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Vegan fashion is no longer an oxymoron

[Boston Globe]

Vegan fashion is no longer an oxymoron. You can dress compassionately -- and look stylish.
When Ginger Burr visited my office, she was a smashing fashion plate -- perfect makeup, flawless haircut and color, sensational brown outfit, Kate Spade nylon bag and Franco Sarto boots, complete with a faux shearling coat.

So what's unusual about that? Nothing, except that she's a vegan, and the phrase "stylish vegan" is usually an oxymoron, thanks to the limited clothing choices for followers of compassionate dressing.

Burr dresses in a chic way that complements her cruelty-free philosophy -- that is, she won't eat meat, poultry , fish, eggs , or milk, and won't wear wool, leather, silk, suede, shearling, cashmere, or fur. With those kinds of restrictions, many vegans can too easily look like a crunchy-granola Earth Mother. But Burr, a professional image consultant whose specialty is vegan fashion, looks more hip than hippie. And she wants to help other vegan women achieve the same.

Burr has been obsessed with eating healthfully since she was a teenager. Friends used to tease her about her food choices -- they scarfed down pizza and Doritos while she snacked on radishes and carrots. She became a full-fledged vegan in 2005, and her business, Total Image Consultants in Lynn, has since embarked on a quest to help other vegan women find stylish fashions. Burr charges $160 an hour for her wardrobe consultations, which last an average of two hours.

So what should a quinoa-eating, veal-hating vegan do about her garments? Until only recently, it's been a challenge. Burr acknowledges that if you're a vegan, the choices are limited. "You don't want to dress as though you're going hiking everyday," she says. Most vegan fashions have been decidedly un-chic. "Most vegan clothing is casual, but that is slowly changing," she says. "For vegans, there's hope if you want to be fashionable."

full story: articles/2007/04/05/dont_be_cruel/

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