Dec 5 2011

Compassion Couture


I am pleased to announce that Compassion Couture is now carrying my faux-suede booties!

Compassion Couture was started by two sisters, Jill and Tracey. It’s an amazing online boutique that is commited to provided stylish cruelty-free fashion.

They also have a blog, Compassion Forward, full of the latest styles that are coming out, and fashion news.

Those cool ladies and I recently swaped interviews, and here’s how it went…….

1)    What led to your decisions to become vegan? What really pushed me over the edge was reading the book “Skinny Bitch”, which was kind of an unexpected eye opener.  I had always loved and respected animals but for a long time was blind to some of the realities behind what I was eating and wearing.  Once I had some knowledge and did more research, I felt that I just couldn’t be a part of anything that had to do with harming animals ever again so the decision to become vegan was pretty easy actually.

2)    What was your biggest challenge when you decided not to eat meat and dairy?  When I think about the biggest challenge I faced when deciding to live a cruelty-free lifestyle, it actually had less to do with diet and more to do with purchasing everyday items.  If you open your eyes and look for them, there are tons of resources for vegan recipes and living in NY, there are so many vegan restaurant options that I guess I’m probably a little spoiled.  However, fashion was always something I enjoyed as a way of expressing myself.  I was used to going to a store and picking up a pair of shoes I liked and buying them.  After becoming vegan, shopping became a chore almost, and I often spent hours searching online only to be disappointed with my limited options and ending up with low quality items that would fall apart after only a few wears.

3)    Has the rest of your family been supportive, or also taken on the vegan lifestyle?  I never pushed him to make this change because I believe it’s a personal decision, but actually my husband decided to go vegetarian almost two years ago.  He was always an animal lover too, so once he had some of the real facts, he couldn’t ignore it either.

4)    Do you cook? If so, what resources do you like for recipes? Any favorite cookbooks or websites? My schedule is so busy these days that unfortunately, cooking is just something I rarely have time for.  I’m more likely to run to Whole Foods and pick up some of their prepared foods – they have a ton of vegan choices.  My freezer is also chock full of frozen vegan food that I can throw in the microwave when I get home from work late at night like burritos and veggie burgers.  Candle Café, one of my favorite New York City vegan restaurants, also recently came out with some frozen dinners that I keep on hand – their macaroni and vegan cheese is amazing!

5)    Did you decide not to wear leather when you started eating a plant based diet, or did that come later?  It kind of all happened simultaneously because of the reasons behind why I was eating a plant based diet.  It wasn’t just the health factor (although that is definitely a benefit), my decision was ethically based, so buying any and all animal products stopped at the same time.

6)    How has the response been so far to Compassion Couture? Have you found that there is a big demand for cruelty-free fashion?  So far we have heard from a lot of women who have had similar experiences trying to find animal friendly fashion and I think the demand is growing.  There is definitely a need there, especially now as the mainstream is becoming more educated on how food and other consumer items are produced and manufactured.  However, since we are so new, we are still in the early stages of spreading awareness about our brand.  We have found that it has been more challenging than we anticipated to get our name out there to our market and it’s going to take a lot of perseverance and hard work!  
7)    Would you like to have retail stores, or primarily focus on being on-line?  For the short-term, we are focusing on being online only, with some local New York pop-up shops and events here and there.  But personally, I would love to have at least one physical location in the future so that is definitely a long term goal and dream of mine.

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