Fashion For A Cause: Calico Dragon Bags


Calico Dragon is a super cool line of vegan bags, started with the sole purpose of benefiting animals.

Not only does Calico donate a portion of their sales to various animal charities, but they also have cruelty-free messages incorporated into the designs. According to their website, the “bags are completely vegan and constructed from up-cycled materials. Since we order such a small number of bags, the fabric used to make our bags is purchased from factories out of their “scrap” material, which would otherwise end up in a landfill. Heavy duty construction along with a bold message presented in an artistic fashion make these bags truly unique!”  Love it!!  Calico Dragon vegan bags are also very affordable. I was psyched to get two new bags myself recently!

Calico Dragon Vegan Bag

Calico Dragon Vegan Bags

Calico Dragon Vegan Bag-2


Check out these awesome bags on their website!

Vegan-Friendly Gift Guide 2015


If you’re like me, the holidays creep up so fast that I’m always doing at least a few last-minute gift shopping, which can be seriously stressful.

That’s why I wanted to throw out a few ideas for all you conscious shoppers out there. There are so many awesome, cruelty-free companies and products popping up, but here are some of my favorite gift ideas (so far). I gave a wide variety of products and with a wide range of price tags to suit different interests and budgets 🙂 

Adopt Farm Animal Gift (Farm Sanctuary): 

This one is especially heart-warming. To know you are helping save a life and be responsible for a rescued animal be able to live his/her life out safely and happily. There’s no better gift than that! Upon receiving your donation, Farm Sanctuary will send your gift-ee information about his/her OWN special farm animal friend, including his/her story, photograph, and details about your year-round visitation rights.adopt a farm animal program

Gunas Handbags:

For the fashionista in your life! If you’ve never heard of it, Gunas New York is an independent high fashion label with a cause. The company was started in 2008 by designer and animal lover, Sugandh G. Agrawal who believes that animals are NOT meant to be a part of Fashion. Gunas’s belief in the importance of cruelty-free fashion is totally in line with the Sexy Fit Vegan philosophy that we can look and feel good (and be sexy) without harming other living beings. Gunas also won the Best Green Bag at the Independent Designer Handbag Awards, and their Flamingo nabbed one of the featured spots in the September Issue of InStyle Magazine. They are a high fashion label so the prices are not cheap, but the quality and style is worth the price tag. Take a look HERE.

gunas vegan hand bags

Powerootz Superfood Nutritional Shake:

This is such a great gift because it is seriously the tastiest super food protein supplement I have EVER had. (My clients totally agree so I know it’s not just me.) Plus it’s one of the least processed (probably why it tastes so good), yet smooth textured powder on the market. I wrote a whole blog post on it if you want more info why I like it so much). If you have someone in your life who’s in need of breakfast or snack foods that are convenient and will help them be healthier and get in better shape, this is an awesome choice. Just enter the code “ELLA” at checkout to receive an extra 20% off your order too (click HERE to go to the site)!

powerootz Feature-product-

Lookie Lou:

I discovered this cruelty-free company on Happy Cow’s list top vegan-friendly gift ideas. It’s amazing because it’s got such a wide variety of products and prices. Seems like there’s definitely something for everyone here!


The Six Weeks To Sexy Abs Meal Plan:

I couldn’t go without including my brand new book! I’m psyched because The Six Weeks to Sexy Abs Meal Plan is available for pre-sale now, and will be released December 15th in time for the holidays!!! It really is a great resource for losing a few pounds and learning how to adopt a diet plan (different than “dieting”) that will serve us well both short-term AND long-term. Unlike most diets this one is convenient and totally do-able for anyone, even the busiest of us. It has easy-to-follow guidelines and a hundred simple, delicious recipes to go with it. I’m quite the perfectionist and critical of myself, and I’m incredibly thrilled at how it came out and have no doubts it will make a big difference in a lot of people’s lives. If for noone else, definitely get it for yourself to start the New Year off right! (Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble).

