Compassionate CEO Profile: Mahdi Terani of SEGAN

This month, we caught up with Mahdi Terani, animal advocate and founder of SEGAN—a “PETA-Approved Vegan” business creating beautiful, innovative vegan handbags and redefining fashion. Check out what he had to say!

Why did you decide to start an all-vegan company?

I’ve always known there are so many problems with fashion (especially in the high-end sector), and I realized that if I could dedicate all I have to solving them, our brand could make a huge difference in the lives of many people and animals. Making SEGAN an all-vegan business was needed to tackle the issues in the fashion industry—but to do it on a larger scale, we decided to create our own category in fashion.

What do you think is the next big trend in vegan fashion?

The next big trend is not a trend. SEGAN has never tried to compete with other fashion brands, because we’ve invented a category in which meanings and stories are the trends—and fashion trends are nonexistent.

Which of your vegan products are you most excited to share with others?

We create symbols, not products, so each of our pieces and the story-centered collections that we have underway are unique. That said, I’m told I couldn’t stop staring at our midnight/gold variant of the Carry S Mini the first time I saw the finished piece.

What inspired you to get your company “PETA-Approved Vegan”–certified?

For us, being part of PETA’s movement is much more than having this certification. