Is your vibrator vegan? What about those condoms in your nightstand or that cute lingerie set? Vegans may make better, higher-stamina lovers, according to recent headlines, but finding the eco-friendly, cruelty-free products to support their desires and drives isn’t so easy.
Take condoms. Many contain casein, a milk protein that’s used for texture. Vibrators could have glue made from animal byproducts, or raw materials that have been tested on animals. Silkworms might have spun the floss to create that lightweight lingerie. Lubes often have glycerol that, while often considered “green,” should be avoided by people who are prone to yeast infections.
“And, shocker!, but not all synthetic leather is vegan,” says Katie Randall, owner of Love/Sex/Vegan, a new Indianapolis-based e-commerce company. “Determining which intimate leather products are vegan can be more difficult than it should be.”
But that’s all starting to change. Now, more condom manufacturers are using sustainable and ethically sourced rubber. And in early 2019, Gaia Eco launched the “world’s first biodegradable vibrator.” Love/Sex/Vegan sells about 20 products right now, including a popular green lace lingerie set; the pink or purple Penelope Wireless Vibrator, made of medical-grade silicone; a soft Team Herbivore T-shirt; and a leather-free bondage flogger.
Randall selects products that meet her efficiency, economy, and environmental standards, and she says she gives part of the proceeds to Planned Parenthood. Here’s a brief look at how her sex-positive “come-as-you-are platform” came about—and what she has planned for 2020.
“Women get a lot of push-back for nearly every health and wellness decision they make, and I wanted to create a space where I could say, ‘Enough is enough! Here you go. I’ve done all the research for you.”
No LOVE FOR LATEX
Randall, 25, is vegan and allergic to latex. When she actually did find latex- and casein-free condoms, she says, they weren’t often marketed as being vegan. So she launched Love/Sex/Vegan to make it easier on people like herself—who want to lead healthier lives, while protecting animals and the environment.
“Women get a lot of push-back for nearly every health and wellness decision they make, and I wanted to create a space where I could say, ‘Enough is enough! Here you go. I’ve done all the research for you. Here is one less hoop you have to jump through to take care of and express yourself in the way that you see fit,’” she says.
Before launching LSV, Randall was a nanny, server, bar manager, Uber driver, housesitter, and research assistant. She has a degree in medical humanities and health studies from Indiana University and is working on her master’s degree in bioethics.
On Creating Love/Sex/Vegan As a “Female-Focused Environment”
“First, it means incorporating more than one brand of beautiful, rather than relying on the unrealistic tropes of femininity we all know so well,” Randall says. “The website says, ‘A come-as-you-are platform’—pun intended. I want every woman to feel welcome and included.
“Second, it means carving out the space for women to take inventory of their sexuality on their own terms It’s a place where no woman has to pay an emotional-hassle tax or deal with judgment or shame.”
NEW MOVES FROM Love/Sex/Vegan
In 2020, Randall will launch a blog. She’ll write about veganism, but her background in ethics will lead her to cover “more provocative topics” regarding women’s health.
“The more our business grows, the more we would like to find Indy-based artists to work with,” she says.