A Sudden Interest in Leather Alternatives

By Arti, age 19, Ontario

These days it seems like everyone wants to be green and eco-friendly. From organic fabric used for our favourite cardigans, or even a new bag that yells not plastic, fashion and "being green" has suddenly adapted to the same level. Yet there is another trend hitting today's market, and both with being green and making a fashion statement it concerns a higher moral issue - faux and vegan leather.

For me it was always faux leather. Even though price played a huge impact, the smell and somewhat of a guilt feeling struck me. I have been a vegetarian for years now, and I thought to myself, if I am not eating the animal, why should I be wearing it?

A few years back, it seemed like when I wanted to try something eco-friendly or to see if the idea of not wearing leather was promoted by popular fashion magazines or websites I was turned down. Now I feel as if there's an overflow. Countless organic denim jeans, over-the-top fake fur and skin accessories, green-friendly makeup products, and now vegan-leather boots have come my way.

But trends are just trends, right? It's as if we are in the eco-buzzed fashion stage because the fashion industry suddenly supports it. At the same time, however, consumers are finally more aware of what really goes into their product.

But being vegan-fashionable is not as easy as it sounds. I can tell myself I will go 100% vegan and faux but there are tiny, detailed facts about the leather industry that are always hidden. Animal based products can be found in glue and dyes, even if the product is not real leather. Then there is production which also affects human health.

I interviewed Kelly Twomey, who created which promotes the idea of vegan lifestyle and fashion. She sells a variety of vegan and leather alternative fashions and accessories she receives worldwide.

"Producing leather is also an extremely wasteful [and] environmentally harmful process that involves a lot of toxic chemicals and creates an enormous amount of pollution," Twomey said.

It's easy to say we don't want animals to be slaughtered voluntarily for our own use or tanned with chemicals to look better, but if leather can suddenly represent your class and wealth, animals don't often come into the picture.

Twomey, however, won't give up and still believes that people can change. "Fashion trends will always change, but the more people gain knowledge on the horrifying conditions of the animal industry and the environmentally damage caused by producing leather, the more people will choose for alternatives to leather."

Feel free to visit Kelly's website,

This article continues in next month's issue with my interview with Kelly Twomey.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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