A brief guest blog post from writer and stylist Joanna Thornhill
From fashion to homewares, there has been a seismic cultural shift over the past decade towards both veganism and ethical, cruelty free animal derived products. Google searches for ‘veganism’ alone rose by 600% from 2010 to 2020 and despite anyone’s individual food stance, concern for animal welfare and a desire to do less harm - and salve our collective conscience - is influencing our shopping habits.
Animal products can crop up in a host of unexpected places, such as candles (some contain stearic acid which is derived from animal fat*). While opting for vegan homewares can sometimes mean compromising other eco-credentials (because of their reliance on synthetic alternatives) increasingly ethically minded brands are using innovative materials and manufacturing techniques – from recycled plastic bottles in place of wool in upholstery fabrics to leather made from apple skins that would otherwise be discarded by the food industry. Conversely many brands are looking back to more traditional methods of manufacturing that focus on time and human hands to create beautiful, cruelty-free products.
That isn’t to say that using animal products in interiors is inherently bad. Ethical sheepskin throws, for example, come from high-quality farms thereby supporting a farming community where animals are well cared for and free to roam during daylight hours. They are a by-product of the meat industry rather than farmed specifically for that purpose so material that might otherwise be wasted is put to good use. Silk, too, can be more ethical if you look our for varieties produced non-violently, rather than traditionally cultivate silk, which involved killing the moth pupa before it hatches.
This blog post is an extract from The New Mindful Home by Joanna Thornhill (£14.99, Laurence King)
*Aerende’s candles are fully vegan friendly and contain no animal products