When you’re vegan and you mention it for the first time to others, a certain inward pause precedes the admission. This is because you know that what you’re about to say marks you for ridicule. After all, the general consensus is that vegans suck. If, however, you’re one of the vegans featured in the Instagram account of the ethical, cruelty-free streetwear line Plant Faced, you’ll likely be too cool to care.
Plant Faced shares stories of a different brand of vegan — the ones with edges and attitudes. If your pic surfaces on their social media feeds, you’re likely to be sporting a piercing (perhaps a demure septum ring or a more robust dermal on the nape of the neck). You’ll probably be just as comfortable lounging unsmiling in a cluttered urban alley as you are standing on a cliff and gazing serenely over the ocean. You’ll eschew bright colors in your clothing, reserving them for bright, fresh meals. You will be #goals.
These images from the company’s look book and social media accounts are foremost in my mind when I begin my conversation with Charlie McEvoy, the owner of Plant Faced. Her customers clearly embody the punk spirit that Bad Religion founder Greg Graffin described as, “A belief that this world is what we make of it, and truth comes from our understanding of the way things are, not from the blind adherence to prescriptions about the way things should be.”
As Graffin said, Punk is about changing the world — so it’s hardly surprising that Plant Faced exudes this spirit. From the beginning, McEvoy was looking to start a movement, not just make clothes.
A graphic designer and Kiwi, McEvoy is the driving force behind the Plant Faced brand — an independently-owned clothing and accessories label aiming to make sustainability fashionable. Currently, Plant Faced customers can choose from among long and short sleeved t-shirts, hoodies, muscle tanks, tote bags, patches, pins, and dad hats. The aesthetic is pure streetwear, drawing inspiration from art, music, street, skate, surf, and tattoo culture. Plus, every item is produced using humane manufacturing processes.
“We are 100% ethical, cruelty-free clothing,” the company’s web site asserts. “We aim to spread messages and start conversations. We aim to be more than a brand – we are the Plant Movement.”
So how does a 24-year-old find herself at the forefront of this crusade? The child of an artist mother and a father deeply interested in entrepreneurship, McEvoy started selling things at a young age. She always wanted to own her own business; she just needed a product she could passionately support.
“When I went vegan, I noticed that there weren’t really any other brands out there doing the kind of clothing that I wanted to wear,” McEveoy explains. “It was like everything aligned together with all my passions, which are design, fashion, entrepreneurship and veganism.”