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Seven reasons to stop giving a fuck about Justin Timberlake’s “vegan suit”

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Everybody is still in a tizzy over JT’s camo ensemble from this past weekend’s Super Bowl halftime show. Yes, we all took a collective breath between bites of cauliflower wings to scoff in horror at the once sexy-back singer’s brazen disregard for good fashion. But hark! These weren’t just normal horrendous garments, they were allegedly vegan. I have stewed on the promotion of this for several days now and finally stopped raging long enough to put together a tasteful list of seven reasons why we all need to stop giving a fuck about this substance-less “vegan news.”

  1. Justin Timberlake isn’t vegan

Whenever we celebrate someone for doing something “vegan” without being vegan (celebrity or not), we are saying that act is enough (it’s not). This isn’t the first suit that’s gotten Timberlake vegan attention after all. I’m sure all his halftime supporters remember the SNL tofu suit fondly and forget he’s no animal ally. He’s only rumoured to be vegetarian, and therefore still exploits animals.

     2. Justin Timberlake didn’t pick it out to promote veganism

I can’t help but imagine the fashion team behind JT jumping up and down in an attempt to grab our attention. People must already know that celebrities aren’t responsible for the outfits they wear on stage, and in this case, he most definitely did not demand a vegan suit in an attempt to promote veganism to the million of viewers tuning in. Someone is going to take to the comments to argue that whomever the angel was who voted for a Stella McCartney outfit was obviously thinking about animals, but that person hasn’t made it to #3 yet.

     3. Stella McCartney is not a vegan designer

I’m not quite sure how she’s done it, but the confusion card is often dealt by companies that profit off of animal exploitation. Stella utilizes some animal-free fabrics in her fashion like faux leather and fur, but still actively designs and sells 100% wool and 100% silk garments. In fact, her site calls her designs “vegetarian,” which is in line with the entire McCartney ethos (yes, I’m referring to the non-vegan Linda McCartney food range). The fact that a “Respect For Animals” page exists on the Stella McCartney website at all is insulting, as she seems to think silk worms and sheep aren’t deserving of the same respect as cows.

    4. The suit might not have been vegan

I can find article after article calling the suit vegan, but even McCartney doesn’t so much as #vegan her posts about it on Instagram. Yes, the t-shirt was cotton and the jacket fringe may have featured faux-leather, but there’s a good chance there’s a percentage of wool and silk not being declared. Take it from someone that has had a real hard time finding their partner vegan suits that are any heavier than gonna-sweat-cuz-it’s-summer weight. I’d wager this is no different than news outlets wrongly labelling someone vegan because they’re caught with a green smoothie in hand.

    5. No one liked the suit (cuz it’s ugly)

A suit this ugly may actually deter someone from considering or purchasing vegan clothing. It’s a stretch, but bad PR is bad PR. Heaven forbid people start believing this outfit is some sort of vegan uniform or that we’re all trying to update from the hippie stereotype to a sort of fuck-boy cowboy and cowgirl chic. Honestly, we would have been better off if the world decided left shark was a vegan.

   6. No one has ever gone vegan because they liked a suit

Come now. Would we have lost our shit if JT had worn a cotton tee and denim jeans? Lots of clothing happens to be vegan. I get it, he didn’t follow in Beyoncé’s footsteps with a leather onesie, but he also didn’t use his record breaking third performance to make any sort of stand. Unless knocking down the mystic and hype of halftime shows was part of his plan.

    7. No one has gone vegan at a Super Bowl party

Sure, I bet lots of vegans host ’em or at least invade them with vegan snacks. But vegan education on the morality of using animals is not easy to get out between whistles. Unless maybe you picture-in-picture a screening of Earthlings, you’re probably not making any converts over four hours of binge drinking.


My father thought a “vegan suit” would be more of an antithesis of Lady Gaga’s infamous meat dress, and would be a hideous crocheted poncho of kale leaves. Now, he thinks it’s just trendy, ugly, fast fashion. Thanks, Stella and JT. Thank’s a lot. At least now I can continue with my yearly Super Bowl tradition — not watching the Super Bowl.

Photo from She Knows

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  • Even if I had the $ to spend, Stella McCartney wouldn’t be my go-to for vegan suits, since, like you say, a lot of their clothing isn’t vegan (though I think most of the shoes and handbags are). I honestly find when I’m looking at men’s suits that non-vegan brands are often a better bet (Ted Baker, for example, makes a lot of suits from vegan materials, you just have to look up the fabric content online).

    That said, I personally think veganism is still pretty much in a “no such thing as bad publicity” phase. Having people chat about celebrities wearing vegan clothes (whether they are or not) strikes me as positive, since it’s probably the first time many have even heard of a “vegan suit” (it might even prompt a few people to look up the word “vegan” and find out for themselves). The first time I ever HEARD the word “vegan” was from a PETA ad talking about vegan celebrities. It might not be “ideal” but us mortals are interested in that sort of thing (I’d actually be very interested in knowing how often that’s the case – I polled a few friends and they first heard of veganism in connection with celebs – like I said, it may not be the best thing (sure, the celebrities are probably not vegan, yadda yadda, but hearing about veganism is a pretty important first step).

    PS, having a vegan superbowl party is a fantastic way to do outreach! I’m a little surprised to hear you belittle the idea (I realize you might just being lighthearted), since it’s a great way to show that vegans are just like everyone else, and that we have delicious junk food!

  • Linda McKenzie

    Wonderful wit as always, Eva!

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