“My inspiration comes from almost everything I enjoy. Any animal I get to meet, my animals at home, galleries, music, and walking around new places drinking cold brew coffee are all rich sources of inspiration for me,” said Soo Yeon Jang founder of Meaningful Paws.
Launched this year by San Francisco based artist Soo Yeon Jang, Meaningful Paws have been making their mark by quickly becoming one of the most beloved cruelty-free/ animal statement online apparel companies. “Meaningful Paws strives to bring eco-friendly, lovable designs for all animal lovers throughout the world. We believe that humans and animals should live in harmony and that we should treat animals with kindness and respect.” Their t-shirts and tanks are definitely a must have for this summer.
I love this whimsical apparel line for so many reasons. Their shirts are super comfy and look great on any body type. My favorite is the “Freedom” tank that is illustrated by Sara Franklin The tank is a perfect shade of yellow with black and white print. The design depicts “an alternative world where factory farmed animals live freely in peace and joy.” It’s the subtle messages that cause people stop and think is what makes this company stand out. We look foward to seeing what Meaningful Paws has in store for the future.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Soo Yeon Jang of Meaningful Paws
Tell me about yourself?
I am a vegan entrepreneur and artist who hopes to contribute more love and kindness to the world. I love being moved and inspired; I hope to do just that for other people through my work.
What inspired your company?
I ALWAYS HAD A PASSION FOR BOTH FASHION AND ANIMALS. Designing and creating apparels with adorable animal characters was a beautiful marriage of the two. It was also my way of reaching out to vegans and non-vegans all alike, to spread loving messages. I hope wearing my products would help people be reminded of compassion. I would love to continue to create many more items to wear!
I’m hopelessly introvert and always find it hard to connect to people through the usual medium – conversing. It’s very ironic because I crave deep connection with people. Meaningful Paws has given me a new venue to express myself and to receive feedback. This new type of interaction with others led me to experience inner growths I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise.
What is your most popular design?
So far, ‘Vegan is’, ’Freedom’ and ‘Catbunny’
I also wanted to create designs that are just fun and cute which you can match with anything. I believe ‘Paw Paw’ design is just that! It goes well with jeans, skirts, shorts, or leggings! Catbunny is also a fun character that I had thought of years ago. The first reaction I get from people is a smile. They also tell me those are fun designs – exactly what I intended.
What does veganism mean to you?
I appreciate this question because I actually gave it a lot of thought. To me, veganism means love, respect, compassion, equality, sustainability, healing, happiness, peace, caring, and health. After it became clear what veganism meant to me, I created ‘Vegan is’ design. ‘Vegan is’ is about doing our part by sharing and co-existing, while living on this planet.
It is hard to pick and choose just some issues, as there are too many animals suffering and dying horrendously as we speak. I feel that promoting veganism helps cover most aspects of animal issues; fur, farm animals, inhumane cultural festivals, experiments in science, etc. Doing something, regardless its magnitude, is the most important thing, I believe. Breaking out of inaction and detachment can be the first step.
How would you describe fashion?
Wow, well…if I may, I think fashion is something that YOU define. It is not something designers or fashionistas to define for us and tell us pink is ‘the’ color this year or you must match this with that. Your own fashion represents your emotions and beliefs.
Ooooh! That’s awesome! I love talking about teas with fellow tea lovers! I love aged teas – they are my favorite. Two of the very special ones that I encountered and had a privilege of trying were naturally aged (sheng) Pu-erg and Oolong teas that had been aged since 1960’s!!! I love making teas (Dado or Gongfu style) for myself and for others.
What is your vegan food guilty pleasure?
Any amazing FRIED vegan food!!
Courtesy Images: Meaningful Paws