With consumers becoming more and more concerned about the origins of the products that they buy - pleather, faux fur and other cruelty-free fabrics are more popular than ever - and everyone from high-street retailers such as H&M and Topshop to top designers Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney are meeting consumers' demand for animal-free fashion.
Now, PETA – with the help of judges Sadie Frost and Meg Mathews – is recognising the best cruelty-free contributions to the fashion world in the first-ever PETA-Approved Vegan Fashion Awards. The awards mark the launch of PETA's new logo, which designers and retailers can use to identify vegan clothes and accessories that they sell online or in stores.
"My two greatest passions are fashion and helping animals, so I was thrilled when PETA asked me to help judge their fashion awards", says Frost, the founder of popular fashion and lingerie line Frost French. "It's phenomenal how many retailers and top designers are using pleather, micro-suede and faux cashmere in their collections, and the quality is amazing. The new fabrics are kinder not only to animals but also to the environment. So with ethical consumerism on the rise – and its increasing importance to young people – retailers need to respond by using compassionately produced materials if they don't want to be left behind."
The winners include Vivienne Westwood for Most Stylish Handbag, Ted Baker for Most Stylish Men's Bag, Stella McCartney for Most Stylish Women's Shoes and H&M for Most Stylish Men's Shoes.
Other retailers to take home prizes include Topshop, New Look, AllSaints and Burton. Bo Carter – known for her bright, playful designs and her refusal to use fur or leather – picked up the award for Most Talented New Designer.
For more information and to see all the winners, please visit PETAApprovedFashion.org.uk.