What I love the most about the new online vegan community marketplace, forAnima, is not that it’s a cruelty-free cross of Macy’s and Etsy. And it’s also not the fact that every day there’s a new featured deal, highlighting interesting vegan products — thus bringing in a “Groupon” feel to the website’s eclectic mix. Nor is my favorite part the dedicated section that’s devoted to providing resources to new (and seasoned) vegans, such as meal suggestions, recipes, and a forum where you can bring up anything from pleather stilettos to pending pro-animal legislation. And, shockingly, my favorite part of this new hub of compassionate couture, baked goods that are free of oppression but heavy on yumminess, and conscious-minded cosmetics (which I kind of want immediately), is not even the extensive “services” section — sort of like a vegan Yellow Pages — shedding light on everything from vegan wines, to vegan nutritionists, to vegan real estate agents and event coordinators.
As you can see, there are a heap of things in there that could easily be considered the best part of this new clearinghouse. And yet, those are not my favorite parts…
The very best part of forAnima, for me, is that their entire M.O. is about the power of voting with your dollars. To illustrate that point, they have created a Be the Buyer section (a.k.a. my favorite part!), where readers can upload styles that they’d like to see veganized, and others are then allowed to vote on those styles. According to forAnima, “once we get a lot of interest for certain products we’ll let the brands know that there’s a business opportunity!” Precisely. That is a great way to create demand, and a stylish, unique way to reach companies who are concerned with their bottom line, and the needs of would-be customers. Let’s make that bottom line one that does not involve exploitation. This is for-profit activism to write home about.
(Note that forAnima is currently in Beta. We can all look forward to a massive launch coming this Fall, but that does not mean we can’t enjoy it in the mean time!)