“Younger generations in particular are driving the sustainability revolution”
London – Veganism is undoubtedly on the rise. While the subject was once restricted to conversations about food and diet, veganism has now made itself comfortable in almost every facet of society, with the issue of humans’ use of animal products making its way more and more onto the centre stage of fashion, and even branching out into the political sphere. This growth of veganism seems to be steady: Grand View Research reports that the global faux-leather market will be worth 58 billion pounds (74 billion US dollars) by 2025, while Global management-consultancy firm Bain & Company recently reported that ‘animal welfare’ stands out as the key criteria for consumers under 35. “Younger generations in particular are driving the sustainability revolution” Speaking to FashionUnited about the rise of veganism in recent years, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said that they were unsurprised by its boom in popularity, considering the animal-product alternatives which are readily available. “There’s an abundance of cruelty-free, natural materials to choose from – including innovative and unique ones like soya-bean fibre, bamboo, and leather made from pineapples, apples, and even wine (or rather, grapes),” the animal welfare group said. But how do vegan brands compete with an industry still dominated with non-vegan labels? Sitting modestly on Folkestone’s Old High Street, UK, Delicious California is a 100 percent vegan independent brand which proudly describes itself as ‘Ethical, original and fun’. FashionUnited spoke to Ewen Macaulay – the passionate owner of Delicious California, who runs the brand with his wife, Susanna – about the growth of the company, and the challenges they’ve faced along the way. He didn’t pull any punches: The rise of vegan fashion: Q&A with Delicious California How did the idea of the Delicious California label come about, and how quickly did it grow? ‘Delicious California’ is a lifestyle brand. I have always been in search of the ultimate fitted t-shirt with stylish and original design prints. I am an artist by trade and a graphic designer of 20 years. I love drawing graphics and I have a particular interest in ‘Board Art’ (which is Surfboard, Snowboard and Skateboard Art). I love the raw original designs. I’m also strongly influenced by Graffiti Art, Tattoo Art and Pin-Up Art. Back in 2009 I decided I wanted to design some of my own graphics for clothing – I didn’t want to simply have them printed onto t-shirts, so I figured I would create a name – an overarching brand or lifestyle name which people could relate to. So ‘Delicious California’ was born. For me, whether you have been to California or not, we all have an idea of California: palm trees, surfing, sunshine, fun, and cool people. So by buying a ‘Delicious California’ t-shirt you are buying a little bit of the fun and sun and bringing it into your life. Our strap-line is ‘Never A Dull Moment’. The rise of vegan fashion: Q&A with Delicious California Why do you think there’s been such […]
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Conservative political activist Candace Owens made false claims last month that Yeezy designer Kanye West was helping her design an anti-democratic clothing brand called Blexit, which would encourage black Democrats to turn Republican. West, who was notoriously conservative last month, now claims he wants nothing to do with the brand. He has since attempted to distance himself from politics, claiming that he has been “used” to promote ideology he does not agree with. Sadly for West, that won’t change how the public views the Yeezy brand. Fashion has throughout time always been used as a creative way to make a statement, but never has that been more true than it is in 2018 in an increasingly political climate. With more brands and figures like West coming out and making their political views known publicly, the logo on your shirt can say a lot more than you might want it to. Regardless of whether West supports or denounces Blexit, the damage has already been done by his very public political statements. Yeezys are now essentially synonymous with MAGA hats, and the same goes for Nike’s synonymy with Colin Kaepernick and democrats. In the case of Nike, the brand represents the opposing opinion to that of the currently unpopular Kanye West. Its outward political display had mixed effects in terms of public perception. Though Nike’s stock has done well since the initial Kaepernick ad was aired, there was a 34 percent decline in favorability after the ad, and that decline includes millenials and other key demographics for the brand, according to a study by Morning Consult interviewing over 8,000 Americans. Some say that Nike’s stance is an important step in political progression. “I feel like this Nike is like the Black Panther of our culture,” said Fear of God brand designer Jerry Lorenzo in a Complex news interview with John Mayer. “With Nike, you have somebody that understands culture and has the resources to have a significant effect on it.” Nike has not only the resources, but more importantly, the people in power that support them. Their overall favorability may be down at the moment, but their liberal supporters have increased significantly and Nike’s stock is expected to see continual growth in the next coming years. While Nike is positioning itself as the Black Panther as Lorenzo said, other brands like Yeezy and Jordan remain behind on social issues. Chicago’s own Chance the Rapper even called out Jordan for being negligent of social issues in Chicago, posting a meme replicating the Kaepernick “Just Do It” ad, with a picture of Jordan and the words “F*ck them Kids” written across his face. “With everything going on right now being so polarizing, I think Chance is really starting to prioritize making sure he’s doing the right thing for Chicago,” said local 90s fashion store owner John Agnello, who designed a shirt for Chance at the 2015 Grammys with a picture of none other than Michael Jordan on it. “Jordan has never been active […]
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A simple search of Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine on Google today will present an image of the artiste-turned-politician wearing a red beret. It is a headgear he adopted during the togikwatako campaign that dominated the biggest part of 2017. Then many of the MPs that were against the age cap removal had adopted red as the colour of choice. Yet Bobi Wine, on his part, instead of adopting the traditional round Igbo hat that many MPs wore, he had gone for a beret. One of the most famous photographs of Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara shows him wearing a black beret with a brass star; after his assassination in 1967, the image became iconic and so did the beret as a revolution symbol. Thus, Bobi Wine’s picture in a red beret was indeed not another attempt for the youthful leader to appear chic but a statement that channelled both Che and Burkinabe revolutionary Thomas Sankara’s spirits. Of course this was not the first time fabric, costume and colour became a message; Mobutu Sese Seko, the Democratic Republic of Congo dictator for 32 years had mastered the art of making animal print look cool on his head. There were allegations that even when his soldiers were too impoverished to protect his head, the tight-fitting hat was present on his top, which was said to represent authority as similar to that the animal enjoys in the jungle. In an interview with Huffington Post, Samuel Weidi, who works as a professional Mobutu impersonator, says that the hat is almost an identity of the dictator, though with the animal print “it almost feels as if the print’s power makes the wearer stand up a bit straighter”. While for South Africa’s freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, the leopard skin was a political stand during the 1962 trial. He was clearly representing himself as an African man in a White man’s court. It has also been widely believed that cultural leaders in the pre-colonial era dressed in skins of power like lion, leopard or tiger to emphasise their strength and drive fear among subjects. Politics of colour in Uganda During the pre-independence political era, new parties such as Democratic Party, Kabaka Yekka and Uganda National Congress aligned with colours they later identified with through their clothing. However, when President Museveni took over power, he instituted a non-party movement system of government though fashion politicking wasn’t done. Cloth and style continued to crop up on the political arena to drive perception or alliance, for instance, in the subsequent 1996 and 2001 elections, different aspirants especially in the central region had their campaign posters with pictures of them in attires deemed traditional like the busuuti for women and Kanzu for men, a practise that is common to date. According to fashion designer Ras Kasozi, clothing is one way people express themselves; “people express their emotions through what they decide to put on, it is one thing that creates our identity.” Fashion in a multi-party Uganda After a referendum […]
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