Ethical Business Spotlight: The Vegan Warehouse

Welcome back!

This week’s Ethical Business Spotlight features Carl & Ewelina Augustin, co-founders of The Vegan Warehouse & MERSI. Learn more about this compassionate couple’s journey to create the ultimate online mega-store of fantastic vegan products!

Carl & Ewelina Augustin, co-founders of The Vegan Warehouse & MERSI

Let’s jump right in!

The Vegan Warehouse is a one-stop shop for all things vegan! From clothing and makeup to food and cleaning supplies, what inspired you to create your online superstore? 

When I went vegan in 2010, I really struggled to find vegan alternatives to my household staples that were easily accessible and affordable. Searching for replacements in fashion, beauty, skincare and household items, I aspired to find a single marketplace which aggregated all the vegan essentials I was looking for. Fast forward seven years, after partnering with my now husband, Carl, we decided to create this marketplace ourselves, with the mission to simplify the lives of all vegans out there.

MERSI / The Vegan Warehouse

There are currently over 30 vegan and cruelty-free brands featured on your marketplace. What do you look for when choosing brands to partner with?

Vegan Beauty Products / The Vegan Warehouse

We’re extremely proud to carry so many amazing vegan and cruelty-free brands at The Vegan Warehouse! When looking for new brands to feature on our marketplace, we always look for a few criteria when deciding whether they will be a hit with our customers, and our mission. Firstly, we always verify that the products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free and that they follow strict ethical practices in sourcing. 

Secondly, we are always striving to put our best eco-friendly foot forward. We know the harsh effects that fashion and beauty have had on the environment, and continue to do daily within larger corporations. By selecting products that adhere to sustainable practices and packaging, this is a top priority for us at The Vegan Warehouse. Look out for packaging made of recycled plastics, biodegradable materials, and less harsh ingredients to effect the environment.

With these morals in mind, we also are continuously searching for innovation. From cult-favorite skincare products to smaller soy-candle vendors, we are consistent about bringing the best of vegan products to The Vegan Warehouse!  

You recently launched a premium accessory line called MERSI. Congrats! If you had to choose just one item to represent the new brand, which would it be and why?

MERSI Ruby Crossbody

Thank you so much! Launching MERSI has definitely been the highlight of our 2020, and a long-running project we’ve been so elated to release! 

Looking back to when we first started The Vegan Warehouse in 2017, our best-selling handbag and fan-favorite to date has been our Ruby Crossbody, a compact cross-body style with a bold printed strap and studded hardware detail. We created MERSI with the idea of redefining the idea of “vegan fashion” and creating a bolder, more authentic landscape for our customers to explore! With its bold personality and unique design, we feel that our Ruby Crossbody speaks to the kind of brand image we speak to.

You donate a portion of your profits to animal sanctuaries and recently sponsored Lily, a resident goat at Catskill Animal Sanctuary who can really rock a heart print. For veg-curious people who are considering shifting to a vegan lifestyle, what helped you make the connection between your personal choices and animals?

Lily, Catskill Animal Sanctuary resident recently sponsored by The Vegan Warehouse

While getting educated with books and documentaries is a great route to take, nothing is more eye opening to me than spending time in nature. Living in a city we rarely think about where our food is coming from and what sacrifices are made for it. It’s often that disconnect that causes us to participate in animal cruelty. We recently visited the Catskill Animal Sanctuary to meet a few of the animals we sponsor. Spending time around them and seeing how incredibly gentle, sweet, and intelligent they are served as another reminder and reinforcement of our mission. 

What has been the biggest challenge and reward while creating your business?

I would say the biggest challenge when starting out is committing all of your energy and resources to something and putting in work consistently before you can see results. Building a business from the ground up is a roller coaster – that’s why I’m glad I’m on this journey with my co-founder and husband Carl! 

The most rewarding is definitely seeing the vegan movement spread! We aim to use our platform to educate and encourage not only the veg-curious, but also those who never thought a plant based diet could work for them. I’ve heard countless stories over the years of people taking slow steps towards eliminating meat and eventually committing to a vegan lifestyle. We are so here for it! 

The Vegan Warehouse

What’s next for The Vegan Warehouse?

We are constantly working on bringing the best and the latest in vegan beauty & fashion to our consumers. While expanding the MERSI line to include wallets and other accessories in 2021, we are also focused on widening our selection of up-and-coming skincare brands. Stay tuned to our social media @theveganwarehouse for all the exciting things to come! 

MERSI Vegan Handbags / The Vegan Warehouse

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Thank you so much for participating in my Ethical Business Spotlight series!

The Vegan Warehouse is truly a lifesaver (for animals) and takes the time and guesswork out of buying vegan beauty, household, clothing and accessories by offering them all in one place!

From animals and ethical consumers everywhere, thank you!

2020 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I’ve put together the ultimate vegan and cruelty-free gift guide so you can make the holidays merry and bright for everyone on your shopping list! This year’s guide is all about treating yourself and your loved ones to something special (we deserve it!).

Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season!

Let’s jump right in!

MERSI Ruby Cross-Body

Look at this stunner! The Ruby Cross-Body from MERSI adds style and a pop of color to any outfit! It’s made of the highest quality vegan leather and is the perfect gift for the conscious fashionista on your holiday shopping list!

Fyve 5 Ingredient Skincare

Give the gift of amazing skin! Fyve’s Facial Cleansing Oil, Hydrating Face Oil, and Bamboo Clay Mask gently cleanses, hydrates, and purifies with just five natural ingredients for glowing skin all year round! Read my full review and learn more about the brand in my Ethical Business Spotlight series!

