Katcher with Enzo, who was rescued by Sugar Mutts.
I recently had the fortune of lunching at Mighty Diamond with Joshua Katcher, the captivating man behind The Discerning Brute, a new blog of “fashion, food, and etiquette for the ethically fabulous man.”
I’ve been an acquaintance of Katcher for a few years and each time I see him he is decorated as perfectly as a Babycakes cupcake. Tired of looking at vegan men dressed in ratty supertight pegleg jeans and black hoodies, I relished the opportunity to find out how he manages to stay so stylish and report back to SV readers. I hoped to get a snappy list of dos and don’ts and imagined he might pull out a bunch of candid snapshots of poorly dressed vegans exiting Atlas with black bars hiding their identity. Apparently his style philosophy is much deeper and more interesting than that.
Joshua Katcher has been veg since he participated in a Meat Out event with his high school environmental group. He credits writer Derrick Jensen, ethicist Peter Singer, and ecofeminists like Carol Adams and Marti Kheel with informing his holistic approach to living a fabulously vegan lifestyle without compromising ethical concerns for animals, the humans who make our clothing, and our planet.
Katcher, who values individuality and is surprisingly (and refreshingly) reluctant to promote consumerism, was hesitant to espouse any style manifesto. He did share the following checklist of things to think about when shopping for apparel.
- Approach clothing tags and labels, the same way that you would approach ingredients on your food packaging. What’s in it? Where did it come from? Who did it affect? Who made it, how did they make it, and are you okay with supporting that? Learn what the ingredients are the same way you learned what whey and casein are.
- Shop thrift and repurposed first and if you can’t find what you want go organic. If you still can’t find what you want, at least buy sweatshop free.
- Sometimes internet searching is the best way to find ethical clothing that might not be carried by stores near you.
- Fashion is a form of visual communication. Understand what that means and dress accordingly. What do you want to say about yourself?
- Strive for SSA: Sustainability, Social Justice, and Animal Advocacy.
Anatomy of a well dressed man. Joshua Katcher wears Loomstate organic cotton, vegetable-dyed T-shirt; This Old Thing? reconstructed vest; Japa Mala prayer bead necklace; Black linen scarf; coconut ring; key necklace from Catbird; and [not pictured] Dennis Brown Novacas shoes which Katcher says “go with almost everything” and are made with Vegetan, a breathable material that is eco-friendlier than polyurethane.
Hair: Pureology NanoWax. Scent: Myrrh oil and “Burning leaves” by I Hate Perfume.
Visit The Discerning Brute for a long list innovative designers, as well as the latest interviews, news, products, trends, and technology on the ethically fabulous front.