Here are my top 10 finds for May 2011 in no particular order. I hope you love them as much as I do :).
This stripe bag from Melie Bianco is the bag for Spring/Summer 2011; it’s the perfect size to tote your stuff to the beach or to carry all you need for a busy day of running errands. It comes in 3 bold colors: turquoise, lime & fuchsia and can be worn as either a top handle shoulder bag or as a cross body bag with its über stylish chain strap. The Lexi Strip Carry All is only one of the many affordable cruelty-free bags from Melie Bianco’s ultra chic SS11 collection.
Vancouver based Native Shoes had me with their slip style. However their slip on quality is not the only thing that makes them awesome. They’re made from a light weight foam injected EVA which is washable, odor resistant, vegan, eco-friendly and antimicrobial. They also come in 4 oh so casual styles in a plethora of bold bright colors. However if bold and bright is not your thing they also come in some more conservative mute colors.
Pretty Raccoon/Better Stay Together was started in Toronto in 2005 by Andrea Winkler. My favorite part of her vast line is her collection of bold graphic print tops for both men & women. Each print is hand silk screened either on one of a kind handmade tops or on various styles of tops from American Apparel. Andrea’s awesome graphic prints consist of owls, deers, bows, horses, chandeliers, eagles and much much more.
The “Zoetrope” lace up boots from Everyday Apparel are 100% vegan, 100% fair trade, unisex, eco-friendly and très hip. They also come in a variety of colors, materials & finishes. They look stellar with a pair of skinny or slim fit jeans. Everyday Apparel also donates a percentage of the money from your purchase to a charity of your choosing (they have 5 to choose from).
Kyler (by Joy O) is a sustainable line of bold geometric jewelry pieces that are made from locally sourced (San Fransisco Bay Area) recycled steel. Some of these steel pieces are dipped in 24 karat gold or coated in black zinc. Each stunning piece in the collection is originally hand drawn by the lines designer and founder, Joy O.
Bees’netta’s ultra urban collection of handbags is not 100% vegan but they have a nice selection of vegan handbags that come in a variety of lush colors and vintage inspired styles that are handmade from faux leather, denim & organic canvas.
Cri de Coeur is a vegan eco-friendly shoe and accessory line from NYC. Their shoes are chic, versatile and the perfect addition to anyone’s wardrobe. They have, along with their regular shoe line, an equally fashionable diffusion shoe line (Hearts of Darkness) for the budget conscious vegan. The SS11 collections for both these lines, are in my opinion their best collections to date. I love their use of different textures, colors and materials.
8. Good Society
Good Society is a fully sustainable, fully organic clothing company who cares about the world around it. They have an awesome collection of super sexy and sleek organic jeans for both men and women. The organic denim for these jeans comes from about 1000 independent farms in India that are taught sustainable farming practices that are pesticide and fertilizer free. GS jeans are not just good for your sense of style but they’re also good for the world you have to wear them in — a quarter from the sales of each pair of GS jeans purchased is donated to a person in need.
Looking for a cool tie for your man? (or perhaps, yourself?). The Cyberopix Tie Lab’s use of edgy graphic prints take the boring and blah out of men’s business and formal wear. They really do take ties to the next level of style and make them more appealing to a younger generation. TCTL is not a 100% vegan shop but it does have a clearly labeled microfiber tie section. All the bold prints on these ties are hand silk screened on with high-quality, non-toxic, water-based ink.
Bourgeous Boheme is an amazing sustainable, ethical and compassionate online boutique that sells a variety of fashion items from several different brands. They also design their own collection of chic accessories and shoes for both men and women. Their shoes styles range from casual, to formal, to sexy, to sleek, to feminine, You should have no trouble finding a pair of shoes in this collection that will suit your style to a T.
*Editor’s note (May 4, 2011, 7:35 ET): A commenter (thanks Amanda!) informed us that Civic Duty Shoes (the brand originally listed as the #2 pick in this article) are made from a material manufactured by DuPont™, a company that tests on animals. Melanie was kind enough to replace that find with another brand (Native Shoes) that is just as great, without all the evil animal testing associated with them!
Melanie Pyves is the founder of The Streets I Know: A Vegan Fashion Blog is a long time vegan, fashion lover and graphic/textile designer living in Toronto. The Streets I Know: A Vegan Fashion Blog is where she daily shares her vegan fashion finds with fellow cruelty-free fashion seeking enthusiasts who want to be both compassionate and stylish. Melanie and her blog were both recently featured in the fabulous vegan lifestyle book The Vegan Girls Guide To Life. She also currently writes about vegan fashion for vegan weddings blog Rose Pedals Vegan Weddings and vegan lifestyle blog Chic Vegan.