As a fellow vegan, I try to use all natural beauty products, staying away from anything that has been tested on animals, as well as wear clothing that do not contain wool, leather or silk. I was wondering if your profession has ever gotten in the way of your beliefs on these matters?
Hi! Congratulations on your lifestyle choices – I know from experience that it is not easy to follow those guidelines for yourself and I really admire you for them 😀
For me (and I assume a lot of other people) I have struggled with giving up certain fabrics and products. Eating a plant-based diet was so simple and easy for me and I never really wore fur as a non-vegan and so that was also easy for me to give up. However wool, leather and silk are whole other ballgames for me. I have recently completely stopped buying brand new leather, wool and silk products, and intend to use the products I have until they fall apart. From then on out I will not be buying anymore unethically sourced fabrics for my clothing. I have had a hard time finding good replacements though – any suggestions are welcome!
As far as beauty products that I use, I have always tended towards natural products. The idea of putting something on your skin (to be absorbed into you) that was made with strange chemicals always seemed like a very bad choice to me. I have always loved the Dr Hauschka line for my skin, and hair products from wholefoods. I don’t wear much makeup in my downtime, but the makeup I do wear is from Mineral Fusion and RMS. I don’t use any makeup brushes.
My line of work unfortunately means that I cannot keep up the all-natural approach on my face. I am at the whim of makeup artists as to what products they use on my face, and they usually use a blend of all different brands. The mentality is; if the product gets the results they want, they use it. Which is actually quite a good thing – I have noticed in the past couple of years a lot more organic products being used. This means that the quality of organic beauty products is improving dramatically, certainly enough to be in competition with mainstream beauty products.
On set I refuse to wear fur. Luckily I don’t see much fur on sets these days, and again, I have noticed brands I work with making an effort to use sustainably sourced materials (Stella McCartney, Ralph Lauren, Free People). However when it comes to leather, wool or silk, I wear it. I have always tried to be transparent when it comes to what I will and will not do as a plant-based lifestyler – I never, ever, want to come across as a hypocrite. Someday when I am retired, I will not have to deal with this conflict. But at this point in time, it just isn’t feasible for me.
I want to bring up one of my favorite mottos here – “Progress over perfection”. I feel like as a society we are too quick to jump down peoples throats over the small things they don’t do correctly, instead of praising them for other changes they are chasing in their lives. Making thoughtful changes to improve the state of our world can be challenging in a society that values single use plastics, or fast fashion. Every little change by every person can make a difference. Every plant-based meal eaten adds up. Therefore I believe that we shouldn’t judge others for not meeting our own set of standards – we should be celebrating every little achievement made by others in this unforgiving climate. We have come a long way in the past five years. Being a vegan has become a lot more mainstream, and this gives me hope for the future.
At this point in my life it doesn’t make sense for me to be able to completely avoid wearing certain fabrics. I don’t purchase them in my free time, and intend to keep using my platform to spread the plant-based message. But I hope this doesn’t bring hate from fellow vegans on me. We are all doing the best we can! Progress over perfection, every single day.