Austin, TX-based fashion brand ZINK has recently removed all animal products from its collections. The company was founded in 2013 by designer Ben Freedland and initially focused on producing accessories such as handbags using exotic animal skins. In 2015, Freedland launched entirely vegan collection ZINK Vegan, and in 2016, he began to transition the entire brand to exclude all animal products. “We believe that true quality exists without cruelty,” Freedland told VegNews. The process of veganizing the brand has not been easy, according to Freedland, as he had to sever relations with many wholesale accounts and customers. “It has been like starting our business over again,” Freedland says, “but it has been worth it.” The current line features Italian cork-based handbags and “plant cashmere” wraps made from 100-percent fine cotton in a variety of colors. The development of new animal-free materials—such as pineapple-based leather from Spanish company Piñatex—makes it possible for the the fashion industry to move away from animal products entirely.
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