Veganism as a dietary and lifestyle choice has seen an immense growth in popularity over the past decade, both in Canada and around the world. The health, social, and environmental benefits make this lifestyle attractive to a population that’s becoming more conscious of the impacts their everyday choices make in the world.
What is Veganism?
Being a vegan means something slightly different to each person you ask, but there are common threads that are universal. The main idea of veganism is to make sure the things you consume are “animal-free”. Whether that be exclusively in diet or in every aspect of life, the decision to eliminate animal products and by-products isn’t one to be taken lightly - it can be tough!
People choose to go vegan for a variety of reasons. Personal ethics, health, and environment seem to be the most popular. The items vegans widely avoid include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and sometimes honey and other insect products. In addition to diet, the choice to avoid things of this nature can be expanded to encompass what one wears and uses. Some vegans choose not to use anything that is made with animal by-products such as leather, fur, silk or wool. All over the world, statistics show a rise in the number of people opting to reduce their intake of meat. In fact, New York restaurant consultant group Baum + Whiteman recently published a report that predicted “plant-based nutrition” to be the biggest dietary trend in 2018.
Vegan Dance Products
So you love to dance, but you want to stay true to your vegan values. Is it possible? At the moment, not entirely. The use of leather and suede in dance products (notably shoes,) is still an industry standard that’s likely to stick around for a while. However, companies are beginning to offer select vegan options via special order, which signifies that brands are warming up to the idea of vegan dancewear.
If you like ballet, the brand Grishko can make pointe shoes and ballet slippers that are vegan by replacing the typical suede soles with ones made from a material called cellulose (an organic, plant-based compound). According to their website, workers at the Grishko factories in Moscow also taste the glue used in the creation of pointe and ballet shoes to demonstrate that it’s edible to the visitors of the factory!
Contemporary and Lyrical
If dancing contemporary and lyrical is more your speed, then the Shock from Apolla Performance is something you might want to look into. A high-quality sock woven from synthetic materials that uses compression to provide support and stability to the dancer’s feet and ankles. Available with or without a traction surface on the bottom according to preference.
Vegan Hip Hop dancers have a variety of options available to them! Several companies make dance sneakers with synthetic uppers and rubber soles, like the Capezio Rebel Combat Boot.
In terms of apparel for dancers, it’s pretty easy nowadays to find pieces with no animal by-products. The most popular materials used in the construction of bodysuits, shorts, tights, and costumes are cotton, lycra, spandex, and nylon. The only things you need to watch out for are wool, silk, and cashmere, which are still occasionally used in dancewear.
All in all, the world of dance has a long way to go before having a large variety of vegan options for all dancers, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step! Hopefully that answered some questions and illuminated some of the options for you conscious dancewear shoppers.
Please keep in mind that the majority of these products are special order and will take some time to come in after their order has been placed. Get in touch if any of these products interest you or if you have any further questions, and we’ll be happy to provide you with more information.
Inspirations Dancewear is Canada's Dancewear Superstore™, with our 13,000 sq ft Canadian retail store and warehouse full of year-round, in-stock dancewear.
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