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Style File

Make Your Wardrobe Eco-Friendly With Tips From Top Designers

Green is the new black as sustainable, eco-friendly and vegan fashions become the future.

Ever wondered how the clothing and accessories you’ve purchased were made? It’s important to be mindful of sustainable fashions and purchase products that will leave a positive imprint on the world. 

ZINK founder and creative director Ben Freedland went from designing an exotic-skin brand to a 100-percent ethically made vegan brand specializing in handbags. His motive? To design a handbag that retailed for under $100. “Of course it could not be made of real leather for that price,” Freedland says.  

He began to question why everyone wanted a vegan bag and, once the orders began rolling in, wondered if the customers were vegan. “The second customer actually was vegan, and here came the biggest learning experience, she asked me if the glue was vegan,” Freedland remembers. “I was like, ‘Good question.’ I never thought to ask my factory if the glue was vegan or not. Needless to say, it was and [still] is.” 

As time passed, Freedland became more familiar with a vegan lifestyle. He learned about the treatment of animals and the downfall of certain fashion industry operations. Thinking more about who made his products and with what materials became top priorities for Freedland. 

“This is when the light bulb went off in my head that ZINK could still be a high-quality brand if we went 100-percent vegan,” he says. “Now, my vision with ZINK is to continually improve our sustainability and to only use natural, recycled or sustainable fabrics, plus only natural dyes or azo free dyes.” 

ZINK no longer makes handbags in China and will soon expand its fair-trade offerings to include wraps, caftans and home decor. 


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