Vegan Fashion? With the Help of Boston-Based Vegan Image Consultant Ginger Burr, Stylish Clothing Becomes a Possible Quest for Those Who Won’t Wear Animal Products

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Natalie Portman, Ed Begley, Jr., Woody Harrelson, Coretta Scott King, K.D. Lang… With the list of celebrities who have adopted a vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) diet growing longer, more and more Americans are familiar with the idea of not eating meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk or other animal-derived products.

I imagined finding appropriate fashionable clothing would be easy

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Natalie Portman, Ed Begley, Jr., Woody Harrelson, Coretta Scott King, K.D. Lang… With the list of celebrities who have adopted a vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) diet growing longer, more and more Americans are familiar with the idea of not eating meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk or other animal-derived products. Less well-known is another consequence of the vegan philosophy: not wearing wool, cashmere, down, silk or leather. What’s left to keep you warm, particularly in a winter climate? It’s a dilemma Boston-based image consultant Ginger Burr understands first-hand: A vegan since 2005 and an image consultant for 20 years, she now helps other vegan women look great in a way that’s consistent with their convictions (http://www.totalimageconsultants.com/veganfashion.html) .

“Two years ago, I began reading about the factory farming of animals that produces the meat, poultry and dairy we eat, and I was horrified that we can treat other beings like this,” says Burr, president of Total Image Consultants in Lynn, Massachusetts, north of Boston. “After I became a vegan, I realized that finding fashionable boots, shoes and coats not made out of animal products was really difficult. For a dressy coat, faux shearling is just about the only option. For shoes, most high-end stores carry only leather shoes, since they’re seen as a status symbol, but you can find faux leather choices here and there at Payless, Lord & Taylor or various boutiques. For dresses and other clothing, it’s not so much of a challenge, since cotton, microfibers and so on are fine.”

Burr says that no clothing stores in the Boston area cater to vegans, but a number of websites do, including AlternativeOutfitters.com, VeganUnlimited.com and Zappos.com, which has a section for “vegetarian shoes.” Gradually, by reading labels carefully and visiting many stores and websites, Burr discovered enough sources for “cruelty-free” clothing and shoes that she broadened her image consulting services to include shopping assistance for style-conscious vegan women. She also found sources for cosmetics involving no testing on animals and containing no animal byproducts, including hard-to-find alternatives to makeup brushes made from animal hair.

“I imagined finding appropriate fashionable clothing would be easy,” says Burr. “I certainly had the knowledge and resources to do so. Instead, however, I felt invisible and could understand why so many vegan women felt frustrated, especially if they didn’t like to shop to begin with and especially if they don’t favor the crunchy-granola look.” With her eye for style, knowledge of stores and resources, and understanding of vegan women’s needs, she helps her clients create a wardrobe they love. “No one should have to compromise their beliefs to feel good about how they look.”

For more information on vegan-friendly fashion advice, call 800-380-8726 or visit http://www.totalimageconsultants.com/veganfashion.html on the web.

Total Image Consultants,

14 Lewis St., Lynn, MA 01902.

Contact: Ginger Burr, (617) 625-5225, ginger @ totalimageconsultants.com.

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