Brand of the Month: Charlie Feist
I’ve been writing about Vegan Fashion for well over a year now and it occurred to me just how many brands I’ve discovered in that time. Before I started this journey I knew very little about what brands made vegan clothing, which ones were wholly vegan and which brands sold unethical vegan clothes (fast fashion without the use of animal products; I personally don’t count this as vegan fashion as a living being still has to suffer for it)
I’ve tried to update my ‘BRANDS’ page on the website but not as frequently as I hoped, this is something I will work on over 2019. But I thought I could highlight a vegan fashion brand each month and add them to the list of recommended companies that I’ve researched. So here goes the first Brand of the Month…
Charlie Feist has been on my radar for a while and I was finally able to get myself one of their backpacks as my current Matt & Nat one is showing signs of wearing out (not too pleased about this!) The company, set up in 2015, is completely vegan and was named after a dog that was bred in the UK in the 1800’s to provide companionship to travellers. They have created a stylish range of backpacks that are intended to be your companion on your travels (if you don’t have a dog I guess…)
I opted for the Kiko backpack for £65; I chose it for its size, as I wanted a small backpack for everyday use. It is a 3-in-1 bag as it can convert from a backpack to a crossbody to a shoulder bag by pulling the handle through to fully extend it. The exterior is a black waterproof recycled PET fabric and the lining is a fabulous orange colour. I love the front storage pocket and the heavy duty zips, makes me feel confident that it will last a long time. They use 10 recycled plastic bottles to make each backpack! My favourite thing about the brand is that they only use vegan leather in their products, setting them apart from most backpack designers. It shows that you can have a great bag without the unnecessary killing of animals.
The practice of using recycled plastic to create polyester fibre has been pulled into question recently, with people asking me “how environmentally sound is the recycling process itself?” I had no answer for this and didn’t even know what PET was! My research lead me to the Bleher website, a German company producing plastic film, where I quickly learned that PET stands for Plastic Polyethylene Terephthalate. They explained,“Recycling PET leads to a 60% energy savings – compared to the energy requirements for producing new plastics”.
What drew me to Charlie Feist was their minimalist designs and smart use of space, too often women’s backpacks are all about the look and don’t actually function very well. So far the backpack has been perfect for carrying around my everyday items (gonna do a ‘bag spill’ on IG soon so keep an eye out…) and it can handle a fair amount of weight. I really love the Kiko backpack and would highly recommend the Charlie Feist range to anyone who’s looking for a stylish, practical bag with added environmental benefits.