Six Weeks to Sexy Abs Meal Plan

Vegan Cuts Box:

This is just such a perfect concept I had to include it. To be introduced to new, healthy snacks, dropped right at your door, every month is like a dream come true! They do a really great job of including a wide variety of great products. They have both a snack box and a beauty box. This is a fantastic gift and definitely a company you can feel good about supporting as well. 

vegan-cuts gift box

I hope this helps in your pursuit to please your family and friends as this year comes to an end. Feel free to make suggestions as well. Good luck and happy holidays!!!

Choose the Right Vegan Running Shoe


If running is a part of your exercise routine and you care about animals and supporting cruelty companies, this blog post on vegan running shoes is for you!

Let’s talk about picking the right running shoe for your individual needs first. Here are 5 things that need to be taken into consideration when choosing the best shoe for you.

1. Pronation

Pronation has to do with how your foot rolls in or out, or stays straight. The following illustrations from BuzzFeed do a great job showing you what this looks like. There are different types of shoes that work best for each type.

Normal Pronation for a vegan runner

Overpronation for Vegan Runners

Underpronation for Vegan Runners

Images Credit: Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

2. Foot Strike

Foot strike refers to what part of your foot hits the ground first when running. There is the forefront strike, midfoot strike, and heel strike. There seems to be some inconsistencies among experts when it comes to which is the “best.” A midfoot strike may cause the least impact on your joints, but it seems to also depend on your own body mechanics and the shoe you choose. Changing your shoe to one with a lower heel can be helpful if you tend to heel strike and are having joint pain.

3. Cushion

How much cushion do you want between your foot and the ground? This infographic from RoadRunnerSports illustrates the different levels of cushion. The best one for you will depend on what feels most comfortable and works best with your body mechanics.

Cushion Level for vegan runners



4. How many miles you run per week

The more miles you run, the more durable your shoe needs to be. 

5. Shoe Size

Generally speaking, your running shoe should be at least 1/2 a size larger then your “normal” shoe size. This is because your feet swell and spread during your run. For some people, including myself, a full size larger end up being the most comfortable when running more than a couple miles. 

I recommend finding a specialized running store where the staff will help you figure out the best running shoe for your needs. Find a store that has a treadmill so your gate can be examined to determine the answers to all the questions I mentioned. 

Now for making sure you buy a cruelty free/vegan running shoe. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think! A ton of companies use synthetic materials instead of leather, and some quality companies are completely vegan-friendly. PETA created a great infographic to help us be informed about running shoe companies vegan status: 


vegan-running-shoe-guideI hope this helps you on your quest to find the right vegan running shoe. Any runners out there that have other tips please share!


Vegan Fashion Line Vaute Couture

Vaute Couture vegan fashion

Vaute Couture “spelled for Haute Couture with a V for vegan, but said like VOTE” is an awesome vegan fashion label founded by former Ford model, Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart in the summer of 2009.

Leanne has had a passion for animals and the environment since she was 10 years old and became vegan when she was 17. This girl cares!! In addition to using faux fur and leather, she also uses organic, recycled and high-tech fabrics. Her mission is to take animals out of the fashion equation and she was the first all vegan line to show at New York fashion week.

The line has a little vintage/hipster vibe and consists of tees, sweat-shirts and really chic jackets for the Fall/Winter. Definitely what the brand is known for!  Check out a few of my faves below and you can shop the site as well.


Vegan Fashion: Soul Flower “Cool threads for kind heads”

soul flower vegan-friendly clothing line

A true hippie vegan fashion company right here… Soul Flower is an online retailer that offers eco-friendly threads for the whole family.  

The company was started in 1999 by “Mike & Peggy in the form of a small shop on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul, MN where college students and locals could hang out and find cool bohemian and eco-friendly threads.” The duo could also be found vending at local music festivals, spreading the vibe wherever they went.”  What I love is that they have a strong focus on giving back and work with several different organizations which focus on everything from feeding to the poor to raising awareness on our diminishing environment. I specifically couldn’t help but notice the cute outfits for your little ones so that’s what I grabbed some pics of…can’t feel bad about shopping on this site for sure! Positive vibes all the way!! 🙂 




Vegan-Friendly Mel Shoes!

