The idea of veganism was promoted by a number of celebrities from Bollywood and Hollywood and struck a chord. Today, veganism goes beyond food. It has opened up new opportunities for many sustainable brands that produce organic vegan clothing, bags, shoes, cosmetics and all things lifestyle.
Vegan Vs Organic
There is no doubt that veganism is becoming more and more popular. However, it is still not clear how vegan and organic differ from each other. Although the layman’s definition is similar – nature-friendly and made from natural products – the two differ.
Sargam Dhawan Bhayana, director at Paul Penders, one of the world’s first vegan and natural brands, dispels the common misconception that vegan and organic products are not the same. “Being organic does not mean that the product is not an animal product. On the other hand, vegan products do not contain animal extracts or animal by-products and use plant-based ingredients,” Sargam says. “Organic products do not contain artificial substances. Vegan products are made without the use of animals,” adds Pradeep Krishnakumar, Co-Founder & COO of Zouk, a vegan brand of bags and purses.
Beeswax, honey, lanolin, carmine, keratin or squalene, etc., derived from animals are often included in organic cosmetics. However, they are never part of a vegan cosmetic. Vegan cosmetics are not only plant-based and use a minimum of preservatives, they are also gentler on the skin and gluten-free.
Fashion is called vegan if it does not contain any animal-derived materials such as leather, wool, silk or fur.
While we acknowledge that it’s a fad, the use of natural products has been around for more than 5,000 years. “It’s not something that’s coming up as a trend today. It’s something that has always been around since the time of Ayurveda. Today, more and more people are becoming aware of eating a vegan diet after seeing that there are no side effects and therapeutic benefits. This lifestyle change will continue and grow in the coming years,” she emphasises.
Make a wise choice
Do you think animal lovers should choose vegan products? However, a vegan product does not necessarily have to be natural or organic as well. So if you are a vegan and do not want to consume products of animal origin, you can choose vegan products,” she explains. Santosh Kumar of Kiehl’s India recommends checking the ingredients list before buying a product. “The only way to make sure you are not being scammed is to check the ingredient list. Vegan products really give you the benefits you want,” Santosh says.
Marketing and more
Once considered an alternative lifestyle, veganism has catapulted to the forefront of trends. Its growing popularity has clearly caught the attention of brands, which constantly use the terms vegan and organic in their product marketing. One wonders if the terms are just a marketing gimmick.
Gunjan is quick to answer, “Not at all! It’s entirely up to the consumer whether they want to put their money into a regular brand or a vegan or organic brand.”
Naina Ruhail, CIO and co-founder of Vanity Waggon, also insists that no amount of branding can mislead an aware consumer. “Consumers are well informed and look for certifications from recognised institutions. But not only that, but consumers also look at the label and ingredient list and are not afraid to criticise the brand if it does not correspond to the facts,” she concludes.