Compassionate Clothing

by Rona Berg

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The Search for Compassionate Clothing

When Julia Ahrens began her career as a designer, she became a vegan. But her job in the fashion industry required her to work with leather and wool, which “went against my ethics and what was in my heart,” she says. Ahrens also noticed that when she went shopping for her own wardrobe, there were very few stylish, high-quality options that were vegan.

“I knew that if I wanted to have accessible mainstream vegan options I would have to create them,” says Ahrens, who, with the help of her sister, created Miakoda, a line of cruelty-free, USA-made, eco-friendly pieces (pictured above).

She works with organic cotton, hemp and organic dyes, among other sustainable materials. “Our goal is promote a compassionate lifestyle without sacrificing style and comfort,” she says. “Just because a garment is eco-friendly and cruelty-free doesn’t mean it has to be unfashionable.”

Ahrens hopes she will begin to change the minds of consumers to encourage more compassionate choices, and, ultimately, to inspire other designers to create more vegan options.

“Ideally the terms ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘cruelty-free’ will become obsolete because they will be the standard,” she says. Meanwhile, Ahrens will continue making beautiful pieces that you will want to wear right now. miakodanewyork.com

—Rona Berg

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