Mel-Vegan Shoes


I remember when I first discovered Mel Shoes at a trade show years ago… I was instantly smitten with the styles and fact that they are cruelty-free!

The shoes are vegan-friendly jelly shoes with playful, imaginative designs available in many fun silhouettes. Mel’s designs are ethically manufactured in Brazil with their signature bubblegum scented recyclable plastic. How cool is that?! Recently they have partnered with some HUGE names in fashion such as Vivianne Westwood and Mr. Karl Lagerfeld which is amazing!! They are sold in retailers all over and online you can easily find them on the likes of Zappos and Amazon as well as their online store. These shoes are definitely a must-have for the summer and of course they have super cute rain booties as well. A vegan brand I will certainly be rocking!


Vegan Leather Handbags: Everything You Need To Know!


Are you still tied to the belief that vegan leather is a poor alternative to real leather?

Unfortunately, this belief is so widespread even vegans have fell for it. We grew up in a world that told us that real leather is the best thing for creating accessories. They told us it’s natural, it’s sustainable and it’s the most durable option for shoes, belts, and handbags. Of course, this might have been true until 10 years ago, but it’s not the case anymore.

I strive to use only cruelty-free products in everything I do, use and wear, but I also happen to be a fashion enthusiast. Have you ever felt discriminated by the fashion industry? How many times did you see those enticing designer handbags and wished they were cruelty-free vegan leather? I felt all this was very unfair and discriminating for vegan fashion lovers (of course it is mostly unfair for the animals, but that’s a whole other post!). I felt discriminated until I started doing my research and found some amazing vegan leather handbag brands.

Vegan Leather and Sustainability

I want you to know that it’s absolutely possible to wear high-end accessories as a vegan today: you can totally keep the style and ditch the cruelty, regardless of what luxury designers are trying to persuade you of.
Research and studies have made it possible to come up with materials that last just as long (if not longer) than leather, and that are far more sustainable and ethical.

One of the main issues with vegan leather until not so long ago was the sustainability of the materials involved. The vast majority of vegan leather handbags you find in high street shops are just cheap looking, poor quality PVC (i.e. plastic) products. These cheap materials make the act of not using real leather less sustainable for many reasons:

  • Cheap fake leather will start to crack after a few months (which will create more waste)
  • A lot of alternatives to leather are made with non-sustainable materials like PVC (non-recyclable)
  • Many fake leather handbags are produced in developing countries where workers are exploited and exposed to toxic substances

No wonder we believe that alternatives to leather are cheap and useless: that’s what we have been used to for years. But things have changed now. Many brands have taken the cruelty-free and sustainable pledge, as well as striving to be as ethical as possible. Most vegan brands are also environmentally-friendly and good to people.

Don’t be fooled by leatherette, pleather, fake leather and so on: look for quality cruelty-free and ethical brands that tick all the boxes for your standards.

Here are some materials you should look for when buying vegan leather handbags, totes and accessories:

  • Canvas
  • Glazed cotton
  • Recycled PET
  • Recycled rubber
  • Polyurethane (Biodegradable)
  • Cork
  • Ultrasuede
  • Ultraleather

Avoid PVC, as it’s the most polluting material used for vegan leather handbags. If you already keep real leather out of your closet and shoe rack because it involves suffering and killing of many innocent animals, you should also consider continuing to avoid it because it’s neither sustainable nor ethical.

Non-Sustainability of Real Leather

The truth of the matter is that the fashion industry has tricked you into believing that real leather production is “all-natural” and cool for people and for animals. But it’s not. I’m sure you’re already aware of the fact that animals (not only cows: at least other 16 species are exploited for their skin) suffer from cruel farm treatments like overcrowding, confinement, deprivation, castration and dehorning.

More than 60% of the world leather production comes from India, China, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. It’s cheaper, they don’t have many laws regarding the fair treatments of animals, and workers are underpaid and often work in dangerous conditions.

