Before we know whether vegan fashion is really environmentally friendly, it is important to understand the meaning of the word vegan. Being vegan means excluding all animal products from your diet and adopting an animal-friendly lifestyle. No more fish, meat, eggs, honey, milk... All these foods are replaced by proteins of plant origin.
Does the vegan diet have a lower environmental impact than an omnivorous diet?
The positive aspects of veganism
- The meat and dairy industry is highly polluting as it uses large amounts of water, land, fossil fuels, and produces greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of pollution. The industry is also responsible for 91% of deforestation in the Amazon and is the main cause of biodiversity loss on earth. By eating vegan, we can significantly reduce the ecological footprint of our food. In fact, it is considered the least polluting diet.
- More than 1.1 billion animals are slaughtered each year in France, not including fish and aquatic life. More than 80% of these animals come from industrial farms. It is also important to underline the deplorable conditions under which these animals are raised: genetic manipulation, unbearable living conditions, stress and mutilation before transport and slaughter. Being vegan means consuming more ethically and with respect for the animal.
The limits of veganism
- From an ecological point of view, some studies show that vegan consumption is not 100% ecological. Plant production also requires water consumption. Although this is less than for meat production, it is still significant.
- A vegan diet can become dangerous for your health if it is not accompanied by the right kind of diet. The lack of animal protein has to be replaced by vegetable protein. This trend is sometimes misunderstood or mismanaged, and many people are not aware of the equivalents.
What about the brands?
The vegan label, which you can find on many fashion and cosmetic products, is a term that is currently neither mandatory nor regulated by law. There is no law prohibiting the creation of its own "vegan" pictogram, which often leads to abuse of language or misleading advertising. However, there are European associations or official agencies that are recognised by consumers. Vegan certification from these organisations is not free, but it guarantees the consumer that the food is vegan from the field to the plate. It is important to always look at what the vegan label means, what its specifications are and how it tracks its certifications.
It is also important to underline that buying and consuming vegan does not systematically mean that the products are eco-responsible, ecological or healthy for our body and the environment. In cosmetics, for example, a product can be vegan, without animal origin, but contain substances that are not very clean such as silicones or parabens.
Adapting a vegan lifestyle has many positive aspects for the planet and our bodies. However, we need to redefine veganism in all its aspects and not just focus on food in order to adopt a more ecological and healthy lifestyle. It is therefore possible to be vegan without systematically adopting responsible behaviour.
That's why at Zèta, we are committed to offering you vegan products but not only: all our shoes are made of recycled and recyclable materials. We have also limited the number of intermediaries in the production chain, stopped deliveries outside of Europe, while making sure to remain as transparent as possible.