Author: Shonagh Walker
"Friday, March 8, 2019, marks the 108th International Women’s Day. This year the theme is #BalanceforBetter, aiming to create a gender balanced world. Nobody would argue that is long overdue, but here at The Vegan Company, we’d like to see that balance extend to all living creatures, embracing the animals that we share our planet with...
With that in mind, we are celebrating some truly inspiration vegan women who work within the animal activist space, asking them to share with us their go-to, vegan fashion and beauty brands and a little on their philosophy on life.
This will kick off a regular series for us, where we profile such women and highlight the amazing goodness they bring to our world.
We hope they inspire you as much as they have us.
Ondine Sherman – Co-Founder and Managing Director, Voiceless As co-founder and managing Director of Voiceless, Ondine has been at the forefront of the animal protection and law movements since 2004. She lives in Tel Aviv, with her husband, three children, an array of mischievous street cats, loyal dogs and ex-battery chickens.
SW: What is your beauty routine like?
OS: I keep things quite simple and minimal. I wear only a smidge of make-up and my hair has always been wash-and-go. I always look for cruelty-free symbols and avoid the brands I know haven’t committed to stopping experimentation or ending their use of ingredients tested on animals. If there’s a brand I’m unsure about, I promptly Google and hope to be pleasantly surprised.
SW: You are quite passionate about vegan fashion?
OS: I love wearing cool vegan fashion and it’s been so exciting to see new brands grow and flourish in the last few years. I stopped wearing leather thirty years ago when I was a teenager. I couldn’t bear the thought of wearing someone else’s skin and gave away every piece of leather I owned.
What I hadn’t expected was how difficult it would be to find cool shoes and bags. For example, I was a little goth at age sixteen, my friends had Doc Martin* and I was really disappointed I couldn’t have them too.
In the Nineties, when I would ask a sales assistant if a product was leather, they would inevitably answer ‘yes’ because they thought that was the answer I wanted. So, I soon became expert at inspecting shoes and bags, checking the lining, straps, and often give a product a good sniff to check if there’s leather.
Today, I always tell shopkeepers that I’m vegan, partly to normalise the term, but leather, skins and even fur are still so common I’m often still left empty-handed. That’s why I now follow vegan brands on social media and buy most of my products online.
SW: What are your favourite vegan fashion labels?
OS: I recently bought some vegan boots by a Portuguese brand called NAE (No Animal Exploitation) that make me very happy!
I have a number of Bilum bags from my sister-in-law, Caroline Sherman’s social enterprise, Among Equals. Not only are they beautiful, unique and animal-friendly, but they help support women in Papua New Guinea. Being vegan also means being kind and compassionate to human beings and it’s important to try and be intersectional as much as possible.
When I was in Europe last year, I found one of those warm puffy water-resistant jackets everyone is sporting. Usually, they are made with a lining of feathers, but this brand is called Save the Duck, it’s vegan and environmentally friendly and I wear it constantly.
Vegan fashion for me is no longer a hassle, it’s a source of pride and pleasure.
*Doc Martin now produces a vegan line of shoes and boots.
Thank you so much Shonagh. Read the full article and meet some wonderful vegan women here.