Despite being a “natural” product, leather is not biodegradable and not recyclable; Therefore, it is not sustainable. The tanning process involves chemical dyes, formic acid, formaldehyde, and chromium. Even if adopting “vegetable tanned leather” (which many brands are doing lately), this material is still not sustainable: the leather industry is intertwined with the meat and dairy industry, and together they are the first cause of global warming, deforestation, and water waste.

Quality Vegan Leather Handbags

The existential question now is: where to find beautiful cruelty-free handbags? GUNAS is a perfect example of high fashion, zero cruelty and sustainability in the accessories word. Ethics and sustainability are the core founding principles of GUNAS: this idea totally matches my standards, because a brand can’t truly be cruelty-free if it’s still cruel to people and the planet. Besides being 100% free of animal by-product, these vegan leather handbags are made using sustainable fabrics like coated canvas, polyurethane, ultraleather, ultrasuede and recycled polyester. For some specific bags, they also use upcycled upholstery that would have been discarded into landfills otherwise. For metal parts, they use a mix of recycled metals (lead and nickel free). Last but not least, GUNAS designs are elegant, neat and they are no less than their real leather cousins.

Below is a selection I made of my favorite GUNAS vegan leather handbags for every occasion.











PARIS Vegan Duffel Bag by GUNAS“PARIS


RIDLEY Cross Body Clutch by GUNAS“RIDLEY


There are plenty of other brands to quench your thirst for awesome vegan leather handbags that are also ethical and sustainable. Have a look at Matt & Nat, Cycochik, Angela & Roi, Hipsters for Sisters, Freedom of Animals, BAREL Ethical Luxury, Pansy Maiden.

This article was written by Elisa B, founder of the alternative and cruelty-free fashion blog and author of Your Cruelty-Free Wardrobe eBook. You can find more info about leather alternatives on my ebook, as well as many alternatives to silk, wool, fur and down. Elisa is a costume designer, a fashion & lifestyle blogger and a yoga enthusiast. She has a vision: the human race is living on a healthy planet while not harming any other living creature, including other humans. She’s determined to fulfill this vision and spread the love through her blog and her books. Get her book here.

Online Vegan Fashion Boutique: ASOS – Green Room “Eco Edit”

Asos Vegan Products

ASOS Green Room “Eco Edit” is a great online boutique dedicated ” collections with an ethical or eco-conscious story to tell. ”

Since it’s the middle of Summer, if you’re like me, you love an easy breezy dress to throw on with a cute pair of sandals and be on your way. Well ASOS has a great selection and they mostly priced under $100! You can also shop other categories as well so basically it’s a great place to find all kinds of cool eco-friendly fashion. Check out the site HERE! 



Calico Dragon Vegan Bags

Calico Dragon Vegan Bags



Calico Dragon is a super cool line of vegan bags and the best part it was started with the sole purpose of benefiting animals.

Not only does the brand donate a portion of their sales to various animal charities, but they also have cruelty-free messages incorporated into the designs. According to their website, the “bags are completely vegan and constructed from up-cycled materials. Since we order such a small number of bags, the fabric used to make our bags is purchased from factories out of their “scrap” material, which would otherwise end up in a landfill. Heavy duty construction along with a bold message presented in an artistic fashion make these bags truly unique!”  Love it!!  The bags are such a bargain as well! Priced from as little as $15.00. Check out these cool bags on their website!



Delikate Rayne: Quality, Cruelty-Free, U.S. Manufactured Fashion Brand

Delikate-Rayne vegan fashion

Delikate Rayne is a great vegan fashion line if you are looking for the perfect leather alternative.

The vegan line is clean with a classic yet edgy feel and the price range is reasonable for the quality that you get. All garments are made in the U.S.A. by a family owned manufacting company that provides an cruelty free, clean and safe working environment for all it’s employees. The brand was started by two sisters, Komie and Kim who have Eastern Indian roots. They believe in quality over quantity, so most products have a limited quantity available, which helps eliminate unnecessary excess waste and lowers carbon emissions. Their goal is to “provide only the highest caliber of animal friendly fashion while foregoing fast fashion practices.”

Here are a few of the peices that caught my eye, but check out more for yourself on their website