The (All Vegan!) Herbivore Clothing Company

by Holladay Allen

Native Foods Cafe


A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of catching up with Michelle Schwegmann who founded the Herbivore Clothing Company with her husband Josh in 2002.  For those of you who don't know, Herbivore is the go-to spot for all the coolest vegan gear!  And it happens to be located in the only vegan strip mall in america… yahoo!  It's in Portland, but not to worry if you don't live there…. you can order everything online too.  Michelle is one cool lady and I can't wait to visit them in Portland again!

Wings.slouchy.one__56469.1347561535.555.433Native Foods Cafe vegan restaurant uses this photo courtesy of Herbivore Clothing Company.

Where are you from?

I grew up in Kansas and California – but I've lived in Portland, OR for the past 13 years. Portland is definitely home!


What is your sign?



What inspired you to become vegan?

My husband. He was vegan and I was an omnivore. It was 1999 and it was a lot harder back then for us to go out to eat, so I wanted him to relent and at least become vegetarian. He dared me to  read Diet for a New America knowing that it would make me go vegetarian, instead of him. Of course, I finished the book and my mind was blown with the information about animal treatment and the health concerns with animal consumption, and I became vegetarian. A year or so later I realized how silly it was that I was still hanging on to eating cheese and I went vegan.



Who or what do you think has had the biggest impact on the growing vegan movement in the past year?

I think T. Colin Campbell and Forks Over Knives has widened our circle tremendously!


What inspired you to start Herbivore?  It started as a magazine, correct?  Why did you decide to transition to a store?

We started Herbivore Clothing first, actually, in 2002. The magazine ran from 2003 until 2007. In the early 2000s we wanted to proclaim our belief in animal rights and vegetarianism/veganism with a tee (we are Americans, it's our way!) and there were none we loved. So Josh, being a designer, made some. We honestly didn't think it would actually become our whole lives when it all began, but when you are doing something you love and are passionate about, it makes sense that it all works out.

IMG_4604__74180.1333498434.1280.1280Native Foods Cafe vegan restaurant uses this photo courtesy of Herbivore Clothing Company.


Who does all of the amazing artwork for your line?

My kickass husband, Josh Hooten! We have worked with four other artists too, but he's designed the other forty!


Do you have a favorite vegetable? If so, why is it your favorite?

I love kale. I love Brussels sprouts. I love broccoli. So I guess, no, not one favorite.


What is your family’s favorite dish to enjoy at home?

We LOVE sandwiches.

6a0112796f38d028a4017c37ac1e86970b-500wiOh yum!  The Best Vegan Submarine sandwich ever.


Vegan baking or cooking?



If you were to come back as an animal what would you like it to be?

A bird.  


Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?

Two dogs! An insane Bassett hound named Sassy, and the most adorable terrier mix mutt named Ace. Both are rescues, naturally, which only goes to show you can get a pure bred or a mutt and save a life. Take your pick! But mutts are less crazy.

Wings.hood.one__58418.1347560757.555.433Native Foods Cafe vegan restaurant uses this photo courtesy of Herbivore Clothing Company.


If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

I would live in Hawaii or Mexico. With all the grey and rain of Portland, in my next life I want some sunshine and warm water.


What is your favorite current menu item at Native Foods Café?  

The Caribbean Jerk Kale Salad the Native Chicken Wings.

Caribbean Jerk Kale SaladThe Caribbean Jerk Kale Salad at Native Foods Cafe vegan restaurant.


Favorite Native Foods’ dessert?

I never get to pick — my daughter always gets a cupcake. 


If aliens landed in your backyard, what is the first food and drink you would serve them?

I would give them a delicious, frosty cold locally brewed Pacific Northwest beer and some really good artisan bread.


What one vegan product do you think you could never live without?

Nutritional yeast. I am sooo vegan.

Native Foods Cafe vegan restaurant uses this photo courtesy of American Spice
Native Foods Cafe, vegan, vegan food, vegan restaurant, vegan clothing, Herbivore Clothing Company

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s