using leather due to its negative impact on the environment. Instead, they used vegan leather alternatives made from wine grapes.
House of Sunny: Best Wool-Free Knitwear
Since Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid were photographed in its iconic swirl-patterned knitted dresses, this cult east London label is a huge Instagram hit. This vegan brand is equally well-known for its eco credentials and its 70s-inspired designs. They only produce two collections per year, use eflow technology (a sustainable textile solution) to reduce water consumption up to 95%, and use no wool in their animal-free knitwear. Instead, they prefer man-made or recycled materials.
Ananas Anam and Nike receive the Collaboration Award
Sportswear brands are at the forefront in the sustainable fashion revolution. They are always looking for new materials and methods to use. Nike’s Happy Pineapple collaboration is a great example. It was forged with forward-thinking B Corp label Ananas Anam who makes Pinatex, an animal-free, natural textile made from pineapple leaf fibres. The material is sustainably sourced and cruelty-free and was used by Nike to make stylish, eco-friendly variations of some of their classic designs.
Best Vegan Shoes: Allkind
Although this British footwear brand was launched only last year, it already has a reputation for being one of the best luxury vegan options. Their shoes include a variety of styles, including stilettos and ankle boot style, as well as loafers and trainers. All are ethically made in Spain using cruelty-free materials. All of their shoes are made from 100% recycled material.
Oliver Co. London presents the Men’s Fashion Award
This accessories brand, based in London, was founded by Matt Oliver in 2017. It aims to create beautiful and functional products with as little impact on the environment as possible. Their accessories include wallets, card holders, laptop sleeves, and pouches. They use bio-based materials like apple leather, wood, organic cotton, and recycled fabrics. They are always looking for new ways to make the world a more circular economy. You can track back every ingredient in all their products so that you know exactly what you are buying.
Vegan Glow-Up: Adidas
Stan Smiths were first launched in 1965. Named after the great American tennis player, Stan Smiths are now one of Adidas’s most recognizable shoes. The sportswear brand has given the iconic design a vegan makeover and now offers a range of animal-free options. The classic design may still look the same but each pair has been completely redesigned to meet the brand’s promise to use recycled polyester by 2024. The upper of the shoe is made from vegan leather, while the sole is made from rubber waste.
Special Achievement Award: Elisabetta Franchi
The brand was the first to be fur-free in the fashion industry almost a decade ago, in 2012. It has since continued to lead the way in cruelty-free design, with leather-free collections being launched and completely eliminating the use of feathers and angora. Franchi, a Bologna-born designer, founded the foundation in 1995. It supports homeless animals around the globe and also builds a sanctuary for dogs that were rescued from Yulin dog-eating festivals in China.