Since 2014, more than half a million people in 178 countries have pledged to take part in Veganuary, motivated to stick to a plant-based diet for the whole of January by a multitude of reasons, including the environment, animals and health. With the number of pledges for the 2019 campaign exceeding those of the previous four years combined, numerous fast-food chains decided to hop on the vegan bandwagon this time around, making 2020 Veganuary’s most accessible year yet.
New product launches, including Greggs’ Vegan Steak Bake, the follow up to their popular meat-free Sausage Roll, KFC’s first ‘Chicken’ burger and Subway’s Meatless Meatball Marinara have attracted curious meat-lovers and hardcore vegans alike. These much-loved chains have seen their figures skyrocket; Greggs’ recently celebrating the huge success of its vegan sausage roll by rewarding their employees with a £300 bonus. Such achievement shows promising signs for the vegan economy, the food sector having paved the way for other high-grossing industries.
Besides the fact that at least one fast food chain serving a vegan option can be found on every UK high street, specialist vegan bakeries, restaurants and cafes are now popping up all over the country, offering plant-based and dairy free products which appeal to the masses. Many boast dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, hence reducing the business’s carbon footprint whilst also supporting the immediate community.
Next to oil, fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, responsible for humungous levels of water pollution and consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and soil degradation. Fast fashion only accelerates these effects, with high street names tempting consumers with constant newness to fill their already saturated wardrobes.
Inspired by the food industry, UK ‘slow fashion’ brands such as Thought Clothing and People Tree steer its practises away from environmental impact, offering garment makers a fair wage and good working conditions. A previous client, an independent bridal boutique in Wallingford, prides itself on giving pre-loved wedding dresses a new home, saving the planet one gown at a time.
Recent innovation in skincare has seen brands such as UpCircle Beauty put waste to good use, creating sustainable, cruelty-free products by repurposing used coffee grounds and brewed chai tea spices that would otherwise end up in landfill. Made with completely vegan ingredient and packaged in 100% recyclable materials, the business is a pioneer in its industry, leading the way for other brands to follow suit.
As we all know, customers hold all the power when it comes to your profit margins. Responding positively to consumer demand by incorporating planet-friendly practices or products into your business could be the key to bringing home the (fake) bacon.