If there’s one woman who’s making a case for fashion that’s chic without being cruel, it’s Sascha Camilli. As the editor in chief of Vilda Magazine, ‘the world’s first 100% vegan online fashion magazine’, Sascha knows a thing or two about presenting vegan fashion in an aesthetically pleasing and relatable way. We recently picked her brain to learn more about her magazine and her life as a vegan—scroll down to start reading!
NAK: What inspired you to set up Vilda?
Sascha: I saw a gap in the market for an online space focused on vegan fashion. Most vegan websites I read focused heavily on food and restaurants—but when I went vegan, one of the things I was missing was a good resource for fashion. While clicking through blogs and websites for my job in the fashion industry, I found myself wishing that a similar outlet would exist for vegans—so I created it.
NAK: What message do you (through the magazine) wish to share with your readers?
Sascha: Vegan fashion doesn’t have to be boring or un-trendy. There are lots of designers (Jill Milan, Vaute Couture, Freedom of Animals…and NAK!) who are very trend-sensitive and fashion-aware, creating sophisticated designs that are every bit as stylish as their animal counterpart, if not more so.
NAK: What’s your ultimate goal for Vilda? Where do you want to see it in 5, 10 years?
Sascha: I would love to create a print magazine to go with the online edition! The dream is to see it grow and evolve, becoming the vegan Vogue—a fashion and lifestyle bible for compassionate shoppers.
NAK: What motivated you to become vegan? Was there any particular incident that prompted you to do so?
Sascha: I’ve been vegetarian since I was 11, but I was under the impression that being vegan was too difficult. In 2012, I lived in Italy and volunteered for an animal shelter, also campaigning passionately to have a beagle testing lab facility closed. And it dawned on me that here I was, working for dogs to be freed and spared from suffering—but what about chickens, cows, and other animals? I was contributing to their suffering by eating eggs and dairy. So when I moved to London in the summer of 2012, I decided to give veganism a shot—and never looked back.
NAK: What changes have you observed within the fashion industry when it comes to the vegan lifestyle?
Sascha: With the current trend towards sustainability, veganism is definitely on the rise. Celebrities are endorsing vegan living, big brands are exploring cruelty-free options (see Marni’s vegan totes), and designers such as Stella McCartney and Vika Gazinskaya are saying no to fur and leather. The change is slow, but it’s coming.
NAK: We read a piece in your website about what to do with non-vegan items after you become vegan. What’s your approach to this matter?
Sascha: I would advocate for donating them or giving them away—I find it incredibly wasteful to throw them away. The only non-vegan item I still have is an old leather jacket that’s been in my closet for ages, but I can’t give it to anyone because the sleeve is ripped—so much for leather’s ‘high quality’! Generally, I’d say hit the charity shop.
NAK: What’s in your little black book of London addresses for vegans to eat and shop?
Sascha: As the dessert lover that I am, I’m crazy for Ms. Cupcake vegan cupcake shop in Brixton and Cookies and Scream in Camden. For brunch, I have a full English at InSpiral in Camden, and Tibits in Soho has an amazing vegan buffet. For vegan snacks, I’d recommend VX in King’s Cross.
Fashion-wise, I’m very curious about vegan handbag brand Labante in London, and NAK!