James&Co is a follower and great fan of The Flaming Vegan blog. It is indeed as it describes itself – a Vegan and Vegetarian Blogging Extravaganza.
So we share with you the story from The Flaming Vegan about the entrepreneurial holistic vegan retail store The Imperative in Toronto. The title of the story ‘Vegan Your Lifestyle, Not Just Your Diet’ encapsulates our theory and the purpose of our blog too.
Living the vegan lifestyle in clothing means observing 4 basic principles: no wool, no silk, no leather, no fur.
James&Co is in the niche of womens vegan outerwear but as our blog develops we’ll be covering ranges of brands and styles that are crueltyfree, vegan, sustainable, ethical.
The vegan market is growing globally and one thing we’ve noticed in our sphere is increasing use of the term ‘vegan’ replacing ‘faux’. Vegan leather, vegan suede. It’s important to know that the term doesn’t actually indicate that the brand itself is vegan and only does cruelty-free clothing. So many of the large brands using it also do real leather and suede in the collections.
A call-out then to check behind a label of ‘vegan’ for whether the brand itself is vegan. You may want to re-consider buying a vegan-labelled item if the brand also sells non-vegan clothing.
In the outerwear market, James&Co is one of very few that are actually a vegan brand.
Please share any information you’d like us to share about living the vegan lifestyle!
As a brand specialising in women’s vegan outerwear, there are 3 questions our James&Co vegan brand often gets asked.
1. By using alternative fabrics to real leather, suede and fur isn’t the brand really promoting the look of the real fabrics and so doing nothing to encourage people to reject the real thing and choose crueltyfree?
This is not a new question by any means and there are some who feel very strongly that being vegan means not wearing anything that looks like it comes from an animal. Largely because observers can’t tell whether it’s real or not and so it is not promoting the anti-animalskin message.
There are some who make a difference between faux leather and suede and faux fur. While the former may be acceptable, faux fur is still not. The real fur option is extremely cruel and many large brands still use it and promote the jackets and coats as ‘luxury items’. Some major retailers have also been found to mislabel real fur as faux fur. Faux fur which is not easy to distinguish from real fur therefore promotes fur rather than making a stand against it.
‘for people who want the look of real fur, faux fur can be a good alternative. ..[but] if you ever have any doubts about whether an item contains real or faux fur, the best choice is to avoid it altogether.
We understand and respect that many people choose not to purchase any faux-fur or faux-leather products, as they don’t want to promote the fashion. For those who do wear fakes, PETA has pins and stickers to help people make it clear that their jackets and other items weren’t made from animals.
James&Co recently posted it’s new faux fur jacket on Facebook and it led to a very length discussion between those on the one hand who totally rejected the concept of wearing fake fur and those on the other hand who viewed that wearing fake fur was not a rejection of veganism and was an acceptable alternative.
Other comments viewed it from the same perspective as Peta and recommended James&Co should put an indicator on the outside of the faux fur jacket that it was not genuine fur. Valid comment which we will adopt for future releases.
So our answer to the question is in the same vein as Peta. The jacket styles such as bomber jackets and moto jackets in leather and suede are entrenched in the apparel industry. James&Co vegan brand promote alternatives for the real fabric and all our messaging advocates crueltyfree. Our tagline of ‘Style With Conscience’ highlights that our jackets and coats are for women who want to make a difference without sacrificing their style.
2. What is that makes James&Co any different from other brands selling ‘faux’ products described as ‘vegan’?
An interesting development over recent years is the use of ‘vegan’ instead of ‘faux’ as a descriptor. Vegan leather, vegan suede instead of faux leather, faux suede.
What needs to highlighted is that using ‘vegan’ as a description is not a description of the product’s brand. Is it a synonym for ‘faux’ and a description of the product’s fabric.
James&Co vegan brand did some research into leading brands advertising their faux leather and suede products as ‘vegan’. And what we found was that nearly all – one relatively new brand being the exception – usually sold real leather and suede products. This comparison chart shows the outcome.
The website tagged as ‘The World’s Largest Vegan Store’ Unicorn also distinguishes the brands which are vegan brands and those which are not. James&Co is naturally identified as a vegan brand.
So the answer to the second question is that James&Co is Peta-approved Vegan. Our jackets and coats are not just labelled ‘vegan’. We are an authentic vegan brand. We are also a Business Friend of Peta and and sell in good company on the PetaMall. And you can get a 20% discount on our products with the Discount Code PETA20.
3. I can buy faux, vegan, or pleather jackets cheaper than a James&Co one. Why is your price higher than those?
It is an unpalatable fact that prices are often low because the products have been manufactured in factories in countries that pay no heed to human or industrial rights. There are inspiring movements aiming to better the conditions for the workers such as the Alliance For Bangladesh Worker Safety and increasingly large organisations require that companies from whom they buy products must operate under a Supplier Code of Conduct.
James&Co jackets and coats are manufactured by a family factory in Sialkot, Pakistan. Adeel Mukhtar is the owner of the company Mukhtar&Sons. We have a James&Co Supplier Code of Conduct which Adeel complies with. The James&Co owner and Chair of the Board have been to the factory and met with the workers and satisfied ourselves that all is ethical and compliant. We thoroughly enjoyed the visit and will return.
You can see more about our manufacturing in this video.
So the answer to the third question is that some of our prices may be higher because James&Co vegan brand doesn’t sacrifice the ethics of legal and humane treatment of workers for lower costs.
We’d love to get your comments on any of the above.