In one of our previous articles, we discussed how one of the easiest ways for helping animals is to adopt a plant-based diet. This means not only eliminating cruelty from your plates but also being more conscious when buying other lifestyle products such as apparel (fashion), household utilities (groceries), health products, B&W items, and accessories.
Going animal-free isn’t just an ethical choice for the sake of the animals, but it has many personal health benefits for you. It has been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of, and even reverse, heart disease, cancer, skin issues, and early death. You can watch documentaries like “Game Changers” on Netflix to learn more
Vegan lifestyles are also environmentally sustainable as they counter carbon emissions caused by animal farming. Did you know cow and chicken factories are the most serious polluters on the planet, well beyond our cars or oil rigs?
For those of us who’ve grown up on a dairy or meat-intensive diet, the transition can feel intimidating, sometimes impossible. But you don’t have to go vegan overnight, at least not according to me. You can take your time to get comfortable with the new lifestyle. In fact, research shows that people who transition into plant-based living over a period of time tend to stick with it for longer than those who immediately abandon their current diets/lifestyles.
Moreover, plant-based food is considered expensive and inaccessible but that’s just because we don’t know where to look for affordable options. Maybe it was true a few years ago, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, India has emerged as the center of the vegan world, with Mumbai, Delhi NCR, and Bengaluru taking the top spots for vegan shopping on the international level.
Every day, dozens of new vegan startups pop up with a strong commitment toward making the world a kinder place for all living beings, who we will hopefully see one day as our equals and not mere commodities. Not only that, as more consumers, especially in Western countries like Australia, UK, and US switch to cruelty-free living, the demand for ethical products is only bound to increase.
The plant-based food market alone is expected to reach $95.52 billion by 2022, and it’s backed by notable leaders across different sectors, like Bill Gates, Virat Kohli, and Narendra Modi.
On that hopeful note, I’ve compiled a list of sources where you’ll find high-quality yet cost-effective plant-based alternatives for everything ranging from dairy and meat i.e. mock meats/mylks, to health supplements and beauty or fashion products. Are you ready to go on the shopping spree of your life? Let’s splurge!
Before we dive into the specifics, here’s a quick checklist of all the things you may need to Mary Kondo your kitchen and home into a vegan paradise over time. I’ve extracted it from Vegan.com’s blog, so you can visit them for the full spread.
- Fresh vegetables (greens) + lots of sprouts, pulses, and whole grains (e.g. oats, quinoa)
- Nutritional yeast (used in a lot of vegan recipes)
- Tahini (used for making the Holy Hummus)
- Maple syrup (substitute for honey)
- Tofu or tempeh (substitute for paneer)
- Nutrela Soya chunks (high protein content)
- Vegan dairy alternatives (milk, cheese, butter, mayo, curd/dahi)
- B12 & other nutrition products (see this list)
- Seasonings (masalas, herb mix, iodized salt, pickles, jalapenos)
- Cleaning (detergent, floor cleaner, soap, shampoo)
- Makeup (cruelty-free lipsticks, creams, and powders)
- Fashion or accessories (leather-free bags, belts, watches, and wallets)
1. Vegan Dukan
Of all the options on the list, I love Vegan Dukan’s UI/UX the most. Their site is clean, minimalist, and well-designed to make checking out smooth as coconut butter.
On top of the usual dairy & meat alternatives, they have a wide selection of protein powders, supplements, and other nutrition products, which is a fantastic find for ardent gym-goers.
They also share seasonal offers & cool news updates on Instagram, so make sure you follow them @vegandukan there.
Vegan Dukan delivers to all major cities, but their HQs are in Bengaluru (Ashirvad Colony).
2. Greend Mumbai
A new kid on the block, Greend claims to be one of India’s first few fully vegan-shelf dedicated stores. They’re located in Shop Number 10, A-wing, Panchvati Building, Powai, Mumbai. But as per their website, they ship pan-India in 5-7 working days, and faster in Mumbai (2-3 days).
They were definitely the first ones to bring the concept of commercial and well-packed “vegan hampers” to the country, which is all the rage abroad.
Phone: +91 84518 40347
3. Vegan Mall
The next best marketplace to visit is aptly called Vegan Mall. They not only support local plant-based businesses have a huge stock of international brands like Beyond Meat (owner of the iconic bleeding ‘beef’ burger) so you’re spoilt for choice.
I like their VeganMall Rewards program a lot, which incentivizes customers to register, write reviews, and submit blogs in exchange for real cashback that can be redeemed while checking out. You can also gift the points to your loved ones.
The cherry on top is they offer free shipping to all locations in India. And their angel baby monk mascot is too cute to ignore.
- Website: https://veganmall.in/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: +91 63608 88276
I doubt you need one more option since the top three selections on the list are enough to overload your cart for an entire year. But if you want to look around more, visit Vvegano.
Apart from the domain name, which they probably had to settle for unwillingly, the stock on their website is quite holistic, and houses all the popular brands in our local ecosystem.
I also feel their website design could be improved, but I’ll give them a pass only because their service is professional and on time, last I ordered.
- Website: https://vvegano.com/
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: +91 89288 67442
5. D2C Brand Websites
Like all aggregators, the vegan hubs we saw above charge a commission or fee for stocking & shipping for partner suppliers/vendors. Many of these brands have their own D2C stores (Direct to Consumer) built on Shopify or Woocommerce. Buying from the business directly helps them save on commission costs, which will give you some good karma points.
In fact, they may even have exclusive discounts and lower prices on their independent sites, which you won’t find on Amazon or other marketplaces. So it’s a win-win for everybody.
To make this easy, I’ve compiled below an exhaustive list of all the strong vegan players in India and abroad. You’ll find not just F&B brands but also fashion experts like Monk Story, and beauty/makeup manufacturers like Plum.
Know a good quality brand that deserves to be on this list? Tweet the deets to me @manikrege, and I’ll be happy to do the due diligence.
6. Global Marketplaces
Apart from the local hubs and sites I featured in this article, many global brands also export to India, so they’re worth checking out. Even if they don’t deliver to your location, you may need them while traveling, or if you have potential vegan friends living there.
Here are some of the most popular names in the sector.
- Shop Vegan UK (delivers to India)
- Vantastic Foods (ships worldwide)
- Vegan Grocery Store Australia
- Vegan Town Australia
- GTFO It’s Vegan (USA)
- Vegan Kind (UK only)
- Vejii (USA only)
Last but not the least, you can follow Vegan First, which is like the Times of India for vegan folks. It features new vegan products, entrepreneurs, recipes, news, and lifestyle tips on a daily basis.
As you can see, shopping and living vegan is no longer an inconvenience or an exclusive lifestyle for reach folks. If anything, it’s going to be the norm in the future, so hop in today or you’ll miss the train!
That said, there’s no rush to completely change your habits or preferences overnight, so feel free to explore the marketplaces I’ve suggested, and take it one brand at a time. You might like some, and hate some, so it’s all about trying out different things and giving yourself the space to enjoy something new.
Who knows, you may just go on to become the next big vegan expert in town? I’m excited to see your reviews!