Activism through clothing: How it works and makes a difference

We choose our clothing for a lot of reasons. We dress up either for self-expression or first impression. But our choice of clothing could also mean something deeper, such as our support for a cause.

Throughout the years, fashion has been an effective mode of self-expression. Colours are used to identify emotions, such as green for friendliness, black for coldness, and red for anger. In many countries around the world, dress codes are used to identify specific groups of people, such as entrepreneurs, religious people, and working professionals. The way a person dresses up and assess other people’s dresses form a significant part of social norms and perceptions.


A significant development in recent years, though, is the concept of fashion activism.  Designer Céline Semaan coined this term. And since then, this idea has been one of the driving forces of change in the fashion world. Today, fashion is now used as an advocacy expression or mode of protest. In fact, fashion activism is also widely used in promoting veganism.


Nowadays, the demand for vegan merch, such as clothing and bags, has grown and will continue to grow in the coming years. How can fashion activism make a difference in the world?


Becoming vegan: Why more people are doing it

Veganism is such a popular buzzword for three main reasons – improving health, preserving the environment, and compassion towards animals.


Did you know that a vegan or plant-based diet can help you recover from or prevent the early onset of lifestyle-induced chronic degenerative diseases? Specifically,  plant-based foods are found to have significant science-based health contributions in preventing obesity, diabetes, heart problems, kidney failure, and certain types of cancer.


Besides, countless studies show that a plant-based diet can give you a wide range of nutrients you can’t easily get from animal products. Plant-based products contain more fiber and antioxidants, which are essential for immune system health and cell protection.


A meta-analysis of observational studies published in Molecular Psychiatry also points out the link between mental health and plant-based nutrition. The risk of depression and other mental health issues can significantly decrease with the intake of mood-boosting and brain-health fruits and veggies.


Contrary to popular belief, veganism isn’t just a way of eating. It’s actually a lifestyle that manifests in different areas of life, especially in the choice of clothing and shopping. Health reasons aside, many people have switched to a vegan lifestyle to promote animal protection and compassion. 


In the U.S. alone, data shows that over 10 billion land animals are slaughtered annually for food production. Wolves, bears, coyotes, and other wildlife are almost at the brink of extinction and are being killed for fur and clothing. Lions, buffalos, and tigers are killed due to poaching and hunting.

Animal husbandry also contributes to the increasing issues of deforestation. What once was a heavily forested area now becomes a ranch with slaughterhouses where owners could intensively harvest livestock for meat and other products. Truth be told, animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of species extinction. And in the coming years, the future generation will possibly only refer to pictures of animals, instead of seeing them alive in their natural habitat.

Yes, health benefits attract people to make veganism an eating preference. But it’s really the pressing concern on species extinction and forest preservation that call millions of people around the world to consider veganism as a life-long lifestyle. And what better way to promote this advocacy than using the age-old art of dressing up and looking good. Fashion activism is a positive way of encouraging people to consider living a vegan lifestyle. Through vegan merch and apparel, animal protection and conservation advocates can showcase the fun and exciting side of ditching meat products. Fashion also gives way for advocates to create a community and do some outreach activities to spread the good word of veganism.


Why is outreach important?

As social advocacy, fighting for conservation and animal protection can’t be done alone. It’s important to create a community and collaborate. This explains the need for marketing and outreach. Through outreach activities, advocates can tap different groups of people to fight for the same cause. What’s being promoted in veganism is a universal concern, which means it can bridge gender, religious, cultural, and age barriers.


What are the different ways to get active in the community by doing outreach?


Forming a community that shares the same zeal to protect and advocate for animals and nature is the key to promote the benefits of going vegan. Through the following outreach activities, you can successfully mobilize people to raise awareness of this eco-friendly lifestyle:

  1. Prioritizing the use of vegan merch, such as tote bags, footwear, and t-shirts with vegan messages.
  2. Join a pro-nature fun run or march, such as the Official Animal Rights March.
  3. Watch documentaries with the group.
  4. Organize or join talks and seminars.
  5. Join and actively participate in community movements, such as Extinction Rebellion.
  6. Visit a sanctuary with a vegan group or community.
  7. Conducting orientation and seminars to raise the public’s awareness of environmental issues.
  8. Join a group street activism, such as the Anonymous for the Voiceless.
  9. Visit slaughterhouses and do vigils with The Save Movement.
  10. Share information and tips on social media on how to live a vegan lifestyle.

Wearing statement t-shirts: How it makes a difference

Wearing statement T-shirts can easily be considered one of the effective ways to share the message of veganism. Especially when paired with a compelling image, vegan statements can catch the attention of people. For example, kids t-shirts with “God’s Food” print could give non-vegan readers a different perspective about fruits and veggies. T-shirts with a “Too Cute to Be Scary” message paired with an image of a baby grizzly bear or whale could encourage compassion for these frequently hunted animals. Vegan trivia and information, such as “top plant-based sources of protein” and “delicious superfoods” printed on t-shirts helps raise the readers’ awareness of how to get started in going vegan.


Ultimately, the use of statement t-shirts to promote a vegan lifestyle is a convenient and effective one. Because it’s easy, it’s possible to encourage a lot of people to do it. As the adage goes “power is in the numbers,” and the more people supporting this advocacy, the more likely it is to be an effective movement.



With the rise of fashion activism for a vegan lifestyle, one can easily say that it’s actually exciting and fun to live this kind of lifestyle. All that needs to be done is decide to ditch the use or intake of animal products. Yes, this could be challenging and tricky at first. But the payoffs will all be worth it.

Are you now eager to join this movement? If you’re in Cambodia or are planning to visit the country, you can start getting involved in this movement by visiting the nearest Vegan Restaurant Phnom Penh Bon Bonlai for a taste of sumptuous plant-based Cambodian cuisine. Then, stay inspired by reading other articles and inspiring posts on the perks of a vegan lifestyle written by the Vegan marketers at Ardor SEO. Let’s work together to spread the word about the holistic and long-term benefits of an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Make sure you check out the Vegan Bong Bonlais' Facebook page as well, because they often share exclusive events! 

They also operate the eco-friendly Vegan Boutique Hotel YK Art House!

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