Not all of us can afford to have a custom tuxedo made of hemp, like our vegan pal Woody Harrelson did back in March at the academy awards (although, I must admit that this custom Burberry creation is a really sharp tux!). One of the most common question's I get is "where can I find cruelty-free suits and blazers that don't look like crap?" It's difficult to find decent looking formal-wear that isn't wool, and I recommend linen and cotton suits if it's not the middle of winter. As for warm, ethical suits... you'll just have to wait for my very own line of Discerning Brute sustainable, vegan suits and tuxedos. For the time being, here's some suggestions for your next gala, red carpet event, or wedding. Be careful to check the details, like bull-horn buttons and leather trimming or detailing. Often this is left out of online clothing descriptions : • Loden Dager's Organic Cotton Twill two-button, notch lapel Blazer (not sure what the buttons are) $600 (or full suit $900) in Turquoise or Khaki
• BBlessing's Linen Tuxedo Jacket (not sure what the buttons are) on sale at GILT MAN, (click here for our invite) $158, black or gray
• Marc Jacobs double-breasted blazer in linen/viscose blend (not sure what the buttons are), $840
Poly suits and poly-blends are not the most eco-friendly, although they certainly have a smaller carbon footprint than wool and other livestock-derived products (What's wrong with wool, you ask?). Although the following do not meet 100% of Discerning Brute standards, I thought I'd list them anyway because there is just such a lack of good-looking vegan suits in general:
• Indochino, an online resource for custom-made suits, offers an alternative to the wool suit in a series of popular, metallic poly-blends, all around $300-400:
• TOPMAN's Black Slim Tux in a poly/viscose blend, $220 jacket, $80 pants
Some additional tips when looking for a vegan suit is to know what materials are used aside from wool and search for those at the store or on the web. A good suit should last you 15 years, and if you have the dough, consider working directly with a small designer or tailor and tell them what materials you'd like to use. Linen, for example is typically more sustainably produced than cotton (organic or not). It does not usually require chemicals and requires a lot less water. Hemp is the same.