Why I Don't Wear "Vegan" Tee-Shirts
Remember when everyone in high school wore Hollister shirts? And jeans? And tote bags? You couldn't miss them- the logo was on every piece of clothing. And everyone looked the same. As in, they all looked like walking billboards that didn't get paid for their time. The sole purpose of wearing a logo shirt or pants (like "PINK" on ass of the highly coveted Victoria's Secret sweats- gag me) is to serve as a platform for further advertising the brand or message.
That is how I feel about all these tee-shirts yelling "Vegan!" making the rounds. Let's cut to the chase: I think they're tacky. And tasteless. And in your face. I am a vegan, and therefore understand the value in educating others on this fabulous lifestyle we lead.
Let's get one thing straight though- no one likes or learns from something being pushed in their face. It's off-putting.
I have been just as successful spreading the message of veganism in what I wear and what I eat when I'm with others and just through informal conversation. I own one blingy bracelet that says "Vegan", that's it. And I rarely wear it.
I can't tell you how many compliments I get on my purse or my shoes that open the doors to meaningful conversation about veganism.
"Oh I love your bag!" a stranger says.
I reply "Thanks so much! It's actually vegan and not real leather!"
Simple as that.
If I am going to buy something with my hard-earned money, I'm going to choose an aesthetically pleasing functional piece over a message tee any day. Just because every other vegan on Instagram wants to feel part of the "community" by wearing an ugly sweatshirt with some ridiculous saying about veganism on it doesn't mean you have to also to be a part of the movement.
If I see one more person starting a "clothing line" with just tee-shirts and sweatshirts that have text on them about being vegan I'm going to throw up. They are missing the point!!!!
I never considered logo or message tees fashionable. They don't flatter you, and if anything they take away from your overall sense of style. Do you see Stella McCartney running around in a tee-shirt with messaging on the cruelties of leather? I didn't think so. Yet she is one of the most celebrated designers who produces exquisite vegan leather accessories and is synonymous with sustainable fashion.
What do you do with free swag (namely, logo tee-shirts) you receive at festivals, fairs or functions? If it's lucky, I sleep in it. If I need to do laundry, I might wear it to the gym. But I don't consider it part of my wardrobe at large.
My veganism doesn't define me, but it informs the choices I make.
I didn't buy into wearing a Hollister shirt then and I'm not buying into a "Vegan" shirt now.