As a vegan or vegetarian, you are always consciously thinking of what’s in your kitchen, but what about the rest of your home — in your wardrobe, in your make up bag, even in your decor? As Marie Kondo, author of The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up and the genius behind the “KonMari Method” says, “Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.” So to state the obvious, if you are vegetarian or vegan and want to have a truly, completely cruelty-free lifestyle then you must only surround yourself with, and wear things that aspire to the compassionate life that you want to live and that speak to your beliefs. This post will show you how to apply the principles in The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up in this more compassionate way while upping your vegan fashion game.
To live a cruelty-free life you must only surround yourself with things that aspire to a compassionate lifestyle.Click To Tweet
What Is The KonMari Method?
Just in case you haven’t heard of the mega successful book, The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, I will break it down for you. As the title suggests, the book focuses on the life changing benefits of decluttering your home using the author’s unique process called the KonMari Method. The KonMari Method goes like this:
- Tidy all at once.
- Visualize your end goal.
- Identity why you want to live the way you envision.
- Determine if each item “sparks joy” (you’ve likely heard this popular sentiment before!)
- Tidy by category, not location.
- Tidy and declutter in the right order: clothes, then books, then papers and then miscellany. For the purposes of cruelty-free decluttering we will just be focusing on the clothes and miscellany (which in this case is beauty and decor). But for now, this post will be focusing on clothes and accessories. You can read the post on cruelty-free decor here.
- Discard (recycle, donate, etc.) before placing things back.
When I read this book from the perspective of a vegan, I immediately made a connection between Marie Kondo’s rule of only keeping things that spark joy and the importance that I personally place on only owning items that are true to my beliefs; which are to only eat, wear, and own products that do not contribute to the suffering of animals (i.e. are cruelty-free and/or vegan). This inspired me to create a new way that vegans and vegetarians alike can apply the principles in The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up within the context of a cruelty-free lifestyle.
How To Use The KonMari Method To Up Your Vegan Fashion Game
The golden (and perhaps the most widely known) rule in of the KonMari Method in The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up is to only keep items that bring you joy and discard the ones that do not. But unlike the original KonMari Method, this “veganized” version will go beyond the simple question of, “Does this spark joy?” to help you determine if an item is not only true to your personal style, but to your beliefs. Items that don’t align with your ethics will only subconsciously conflict with what you know is right in your heart of hearts and cause you guilt, which is the opposite of joy!
Find Your ‘Why’
Why are you vegetarian or vegan, or why do you want to make the lifestyle change to become one? How will you feel when you’re living a completely cruelty-free lifestyle? How will your life look? Consider this quote from Marie Kondo: “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” How do you want to live your life? What do you have to let go of in order to achieve it?
“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” – Marie Kondo
Once you answer these questions completely and honestly (feel free to write them out if that’s your style!) you are ready to examine your belongings and determine if each item contributes to, or detracts from the lifestyle that you want to have.
The KonMari Method: Does The Item Spark Joy?
As I said before, the most important takeaway that Ms.Kondo drives home to her readers of The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up is to always be asking yourself if an item “sparks joy”; So to reexamine the KonMari Method from a cruelty-free perspective, we will be honing in and expanding on this broad question with a series of more pointed guiding questions that will help you determine if an item aligns with your beliefs and most importantly, if it is vegan…
Guiding Questions: Clothes & Accessories
1. Is it cruelty-free (i.e. does it contain animal materials)? If so, can I find an alternative? (Yes, you can!)
2. Does it align with my personal beliefs and ethics?
3. Gut check: Does this item bring me happiness or guilt?
4. Does it make me feel confident when I wear it?
5. Is it comfortable, and does it fit properly? If not, can it be altered?
6. Is it versatile within my wardrobe (i.e. can I wear it with a majority of the other pieces in my wardrobe)?
7. Does it fit within my colour palette?
8. Does this colour suit me?
9. Am I only holding onto this because it is expensive or has sentimental value?
10. Have I worn this in the last calendar year (i.e. over the course of all four seasons)?
If your item contains fabric or materials from animals and failed to meet the standards of your Guiding Questions then you should say goodbye to it (i.e. resell, donate, recycle or give it away to a friend) to make room for the items in your life that do make the cruelty-free cut.
Pro Tip: Virtually any textile item can be recycled (from fabric scraps, to pillow covers, to old blankets). A quick Google search can help you find facilities that recycle fabric and textiles in your area, or you can simply toss ’em in a bag and drop them off at any H&M store to be recycled through their international garment collecting initiative (Bonus: you get a $5 coupon for every visit!)
