Peta, the charitable organisation dedicated to protecting the rights of all animals, has unveiled the winners of its inaugural UK Vegan Fashion Awards, which aims to highlight designs and brands that lead the way with accessible and chic animal-friendly fashions.
The awards, judged by celebrity designers Sadie Frost and Meg Mathews, honoured catwalk designers including Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney, as well as high street names such as H&M and Topshop for their “cruelty-free contributions to the fashion world”.
Vivienne Westwood, who swore off fur in 2007, was honoured for designing the ‘Most Stylish Handbag’ for her Derby bag, while Stella McCartney, who is famed for her committed to using “fabrics that don’t bleed” won the ‘Most Stylish Women’s Shoes’ award for her faux-python pumps.
Retailers to pick up awards included Ted Baker for ‘Most Stylish Men’s Bag’, H&M took the ‘Most Stylish Men’s Shoes’ category for its imitation suede boots, while New Look scooped the ‘Most Stylish Women’s Outerwear’ award and Topshop pick up the ‘Most Stylish Women’s Knitwear’ for its cream and lime jumper.
There were also awards for AllSaints, Burton, Adidas by Stella McCartney, French Connection, River Island, and Floozie by Frost French. There was also a special award for emerging designer Bo Carter, who was named Peta’s ‘Most Talented New Designer’ for her refusal to use fur or leather in her bright, playful designs.
To honour the recipients and mark the first awards, Peta has created a new logo, which designers and retailers can use to identify vegan clothes and accessories that they sell online or in stores, so that consumers can find animal-friendly fashion.
Commenting on the awards, Frost, the founder of fashion and lingerie line Frost French, said: "My two greatest passions are fashion and helping animals, so I was thrilled when PETA asked me to help judge their fashion awards.
"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."
Image: Vivienne Westwood Derby Bag