There’s no shortage of vegan cookbooks on the market but when it comes to vegan style, you have to do a little more legwork to find all the information you need. Until now that is! Sascha Camilli is a journalist, fashion editor and dedicated vegan who’s put together the ultimate guide to vegan style. Over 240 beautifully laid out pages, this vegan style bible covers fashion, beauty, home and travel. Whether you’re a vegan from way back or you’re new to the pathway, it’s a fantastic guide to living a kinder life. We caught up with Sascha to ask her a little about her own journey so far.
Author, Sascha Camilli
What inspired you to write the book?
Since going vegan I’ve discovered so many amazing books on vegan living. But all of them were about food and recipes. As my background is in the fashion industry, I spotted a gap in the market. I wanted to write a book that was both informative and inspirational – a guide with handy tips on vegan fashion, cruelty-free beauty, conscious travel and more. I wanted to send the message that vegan fashion can be chic, luxurious and joyful.
When did you become vegan?
As soon as I realised what meat was, I knew I didn’t want to take part in that. But for a long time, I was under the impression that there was no other way. It wasn’t until I met a vegetarian that I learned that it’s possible to live without meat. I gave it up at 11. Whenever I came across veganism as a teenager, I was instantly curious, but once again I thought it would be too hard – that I would never be able to go out to dinner again! In my late 20s I read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, which is absolutely heart breaking. I was never quite the same after that. I made the transition – a slow, gradual transition – seven years ago, and I’ve never looked back.
What has changed in your life since you made the decision?
So much. On a physical level, I sleep better, have clearer skin and more energy. Mentally and spiritually, I feel like every choice I make is a small act of social justice, which is a powerful feeling. Also, veganism has brought me onto a whole new career path – I have gone from a mainstream fashion journalist to launching the world’s first digital vegan fashion magazine (Vildamagazine.com), doing public speaking and now releasing a book on vegan fashion!
What do you think is the hardest part of being vegan when it comes to your wardrobe?
I don’t think shopping vegan is hard – it’s more easy and accessible than it’s ever been. We’re lucky to be living in this time as vegans and conscious consumers. But one thing that can be hard is being certain that what you are buying is definitely vegan.
Who inspires you in the fashion world?
Stella McCartney. She is constantly outspoken about animals and the environment, and she is an inspiration to many people by being a style icon. She’s a huge role model for me.
Which vegan brands are you loving right now?
I love Dauntless – a New York brand making what I and many other consider the holy grail of vegan fashion: vegan leather biker jackets! I also love Beyond Skin, one of the very first vegan fashion brands. Another favourite is Alexandra K, a handbag brand from Poland that is really pioneering in the materials they use.
What is your favourite piece for winter?
A few seasons ago I was very lucky to work with Australian brand Unreal Fur, who make a gorgeous range of faux furs. I was gifted one of the coats from the shoot, and it’s hands-down the most popular garment in my wardrobe.
How would you change the fashion biz if you got a chance?
If I were in charge, the fur industry would be out of the window. It’s quite safe to say that in the next few years, it will be dead anyway. Some of the most fur-loving brands of the past, such as Gucci, Versace and Jean Paul Gaultier, are now fur-free. The city of Los Angeles has banned the sale and production of fur, and New York is looking to introduce a similar ban. Fur is on its way to the history books where it belongs.
How do you think the image of ‘compassionate shopping’ is changing in recent times?
The image of vegan fashion has been completely overhauled in the last few years – when I first started Vilda, people wouldn’t even know what I meant when I said that the magazine was about vegan fashion. “What do you mean, vegan fashion? Can you eat the clothes?”. A few short years later, we have Hugo Boss making shoes from pineapple leather, brands like Chanel and Burberry announcing proudly that they will no longer use fur, H&M working with pineapple leather and orange silk – we even have a Vegan Fashion Week. The past few years have absolutely defined the concept of vegan fashion, and I’m so happy to be a part of it!
Vegan Style by Sascha Camilli is available now (Murdoch Books, $35). See murdochbooks.com.au