For a guide on which fabrics and materials are vegan and which ones you should avoid, download this checklist that includes the Guiding Questions outlined above by clicking the button below:
Vegan Fashion Shopping Resources
It’s easier than you think to find clothing and accessories that are not only vegan, but just as aesthetically pleasing as their counterpart; So your wardrobe can reflect your compassionate values without sacrificing your personal style. Thankfully, more and more retailers are beginning to carry clothing that is free of animal byproducts yet also beautiful and affordable. Here are some of my faves:
- ASOS: One of my favourite online stores for everything from clothes to shoes; They have a wide selection of vegan fashion, including alternatives to leather and suede, and also wool-free coats.
- Vaute: The epitome of stylish, high-end vegan clothing, Vaute has an beautiful collection of down-free coats and chic sweaters that are fashionable alternatives to wool and cashmere. Canadian readers should take note: their coats are touted as “shockingly warm”, so you know they’re designed to withstand brutal Canadian winters, making them a worthy competitor to the cruel brand, Canada Goose. Bonus: Vaute’s products are eco-conscious and they use recycled and organic fibres whenever possible.
- BB Dakota: I am obsessed with BB Daoka’s huge cruelty-free selection of pleather, faux fur, and faux suede clothing in a wide variety of cuts and styles. Their expansive vegan fashion collection of jackets, dresses, skirts, and leggings are stunning yet surprisingly affordable, and are made with high quality craftsmanship for a super luxe feel.
- French Connection: My go-to brand for high-quality vegan leather skirts with a designer feel (like this gorgeous pencil skirt).
- Topshop: They have an impressive selection of stylish, wool-free coats that look just as stylish and high-end as their counterparts. Confession: I love them so much that I own two of their petite crombie coats in camel and grey.
- Cupcakes and Cashmere: Cupcakes and Cashmere’s eponymous online shop has got your back with a surprisingly frequent selection of vegan fashion from jackets to skirts, to vegan leather leggings in pleather and faux suede (which are as stylish as the founder, Emily Shuman herself). One of my all-time favourite pieces I own from her line are these Liliana Vegan Leather Leggings.
- Matt and Nat: Their shoe collection is ever-evolving and features simple styles that are super mod yet timeless in their minimal design.
- Lulu’s: If you’re looking for a cheaper, more affordable option when shopping for vegan shoes, Lulu’s has a wide selection of different styles from heels to sandals, to boots.
- Matt and Nat: A mainstay in my closet, Matt and Nat is my one-stop-shop for everyday tote bags and crossbody bags, but also special occasion handbags like clutches and even briefcases for toting my laptop to and from the office (or coffee shop!)
- Angela Roi
- Stella McCartney
- Jill Milan
- Nella Bella
- Mary Point
- Alexandra K
- Denise Roobol
Vegan Fashion: My Picks
Twill Ponte Coat in ‘Nude’ from Topshop
Curly Faux Fur Coat in ‘Cream’ from Topshop
Filomena Faux Leather Mini Skirt from French Connection
‘Radisson’ Pumps in ‘Black’ from Matt & Nat
‘Jolicoeur’ Pumps in ‘Black’ from Matt & Nat
‘Hope’ Crossbody Bag from Matt & Nat
Dwell Collection ‘Baxter’ Tote in ‘Black’ from Matt & Nat
Haddie Faux Fur Coat in ‘Ivory’ from BB Dakota
Jen Faux Suede Dress in ‘Black’ from BB Dakota
Gertrude Faux Suede Jumpsuit in ‘Black’ from BB Dakota
Jenina Faux Suede Skirt in ‘Camel’ from BB Dakota
Gabrielle Faux Leather Jacket in ‘Black’ from BB Dakota
The Aran Sweater in ‘Cloud’ from Vaute
To recap, when using the KonMari Method vegan-style, the key is to find your ‘why’ and answer the Guiding Questions honestly when decluttering your wardrobe to determine if each item truly “sparks joy” and brings you closer to the cruelty-free lifestyle that you aspire to.
For a more in-depth guide on vegan fabrics and a handy printable of the Guiding Questions, download the Vegan KonMari Method For Your Wardrobe Checklist by clicking the button below:
I wish you luck on your cruelty-free decluttering journey! When you complete it, share your results in the comment section below. What is your ‘why’? What did you get rid of on the way to your cruelty-free lifestyle? How did you feel after decluttering your wardrobe using this method?
Stay tuned for more posts in this Vegan KonMari series, including how to use the KonMari Method to declutter your beauty products. In the mean time, learn how to declutter your home decor.