Vegan interior design is an up-and-coming industry, and one designer is hosting a conference to bring the industry together.
One of my favourite things about being vegan is the sense of community. Whether it’s vegan potluck dinners, activism events, or even working together to start a vegan business; there’s always that instant connection with someone when you find out they’re vegan.
There’s always something powerful about bringing multiple minds together to work towards a common objective.
As many of us know, the amount of plant-based foods in supermarket shelves and on restaurant menus is growing. There are more vegan fashion and clothing items in stores today. But Aline Dürr, author of the book Vegan Interior Design and organiser of the world’s first Vegan Interior Design Week, believes there is less emphasis on vegan materials and interior design is still falling behind.
Change is happening, but always in the tracks of the more mainstream aspects of being vegan.
What is vegan interior design?
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There are many products in our homes that are not vegan. The obvious things you might think of are wool rugs and blankets or leather sofas and chairs. In addition to that, did you know that many towels and even toilet paper are usually not vegan?
From the beeswax in towels to the casein in paint, the number of hidden animal products in everyday household items is astounding.
Most of the work Dürr has done up until this point has been running her vegan interior design business and consulting with other interior designers around the world to help train them on attracting new clients and finding vegan products for their clients’ home.
Vegan Interior Design Week
But the industry is still in its early stages and it’s growing. So what she went ahead and did to help accelerate the growth of the vegan interior design industry as a whole was organise the first-ever Vegan Interior Design Week from October 18 to 21, 2021.
Overall, this conference will bring together a community of conscious interior designers, suppliers, manufacturers, retail establishments, customers, and property developers to be inspired by the benefits of ethical interior design.
People can see the latest material innovations and product trends while hearing from leaders in the industry to come together as a community and shape the future. There will be more than 40 speakers from all over the world who will share their best practices together.
Just like any conference, in person or online, the real change happens from the connections they make. What I noticed whenever I went to vegan conferences in the past was that it’s not some type of slimy networking where people hand business cards and just try to sell the other person on something. As vegans, we are on a shared mission to work together.
So it’s really encouraging to see one woman take the initiative and allow this industry to shine.
Vegan certification and labelling for household products
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I asked Dürr if there are any vegan certification agencies that can help consumers identify if a product is vegan. A few of them are out there, but for the most part, she said they do not exist for most such companies.
Small vegan businesses have enough to worry about when it comes to financing their products, marketing, and employee salaries. The amount of money it takes to track down the transparency of every single ingredient from every single manufacturer would have the cost of this certification add up.
This is in contrast with vegan food certification standards. Carissa Kranz, the founder of BeVeg, once told me about the detailed process her team goes through to make sure food products are certified vegan. Food labels are more transparent with most ingredients, and her team has the knowhow to sort through questionable items on labels such as natural flavours (which are not always natural or vegan).
They even go as far as inspecting the manufacturing facility to make sure production lines are adequately washed before putting their stamp of approval on a product that’s vegan. Part of this ease is because food standards are more strict overall in western countries.
Simply put, it’s easier to say a household product is sustainable, but it’s more difficult to determine if a product is actually 100% vegan. Hundreds of ingredients can go into an item, and it’s not as straightforward as food.
So there’s an opportunity out there if somebody has the time, resources and dedication to become a vegan product certification label to help companies large and small certify that their product is, in fact, vegan.
You can register for the Vegan Interior Design Week online.