According to a recent Oxford University study, the single biggest step we can take towards a sustainable future is avoiding animal products. Did you know that the 83% of global farmland used for livestock produces just 18% of the world’s calories? By changing to a plant-based diet, air quality would improve and stresses on global water would reduce by over half.

More and more businesses are now embracing veganism, especially within the food sector. It’s estimated that there are now 500,000 vegans in the UK, with supermarkets competing to win the market with their plant-based selections. Sainsbury’s has taken a big step by becoming the first UK supermarket to stock meat alternatives next to their animal-based counterparts.

The fashion sector has also seen an immense drive to capture ethically-minded consumers, with online retail giant ASOS taking a significant step in announcing a ban on feathers, silk, and mohair from their online store effective in 2019.

Like recycling, veganism is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. Both choices have seen rapid growth due to a powerful combination of heightened consumer awareness, vastly increased options and genuine environmental necessity.

Every journey starts with a first step, so here are a few ideas how you can introduce veganism to your business:

  • If your business sells animal products or animal-based food, research alternatives – there is a wealth of innovation from rice mozzarella to skin-free suede. Offering vegan options will draw ethically-minded consumers into your business and help you become a part of a growing movement, while developing the infrastructure necessary to go fully vegan down the line.
  • If you are an office-based business, hold vegan corporate lunches and events. You can begin phasing out dairy by offering plant-based milk in the office fridge.
  • Be creative. Host a film night of a vegan documentaries, throw a vegan Christmas party, or even host a vegan bake sale. By spreading awareness in this way, you can get more people experimenting with plant-based living.

The most crucial step in protecting our planet is always the first. Businesses wondering whether to recycle, and if they should embrace veganism along the way, are ultimately grappling with the same question: do they create a piece of the future or remain part of the past?