It’s been nearly two months since unique dating show “Too Hot to Handle”—where contestants have to avoid physical contact to win money—hit Netflix. One contestant, Francesca Farago, came across initially as the show’s rulebreaker, kissing her fellow contestant and now-boyfriend Harry Jowsey multiple times.
But forget what you thought you knew about Farago. Her latest business endeavor—a vegan swimwear brand called Farago the Label—proves she’s not all about breaking the rules. She’s about raising the bar, particularly in the fashion industry.
The entrepreneur cares deeply about sustainability, ethics, and above all, kindness to animals. This translates to her new brand’s ethos.
“I really do care about our environment and the world we are leaving to our children,” she told LIVEKINDLY. “Even though I love fashion, I could not contribute to any animal abuse or create anything that didn’t have a positive impact on our world.”
Making the Connection
A vegan of six years, Farago recalls always being the last at the dinner table, trying to dodge eating the meat on her plate. “I remember thinking, [oh my god] this is a dead animal,” she explains. “I remember comparing it in my head to eating our pet dogs.”
During her time on “Too Hot To Handle,”—a show that she says changed her as a person and her life for the better—there was no need to dodge meat. Farago says she ate “lavish” plant-based meals every day.
“The villa came with a private chef who would cook us very lavish meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” she recalls. “He was so sweet and always had a vegan alternative for me.”
The 2014 documentary “Cowspiracy” initially motivated Farago to ditch animal products for good, in what she says was a “quick” and “easy” decision. “We do not need animal products to survive,” she says. “We as humans can thrive on a plant-based diet and I am definitely proof of that.”
She does acknowledge though that for some, getting started is the hard part. She advises following vegan accounts on social media and experimenting with vegan recipes here and there. “Once you start you honestly get addicted to the feeling,” she says. “After a few weeks you’ll feel more alive and you will notice positive changes to your body.”
‘Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem’
Food is just one part of the vegan lifestyle, buying from cruelty-free brands is also key.
Farago the Label is the “opposite of fast fashion.” All of its products—currently available for pre-order—are made with high-quality biodegradable fabrics, which are imported from Italy before they are transformed into swimwear by a vegan-certified Brazilian manufacturer. Leftover fabrics are used to make beds for animal shelters.
“I chose a vegan manufacturer, consisting of a small team of 15 people, working in amazing conditions, only using cruelty-free textiles,” she said. “Our fabric is biodegradable and recyclable and the process to make the fabric is not energy-intensive and uses recycled water.”
In Farago’s eyes, “you are either a part of the solution or a part of the problem.”
She acknowledges there is much more work to be done. In the future, she wants to donate proceeds from a specific line to ocean and beach cleanups.
“It has been a long journey and months and months of research and prep for Farago the Label to meet the standards I hold for myself,” she says. “But I am happy with the brand and I’m excited about where we will go in the future.”