Vegan and Cruelty-Free Interior Design: Why this matters with Helen Winters

Learn more about the opportunities for design to be vegan and cruelty-free by joining Helen Winters in a talk as the third speaker in our series, The Sustainable Designer.


This talk will explore the principles and practices of creating interior spaces that align with ethical and sustainable values that can also create a healthier home. We will explore various aspects of vegan and cruelty-free interior design, including sourcing materials, selecting furniture, and implementing sustainable practices. You will learn about the latest innovations and trends in the industry, and how to apply these principles to create beautiful, functional, and ethical spaces.

Whether you are a professional designer, a homeowner, or simply interested in sustainable living, this talk will provide you with valuable insights and practical knowledge to make informed choices in your design projects. Join us to discover how you can contribute to a kinder, more sustainable world through thoughtful and compassionate interior design.


What is Vegan and Cruelty-Free Interior Design?

Vegan interior design is a growing sector that focuses on selecting materials, products, and practices that do not exploit or harm animals. This means avoiding animal-derived materials such as leather, wool, silk, and down, and instead opting for alternatives like plant-based textiles, recycled materials, and innovative synthetics.

But why does this matter?

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the environmental and ethical implications of our choices. The production of traditional materials often involves significant animal suffering and environmental degradation. For instance, leather production not only causes huge suffering for the animals involved, but is also highly polluting, involving harmful chemicals and substantial water use.

The people who work in leather production, especially in developing countries also suffer illness and a shortened life expectancy from exposure to the harsh chemicals used to treat the hides. By choosing vegan and cruelty-free options, we reduce our carbon footprint, support sustainable industries, and promote the humane treatment of animals.


Just as new vegans are often surprised that there is so much choice away from the standard meat and 2 veg diet, so the cruelty-free interiors space is booming as technology and designers create new products and materials. Becoming vegan means learning about new foods and ways of eating, rather than simply excluding certain products. It’s similar to choosing animal-free alternatives in our homes, it can be a fascinating journey of discovery to plant-based leather alternatives, recyled materials which can feel as soft as silk or have the touch of fur, but cause no harm.

About the tutor

Helen Winters, is the owner of Coral Interiors, a residential interior design firm in Bournemouth,Dorset. She’s been vegan for over 10 years and was one of the first UK designers to become Vegan Design certified in 2018.

She’s passionate on exposing the green-washing of animal agriculture, such as the prevalent myth that leather and down are ‘just’ ‘by-products’. In reality animals are bred, abused and slaughtered for leather goods and down and feather filings.