Please see below our Q&A with Chantal from PASSION FOR THE PLANET...
Q&A: VEGAN HAPPY – CRUELTY-FREE FASHION
What is VEGAN Happy? In short, VEGAN happy is a range of subtle, stylish vegan clothing. We wanted to create beautiful, affordable, stylish and subtle vegan clothing, that you could pair with the rest of your wardrobe. Clothing that would spark a conversation but was subtle enough to be worn anywhere.
VEGAN Happy is perfect for the young and trendy and not out of place on the silver surfers.
The company was born because we were unable to find trendy and timeless clothes that any age could wear… so we set about creating them ourselves.
We are a small brand, and we LOVE what we do; spreading the vegan love, one garment at a time.
What inspired you to launch VEGAN Happy? It all started with a Beagle. Our gorgeous Beagle Poppy had an accident late at night and as we were recovering from this traumatic experience, I was pre-planning dinner for the next day in my head and suddenly and somehow a light switch was flicked… how could I be considering taking chicken out of the freezer when I treated another animal with such respect and care, and the chicken so carelessly?
By the next day, and after watching ‘What The Health’, both my husband and I were fully vegan. It took just hours to effect a change that should have happened 40 years earlier.
But we couldn’t find genuinely vegan versions of the sort of subtle stylish and classy clothes we wanted to wear, so we set about sourcing our own. Our vegan clothes can be worn by anyone, of any age, and can be paired with the rest of your wardrobe. We don’t make our own vegan clothing yet, but we will with your support. However, rest assured that all clothes are ethically sourced, many are PETA Approved, organic, Fair Wear or Fair Trade, and all are printed or embroidered with vegan inks and thread.
What are the issues that your range is helping to address? We felt that all the vegan clothing we could find had large slogans or even messaging that wasn’t appropriate to wear. It also risked offending people. But we were so passionate about being vegan, we still wanted to announce that we had finally seen the light. We wanted to wear our passion.
We heard that the best way to talk about veganism is to wear an item of clothing that can spark the conversation, so that’s what we did. We don’t see our clothing as vegan activism, but vegan evangelism, as it sparks conversations wherever you go.
Our range is designed for those vegans that want to advertise how proud they are to be vegan but in a more subtle way. Who want to wear subtle logos to meetings with a suit, on a gorgeous dress out for dinner with friends, or in the gym. Our clothing is perfect for anywhere, and our logos won’t overshadow your outfit.
By wearing a more subtle vegan logo, you are more likely to get approached by people genuinely interested in the vegan lifestyle and how they can make that change. Large slogans and messaging can put people off and we find that you are much more likely to get approached if you have subtle vegan messaging and a big smile on your face.
How does VEGAN Happy help the environment, people and wildlife? When we set out, we said we would give 10% or more of our profits to animal rescue, but in fact, in just over two years of business, we still haven’t taken a penny out for ourselves. We have reinvested some but mostly donated all available funds to animal rescue or deserving charities.
We are currently helping set up Baah-Land Sheep Therapy & Sanctuarywhich is close to us here in Worcestershire and have paid for their new rescues to have all their Lambivac innoculations and the whole herd, of over 100 sheep, to have their adult jabs. On top we have adopted quite a few of the animals and paid for a chunk of their winter food and we will continue to support them. We also designed and host their website for free to help them get off the ground.
Baah-Land is a smallholding that are struggling to get through winter so we are working with them closely to try and set something up much longer term that will be more sustainable for the animals.
We are also supporters of galgosdelsol.org which is an amazing charity that rescue Galgos and Podencos off the streets of Spain and rehabilitate and rehome them, a lot to the UK.
We also support so many other charities and rescues with stock contributions to their online auctions as they have been struggling so much this year.
And environmentally, saving the habitat for animals within this region, we are really proud to be part of onetribeglobal.com. Every subscriber to our website saves 3m2 of rainforest in Peru. This is how we are doing so far: onetribeglobal.com/brand-pages/vegan-happy/
As we go forward, we will soon need to start paying ourselves something, but animal rescue and sanctuaries continue to be our focus, and raising money for those causes.
How does VEGAN Happy stack up against its not-so-animal-friendly competitors? Currently we source our products from ethical manufacturers; a lot of our items are PETA Approved, WRAP Certified, Fair Wear and Fair Trade, but the next step is for us to make our own, which is hugely exciting! This isn’t a short process as we need to make sure who we align which is perfect for us for the long-haul and that their beliefs fit ours.
We are currently researching ethical manufacturers and aim to have our full range launching in 2022 completely organic and also include some bamboo items as we love the super-soft feel it brings to a garment.
My one particularly tricky task (but I accept the tough challenge) is to try to develop a puffa jacket made of cotton fabrics, that is completely waterproof and can still be marketed at a reasonable price.
We will do a lot of the designing of the new range ourselves, as despite being a silver surfer myself, I still believe I have edge and love looking good wherever I go. I definitely have my own style, but I want our range to be on-trend (but not a slave to fashion) yet timeless and will create pieces around that vibe. We will consult outside designers with regards to colours to make our range more cohesive and on-colour trend for that season. Super exciting times ahead!
VEGAN Happy’s ultimate dream and goal? Our ultimate dream is to walk down the street and see someone wearing our clothes. We hope to grow hugely, help many more animals along the way, build a VEGAN Happy community, and help share the vegan love through wearing our clothes and sparking the vegan conversation wherever you go.
Where can we buy/find out more in UK? Currently you can buy VEGAN Happy directly from the website at veganhappyclothing.co.uk
We are also part of crazy-bean.com which is an amazing marketplace where vegan and ethical brands can sell their products easily. Krissi the owner of Crazy-Bean has set this up to help more start up vegan brands get out there and start selling easily.