We meet Kim van Langelaar, Co-founder and COO of Shop Like You Give a Damn
As passionate vegans, they were frustrated with how difficult it was to find stylish vegan products online, so they started their own online vegan department store, Shop Like You Give a Damn.
– WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO SPECIALIZE IN VEGAN / SUSTAINABLE FASHION?
The idea to launch a vegan fashion platform originated back in 2017, because for a very long time it simply wasn’t possible to shop within a broad range of trustworthy vegan fashion items. This especially proved difficult for my husband and now business partner Stephan, who was looking for vegan men’s wear and often came back disappointed finding out there was a hidden leather label here, an unexpected wool blend there or a questionable screen print. Frustrated with that fact, we thought: this is a problem that needs solving. Because if us vegans are having trouble with this, we sure can’t be the only ones.
So – we started our online department store Shop Like You Give a Damn for vegan, fair and sustainable fashion and cosmetics, recently branching out to homeware too. We wanted to make it super easy and accessible for everyone to shop ethically. Our marketplace brings together lots of ethical brands and sellers like Canussa.
Here we invite our visitors to shop compassionately. As little as possible and never more than they need, but always vegan, fair and as sustainable as possible. Our visitors can filter within our collection of 10.000+ products with our 14 ethical and environmental criteria, or on materials and certifications, allowing them to select their favourite items based on issues that matter to them most.
We want to make compassion and sustainability the new normal. Together with all those local, passionate businesses we can truly make a huge impact. We’re working on creating more transparency in the fashion business and desperately try to persuade people to make the vegan and fair choice, as sustainable as possible. It’s especially important at this time because the people producing the items in the (fast) fashion industry have been hit really hard during this coronacrisis.
Kim van Langelaar, Co-founder and COO
– WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES YOU FACE?
Finding truly credible brands and assessing how ethical they actually are. Behind the scenes we’re working hard on expanding and deepening those 14 criteria, because over the years we’ve learned so much more about this complex and intransparant industry we’re in.
At the moment we’re building towards launching 31 subcriteria within themes like veganism, fair production chains, sustainability, inclusivity and social entrepreneurship. Our biggest challenge is doing the research as deep as we feel is necessary with our small team and limited budget. But – we’re working towards a breakthrough here. Updates will follow soon 🙂
– WHY IS CANUSSA AT SHOP LIKE YOU GIVE A DAMN?
Shopping ethically is so important. All sorts of environmental issues, terrible working conditions and animal rights problems throughout all animal-industries are so completely intertwined. Often horrible practices in (fast) fashion that are so common, are completely hidden from the public. It’s important that we help create awareness about all these issues AND provide better, kinder alternatives. It’s why we invite our visitors to shop compassionately: make sure you know its origin and put your money where your ethics are.
Seeing as we share some basic principles in life and our businesses we are extremely passionate about, working together on making fashion items like Canussa’s more widely available, only seemed natural. We’ve found that most other vegan and fair fashion crusaders we’ve met along the way are very eager to join forces: a shared mission goes a long way. We all dream of that same compassionate world and will do anything to make that happen together.
What better way to taking the world by storm, than offering these innovative, stylish and beautifully made essentials to anyone who’s looking for something elegant – not just regarding its looks, but also its backstory? We love your credible brand and true intentions, combined with the aesthetic and smart design (especially with that foldeable tote bag!).