Vegan fashion and beauty on the rise

Photo: Shutterstock

The popularity of vegan or plant-based products is growing fast in retail: research from the UK indicates that the number vegan products in webshops increased by more than 75 % last year, while over half of all newly launched cosmetics products are purposefully plant-based and animal-friendly.


7000 products to choose from

In the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, investments in vegan products saw an astonishing rise, according to research by data company Edited. Last month, online sales points in the UK promoted 75 % more plant-based products than in January of 2018. The biggest growth is in Germany, where the increase was a whopping 131 %. The United States have the largest range of vegan products: even though vegan growth was 'only' 11 % in the US, Edited counted over 7000 different vegan products on offer.


The researchers also noticed fast growth in other markets: in France, the product range increased by 12 % last year. Now that Paris has expressed its ambition to become the capital of sustainable fashion by 2024, several groups are working on 'Paris Good Fashion', making a continued stellar growth quite likely.


In Denmark, the Copenhagen Fashion Summit is calling for more investment in animal well-being and alternative resources, and it is working: last year, the number of products with the vegan label quadrupled compared to the year before. All the current attention for climate change and sustainability will likely cause even more growth.


Make-up and shoes

On the supply side, brands and manufacturers are quickly replacing their product range with more sustainable alternatives, especially in beauty products and shoes. In the UK, 82 % of all new plant-based product launches were in cosmetics. In the more mature market of the USA, that was 40 %; in Germany it was 62 %.


Americans are changing to leather-free shoes en masse. While last year, 16 % of all new vegan products were shoes, that number is now 32 %. Big international brands like Steve Madden are jumping onto the bandwagon as well. British department store chain Marks & Spencer was the first retailer to receive the "vegan-friendly shopping street chain" award from animal rights organisation PETA for its animal-friendly shoe collection. There was also a 41 % decrease in fur products in 2018.