John Bartlett: “I Want to Be a 100% Vegan Designer”

For award-winning clothing designer John Bartlett, eating vegan isn't enough. He wants to design vegan, too.

Bartlett said he will wait to present during Fashion Week until he’s established alternatives to all animal-derived elements within his work.

“Next time I show,” Bartlett told Niteside, “I want to show a fully vegan collection. I want to make sure there’s intention behind it. Over the past year, I have taken leather out of my collections, I will no longer [use] down and, hopefully by next fall, I will no longer [use] wool.

"I want to be a one-hundred-percent vegan designer.”

Bartlett was on hand Sunday night at a ‘Fashion + Animals’ presentation given by’s Joshua Katcher, held at Jivamukti Yoga Center near Union Square.

Bartlett applauded fellow ethical designer, Stella McCartney, but said he strives to go beyond even her level of compassionate luxury.

“Stella is an incredible example," he said. "She still does work with wool and alpacas. I’d like to go all the way.”

As for his Fashion Week plans, Bartlett will be out and about, but he won't be showing his collection.

“I’m going to shows to see my friends," he said. "(But) it’s a bit uncomfortable because I know they’re using fur and they know how I feel.

“They don’t understand why fur isn’t fabulous. [Many] consider fur as fabric. There is this incredible disconnect. It’s the same kind of disconnect as eating a hamburger.”

Now, Bartlett is making moves in line with his morals, and leading by positive example.

“I’m trying to find my voice," he said. "I’m really happy that I’m on that path now.”


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