We sat down to chat about veganism, vegan fashion and sustainability with Christianna Quack, aka the Vegan Stylist - one of our favorite people in the vegan fashion space. This inspiring woman created her profession: working as a stylist and fashion editor for vegan, sustainable and fair fashion brands and magazines. Anytime we scroll down her inspiring Instagram page we are amazed by her work, talent and creativity.
How long have you been vegan for and what made you become vegan?
This year in autumn, I am celebrating my 10th vegan anniversary! It was more or less a coincidence when now one decade ago, I stumbled into that vegan burger place called VEGO looking for a job (they are now famous for that fantastic chocolate bar!). At that time, I was doing an unpaid internship at some fashion label and needed something to pay my rent. I got the job at VEGO not knowing what veganism truly means. Then I went home, sat down at my laptop, did some research – and became vegan overnight. I was so shocked that I had never been really aware of animal exploitation. There I learned how to cook many things, and of course, I could have lots of excellent free food. A super-easy way to become vegan.
Did you have any struggles when going vegan? How did you overcome them?
I would be lying to say that switching to plant milk would have been easy for me. At that time, oat milk wasn't a thing yet. We all drank soymilk, which wasn't very tasty at all. But going back to animal products was never an option, so we kept on going. And now we have all these fantastic kinds of milk we can choose from! And camembert made from cashew nuts – I seriously have nothing to complain about anymore.
Were you a stylist before becoming vegan? If so, how did becoming a vegan stylist affect your job? Were there any struggles?
I started my career in fashion at the same time I became vegan. But it took me a few years to combine both parts of my life. For a few years, I worked as an assistant costume designer for TV and cinema, where I had to buy loads and loads of non-vegan, non-sustainable, and non-fair fast fashion nearly every day. But after 2-3 years of doing so, some part of me started to feel burnt out. That kind of consumption couldn't go on for me like this. So I quit everything into the blue – to become a freelancer that was the birthday of @vegan.stylist.
Do you work with non-vegan brands?
Yes, I do! If they are sustainable and fair in general, I feel totally fine to pick some of the vegan items they have and promote them.
Is there anything vegan fashion related you feel like the vegan market is lacking?
At the moment, there isn't. For a long time, I was missing really cool sneakers – but now there are so many!
What is the best thing about being a vegan stylist? Tell us about one work experience you had that you will never forget.
The best thing is definitely the humans I work with! I am always surrounded by people working towards a better world who want to make a change. We share a similar fundamental belief of love for animals and our planet, which always lifts the work-experience to another level. Most of them are women. I love to work among this stunning group of empathic beings.
One of my best work experiences was the NEONYT #PrePeek showroom in 2019. We put together this fantastic event to present the newest styles of fair fashion at fashion week. Three days of joy full of cool looks and super interesting people from all over the world!
If you had to choose one favorite vegan fashion item from your closet, what would they be?
White, high-top sneaker from Vegetarian Shoes. I could wear them in every outfit because they are so classic.
What are your favorite vegan fashion brands at the moment?
I recently discovered Ella & Witt – they make unique sneakers! Armedangels belong to my all-time favorites. At the same time, LOVJOI is continuously stunning me with its new projects. Oh, and I can't wait to try the new jeans that THOKKTHOKK are making now! Will's Vegan Store is also one of my all-time favorites. And since I love street style and just saw that coat from their new collection: DEDICATED.
What is your opinion about purchasing non-vegan second-hand items? What would you suggest new vegans do with the non-vegan items in their closet?
Well, I personally don't do it for spiritual reasons. I don't want exploited animal material in my surroundings. I don't think everyone has to get rid of everything non-vegan, though. It's an individual decision of everyone. If you want to get rid of it – bring it to a cloth swap event, sell it, and give the money to an animal charity. That's what I did with three pairs of leather boots and wool-sweaters.
Feel free to follow Christianna on her social media!