The Huffington Post announced 2016 as the year that veganism went mainstream. And it's true. The idea reached the tipping point and tipped. That was the year veganism went from being some fringe cow kissing weirdo thing, to.. a thing. Now it's a forever thing and going from strength to strength, especially in Australia. Whether you are a vegan or not, the great thing about trends igniting is the speed at which everyone engages and options broaden. And veganism is truly a trend on fire. Because it's not just about food. It's about collaboration, movement, community and goodness. As people discover that vegan food is not just a boring salad, veganism is also pushing the boundaries of fashion, body care, accessories and anything in our lives that use animal products. Vegans are no longer simply lettuce eating, anti fur demonstrators marching naked in the street on their way to protest against the circus.
It certainly helps that veganism makes great food porn for starters (and that it is most popular among millennial women who love instagram), but as more food companies - bakers, cafes, restaurants, food production & delivery get on board, either as full or part vegan, the options just keep on growing. VEGANS ARE GETTING SMARTER AT MAKING & MARKETING FOOD, WITH MANY NOW DESCRIBING THEIR FOOD AS 'PLANT BASED' RATHER THAN 'MEATLESS' OR RANTING ABOUT 'FLESH'. (IF YOU ARE GOING TO LURE A MEAT EATER TO TRY YOUR FOOD, SELL THE POSITIVES AND GET HIM COMING BACK FOR MORE RATHER THAN MAKING THE ACT OF EATING A PROTEST.)And it is pretty clear that veganism was starting to bite meat sales when the meat market started biting back, taking a few chunks out of the seemingly endless vegan tail by insisting they stop using the names of meat to describe their food. Some countries like France have even passed legislation about it. According to Euromonitor, Australia is the 3rd fastest growing vegan market in the world and The Food Revolution Network (from the Mintel Food and Drink Report), says that between 2014 and 2016, vegan food products launched in Australia rose by 92 per cent. Australia's relationship with animal products is definitely on the move.One of the most interesting areas of vegan product development is leather. There are now so many new leathers - some of which are closer to animal leather than others. If you want a vegan leather that is like an animal leather, try Pineapple leather or paper leather. This clutch by Bottega Veneta is made of Carta Giapponese - tightly woven washi derived from the bark of the fast-growing Japanese kozo tree.There are also plenty of cork, rubber, waxed cotton, teak leaves, agave plants, mushroom and even stone options around. The sophistication of non animal leathers continues to improve as people like Stella McCartney lead innovation in fashion and are making a real difference to options for materials in the production of non animal products around the world.The vegan options - both self certified and certified are clear on all products you find on ekko.world. Certifiers include Choose Cruelty Free (CCF), Leaping Bunny, Vegan Action, PETA, Vegan Society.Body care products are one of the quietest, but biggest areas for vegans, with literally thousands of beautiful vegan skin products now on the market.Images: Unsplash - Stoica Ionela / Gabriel Gurrola | Bottega Venata | Pinatex | Mokosh