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Brief Updated: 17 Sep 2015

Vegan Retail Rising, USA

Vegan Scene store

LA’s burgeoning vegan retail sector is building momentum thanks to two new destinations: a pop-up by Brooklyn-based fashion label Vaute Couture (running until October 21) and Vegan Scene – the city’s first vegan retail and events space.

Launched to coincide with its autumn 2015 collection, Vaute Couture’s small, single-storey space echoes its focus on recycled materials with a similarly sustainable approach to design. Furnished with found pieces from LA salvage yards and vintage dealers, the store features a polished concrete floor, muted grey walls and a wall mural, which will be updated every few weeks to highlight a new issue regarding social responsibility.

Vegan Scene is a 1,600 sq ft hybrid space designed to educate consumers on multiple aspects of the vegan lifestyle. The retail portion sells home goods and apparel free from animal product, while the event space hosts activities such as cooking and fitness classes. A café, lounge and bar are due to open in late 2015.

The destinations join premium vegan restaurant Plant Food and Wine, whose notably elegant aesthetic, marked by marble surfaces and sleek industrial fittings, reflects a key shift in mainstream attitudes towards veganism. “Connecting vegan products purely with animal welfare is no longer the leading association,” Eric Pierce, director of strategy and insights at US research group New Hope Natural Media, told US trade journal Food Navigator. “Associating veganism with health is now a stronger perception, with 35% of US consumers now making the connection.”

For more on retailing to eco-enthusiasts, see Sustainable Futures Update, Marketing Sustainability and Retail Activism: Patagonia Flagship NYC.