Kristen Stewart, Melissa McCarthy's Stylist Picks Top 10 Vegan Fashion, Beauty Brands
Fashion stylist Tara Swennen — who is also behind the sartorial choices of Allison Janney and Matthew McConaughey — owns two pet pigs, is looking for a tortoise, and is up for a Vegan Fashion Week award.
Fashion stylist Tara Swennen has a glittery client list, from Kristen Stewart and Allison Janney to Matthew McConaughey and Melissa McCarthy. Yet at home in Studio City, things get a little more gritty. Swennen shares her abode with two pet pigs, Sprinkles and Chocolate Chip (named by her 7-year-old daughter, Jordan) and is currently looking for a tortoise to add to the family.
For the past few years, she has slowly transition to a vegan lifestyle. After covering L.A.’s first Vegan Fashion Week for The Hollywood Reporter in February, Swennen is nominated for a Vegan Fashion Stylist award at the second annual event, to be held Oct. 10-14 in Los Angeles. She spoke to THR about her vegan journey and some favorite beauty and fashion brands she has discovered along the way.
"I've been vegan now for three and a half years," says Swennen. "It started slowly. I started reading and going down the rabbit hole, a little bit here or there, on Instagram. [Retired NBA player] John Salley was actually the one who got in my head about it and sort of got me across the finish line. He's an avid vegan advocate and activist. He is very knowledgeable and gave me hard facts that were enough for me to get past my cognitive dissonance."
What began as a dietary shift progressed into a lifestyle. "It started with my food, and then I try to advocate for veganism and high vegan products on my social platforms," she says. "Within my work, I realize that obviously the needs and the wants of my clients might be different than mine. I will not force anyone into wearing faux leather, but I will try to bring options. I went as far as getting these two pigs and they’re pretty famous; they’ve been in the L.A. Times and on my clients’ Instagrams. I can proudly say that I have turned people away from at least no longer eating pig!"
When it comes to resources, Swennen says, "I speak a lot with Livia Firth’s team [at Eco Age] to try to figure out what brands are not only the most vegan, but also sustainable and eco-friendly. A lot of times, the whole vegan stamp doesn't necessarily mean eco-friendly; they might be using dyes that are very harmful. I also recently joined the New Standard Institute, a group that is working to make fashion products and designers and the whole industry essentially less destructive by 2030. Most people just think of vegans as what they put in their mouths, but I think the general public has no idea how much animal testing happens in the beauty world and with the stuff we wear!"
As to whether her pigs follow a vegan diet, Swennen says, "They eat anything and everything, except beans and salt. That’s their Kryptonite! They have been eating my walls recently, but I love them dearly!"
Here, Swennen's top 10 favorite vegan fashion and beauty brands:
"This high-end luxury brand is one of my favorites of all time. Stella is not only an avid animal activist, but also tries to use as much recycled plastic in her designs as possible. Her unique range of clothing and accessories for adults and children is mind-blowing; her taste is impeccable and fun!"
"This Brazilian shoe company makes the cutest printed oxfords using recycled rubber, plastic bottles, vegan leather and vintage clothing. They are the perfect flat to amp up ones look any time of the year. I simply love all of the pop-y, colorful fabrics that they incorporate in their fun footwear."
"These are some of my favorite vegan red carpet go-tos — classic and sexy pumps and heels from a company that has committed to offsetting their environmental impact by 110 percent! They are clean and elegant, while being super comfortable as well."
"This well-known eco-conscious brand has many affordable vegan and effortlessly-fitting options, such as cute tops and summer dresses. Close to 15 percent of their products are made of deadstock fabrics and their remanufactured clothing can save around 13,000 pounds of CO2 emissions a year. It’s an amazing everyday-wear brand!"
"These beautiful pieces are made from 100 percent recycled metal, use only fair trade diamonds and is 100 percent vegan. Their pieces elevate anyone’s look, adding flare and edge."
Tata Harper Beautifying Face Oil ($98)
"This natural brand’s fave oil is vegan and boosts radiance and vibrancy for tired, dull skin. I use it every morning before heading out the door."
Maria Nila Luminous Colour Shampoo ($27)
"This Swedish vegan brand leaves your locks luscious and smooth — with an added bonus of cute packaging."
Smith’s Luxury Hair Mask ($2.64)
"This PETA-certified, vegan product is enriched with a nourishing blend of organic caviar lime, mountain pepper and aniseed myrtle. This antioxidant-rich treatment deeply moisturizes while smoothing the hair and enhancing shine."
The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask ($28)
"This cruelty-free mask is my travel go-to! I use it the night I land and wake up feeling refreshed and luminous the following morning."
Jason Dry Spray Deodorant ($7.99)
"This 24-hour protection spray is easy to use and smells delightful. My favorite scents are the delicate floral, soft rose and cucumber."