An Interview with Human Kind

An interview with Humankind

Interview Questions from Peace, Love & Vegetables

PLV: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

H: I am the mother of 3, a dietitian by profession and an animal lover at heart. I stopped eating meat as a teenager and decided to forgo all animal products more recently. I have honestly never felt better! Earlier this year I opened Humankind, an online store selling vegan leather bags, shoes and accessories sourced from across the globe.

PLV: What inspired you to start Human Kind?

H: I stopped wearing animal leather about 10 years ago. For a long time I just wore things like canvas sneakers and thongs but a few years ago I started looking around for nicer shoes and bags. I got really excited by what I found and decided it would be great to make these more available here in Australia because most of the products had to be ordered from overseas. With so many gorgeous, great quality vegan products now available, I am on a mission to prove that you don’t need to sacrifice style or quality just because you choose not to wear animal leather.

PLV: What on earth is vegan leather?!

H: Vegan leather is basically any leather-like material that is not derived from an animal. It can be made from a variety of different sources, such as synthetic polyurethane, recycled materials and even from plants, such as pineapples!

PLV: When and where did you first find out about vegan leather?

H: I began researching (my way of justifying shopping!) vegan leather a few years ago while looking to replace the shabby shoes and bags in my own wardrobe. It’s amazing to see how the industry has evolved, in response to consumer demand, in such a short space of time.

PLV: What does sustainability mean to you, and how do you practice it?

H: Sustainability to me is about living in a way that minimises my impact on the planet and all living beings. The food we choose is a big part of this so I try to buy organic wherever possible and stick to mainly wholefoods with minimal packaging. Avoiding animal products makes a huge difference as animal agriculture has many negative consequences for the environment (and of course animals!). We compost and recycle at home and try our best to only buy stuff we really need.

PLV: How can vegan leather make a difference?

H: A move towards vegan leather means that fewer animals need to be raised and killed for their skins. Many people view leather as a by-product of the meat industry, however, as animal skins, sold as leather, are very valuable, they should really be considered more a ‘co-product’ of the meat industry. Also, many animals, such as crocodiles, snakes, and dogs and cats in China are killed solely for the skins.

PLV: When work gets overwhelming, how do you unwind?

H: There’s a beautiful walk just down the road from where I live which I do with my dog Parker most days. It winds through a gorgeous patch of rainforest right in the middle of suburbia and being in there calms me. I also do yoga once a week and always leave the class feeling like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders.

PLV: Can you give us any advice when it comes to searching for vegan clothing and accessories?

H: Try to buy good quality products as they’ll last longer. You may need to make a slightly larger financial investment in the short-term but it makes more sense in the long-term, as you will have to replace your goods less frequently and this also means less waste. Have an even greater positive impact by supporting businesses with good ethical standards.