FINE & RAW Chocolate Truffles

Whether you’re looking for a hostess gift, a stocking stuffer, or just want a delicious box of artisanal chocolates for yourself, you can’t beat FINE & RAW Chocolate’s Truffle Gift Set! These adorable boxes include eight handcrafted truffles that are coated in 70% dark chocolate (coconut sugar based), and include flavors such as classic bonbon, hazelnut, sea salt, and a selection of the chocolatier’s choice.

Makes Scents Natural Spa Line Body Butter and Scrub

Colder weather means everyone’s skin needs a little more moisture and TLC. Make Scents Natural Spa Line’s Oatmeal & Vanilla Body Butter features a super hydrating formula made with organic sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, and cocoa butter. The sweet, comforting scent of vanilla and oatmeal is the ultimate holiday treat! Pair it with the Dulce de Leche Body Scrub that’s made with organic sugar for a gentle yet effective exfoliation to reveal healthy, hydrated skin all season long!

Looking for something for the guy in your life? Try out the Burly Men’s Line!

Grow Fragrance Plant-Based Candle

Grow Fragrance recently launched the first certified 100% plant-based candle! The Ginger Pumpkin scent features a festive blend of fresh ginger, toasted pumpkin, fall spices & a touch of vanilla bean. This highly-fragranced candle is made with soy and coconut oil and is designed to fill large spaces with holiday cheer!

My Favorite Indulgence World-Class Granola

My Favorite Indulgence‘s decadent granolas are a satisfying and delicious meal or snack! If you’re ready to discover the best granola around, try the Chocolate Mocha, Pumpkin-Spiced, Granola with Nuts, and Nut-Free Granola flavors! Then, pour yourself a bowl and be merry!

Hempfield Botanicals Topical CBD

Why not treat yourself or loved ones to some high-quality wellness products? Hempfield Botanicals Topical CBD Sample Pack includes a Massage Oil, Muscle Recovery, CBD Salve, and CBD Lip Balm to ease the stress of the holidays. Give this gift to say you care!

Daily Crunch Snacks

Daily Crunch Snacks sprouted almonds are the perfect stocking stuffer and guilt-free treat! Soaking almonds boosts their nutritional value while enhancing their crunch! There’s a wide variety of flavors to choose from, so there’s something for everyone including Coffee-Soaked Sprouted Almonds for java enthusiasts! Check out my review of these mouthwatering sprouted almonds!

Apothepurity Aromatherapy Roll-ons

Everyone needs a little self-care time! Apothepurity‘s aromatherapy roll-ons are a quick and convenient way to feel better in no time! The Breathe with Ease Aromatherapy Roll-on is crafted with organic peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, and lemon oils to help you say goodbye to congestion! The Need My Beauty Sleep Aromatherapy Roll-on includes organic clary sage, frankincense, sandalwood, and ylang ylang so you can peacefully doze off and dream! Use code VTH20 for 20% off!

The Friendly Vegan Cookbook

The Friendly Vegan Cookbook, created by Michelle Cehn, founder of World of Vegan and Toni Okamoto, author of Plant-based on a Budget, features mouthwatering pastas, cookies, soups, sandwiches, and much more! Anyone who wants to master creating delicious vegan entrées, snacks, and desserts is sure to love this cookbook!

Threepaws Gourmet Organic Vegan Dog Treats

Don’t forget a gift for the doggos! Threepaws Gourmet offers healthy, plant-based treats your dogs will drool over! With fun flavors like Coconut Bacon and Strawberry Coconut Cream Bones, you can expect some extra tail wags and cuddles as a “thank you” this holiday season! Learn more about the company in my Ethical Business Spotlight!

Green Apple Active

Looking cute while doing yoga, enjoying time out with friends, or just lounging at home is easy with Green Apple Active! The Mya Essential Leggings, Mya Utility Leggings, and 18″ New Gia Crop Cami with Bamboo Support Bra are made with organic cotton and bamboo! They use anti-microbial, UV resistant, and biodegradable materials to make super high-quality, stylish, and sustainable activewear! How cool is that?!

EVOLVh Healthy Color Trio

EVOLVh’s Healthy Color Trio is a haircare lovers dream! Made from clean, plant-based ingredients, this set includes full-sized bottles of the SmartColor Color Protecting Shampoo and Conditioner (2019 Glamour Magazine Beauty Award Winner for Best Conditioner in the Clean/Plant Based Category) and SmartStart Leave-in Conditioner (my personal fav!). There’s a Healthy Hair Trio for every hair concern, so no matter who you’re shopping for, you can make sure they have healthy, beautiful hair!

ADORAtherapy Chakra Boost and Room Boost

The holidays are all about joy and love! ADORAtherapy‘s Joy Chakra Spice Roll On Perfume Oil is formulated with organic ingredients to activate your heart chakra with top notes of rose, gardenia, and jasmine. The Passion Room Boost Spray will fill your home with love with sweet, earthy notes of patchouli, sandalwood, and jasmine.

Heartland Farm Sanctuary

Not sure what to get the person who has everything? Make a donation in their name to Heartland Farm Sanctuary! This amazing sanctuary’s mission is to inspire compassion for all beings by offering a safe, welcoming space where people and farm animals come together to experience growth, healing and connection. They provide high-quality, specialized care to nearly 100 rescued farm animals, offer inclusive humane education programs for learners of all ages, and provide experiential therapy to ensure the Heartland community is accessible for everyone.

Make a donation to help care for Maxwell the pig, Daisy the cow, Jemma the rescued turkey, and many more!

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! Head on over to Instagram for a chance to win all of the fabulous products in this guide! (Giveaway launches on 11/15 at 12pm ET)

Happy Holidays, everyone!