Here are our top eco swaps for Veganuary, perfect for anyone who wishes to step up as an environmentally friendly buyer in the new year, without compromising on quality.
Whether you’re in a co-working space soundtracked by trendy playlists, or an enormous corporate office replete with expensive furnishings, the outfit you wear to work is your first statement-of-intent for the new year, and it all starts with the shoes. If you want to look serious whilst still confident of your clothes’ ethics, these Derby shoes are the way to go.
For a slightly less formal style, these vegan loafers, also produced by NAE (which stands for No Animal Exploitation), show off the brand’s distinctive taste. NAE utilises PET (plastic sourced from recycled bottles) and natural materials including cork and pineapple.
Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather does away with subtlety in its dealings with the leather industry (which is valued at $400 billion and kills 1 billion animals per year). These classic ankle boots' leather-substitute material uses apple fibre that was developed by Frumat and won the 2018 Technology and Innovation Award at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards. Its quality is clearly on show here, as these boots don’t require ‘wearing in’.
In stark contrast to the classic styles above, BeFlamboyant’s Sand trainers – other colours include Water, Ocean, Leopard and Wine – are sharply modern in design, as is appropriate for this distinctive brand, that plants a tree in areas affected by wildfires for each pair sold. The inner lining is produced without CO2 emissions, and comes free of chromium VI, a potentially carcinogenic chemical found in various high street brands.
No suit is complete without a belt, so Watson & Wolfe’s vegan leather belt is a godsend for any conscientious business man; the belt’s base layer is made from inedible, renewably sourced corn, whilst the top layer is made from a hard-wearing material that will ensure the belt’s appearance looks great for years to come.
It’s hard to argue with the classic cool of a black leather rucksack, but thankfully we stock a variety of indistinguishable vegan leather alternatives, with the particularly impressive, velvet-lined Brinn Revolver. Brinn backpacks’ roguish aesthetic and no-nonsense design makes them a great choice for any discerning creative.
Rather than substituting your leather-strapped watch for an imitator, we encourage you to swap it for a state-of-the-art alternative; Solios’ Eco Solar Watch only needs 2 hours of sunlight for 6 months’ use; if battery watches make the switch, an estimated 300 million fewer batteries per year could be produced. The watch comes with an interchangeable, highly durable and recyclable strap, unlike the standard leather replacement of polyurethane.
In contrast to Brinn’s designs, Gunas’ robust work bags are more appropriate for those who want to bring a little flair into the office. Named after the Vegan activist and artist, Gunas’ Moby Work Bag combines compressed paper, mulberry leaves, cotton and glazing to form a product with all the strength of leather, and none of its moral dubiousness.
For those looking for a professional bag that edges closer to chic than brawn, take a look at Lo’s First Edition Mulberry Briefcase, influenced by 160 years of leather expertise, but using a noticeably lighter vegan substitute. Designed to pack a 13” MacBook in the main compartment, and to be carried in hand or over the shoulder with its detachable shoulder strap.
Yes, shampoo comes in bar-form too! With this swap all of the palm oil mixed into supermarket shampoos and the plastic of their bottles disappears, replaced with a sustainable, cruelty-free product, made with Aloe Vera and Mango Butter, and good for all hair types.
The cruelties of unethically sourced shaving products are not limited to deforestation and pollution; there’s also the harm done to man! Rashes, inflammation, dry skin, all of these can come as the unwelcome aftermath of a shave. Thankfully, Neighbourhood Botanicals Big Strong Man Strengthening Facial Oil deals with any of these issues, leaving your face relaxed, fragrant and protected throughout the day.
If the woes of dry – or simply cold – January are getting to you, we recommend a fuller stress-relief; Peak & Meadow’s Relaxing Salt Soak will pack your bath with revitalising minerals (ideal for aching muscles or troubled skin) and refreshing fragrance. Though non-ethical products can legally be described as natural with a mere 1% of natural ingredients, Peak & Meadow’s focus is on sourcing and using large quantities of the most effective, ethically sourced natural ingredients; this soak uses Dead Sea salt, an ingredient whose use goes back to ancient Egyptian times.
For even more great Veganuary Swaps for Men, visit our Veganuary Men’s edit.
Cover image by Gunas
For articles like this in your inbox, sign up to our newsletter, and get 10% off your first purchase too.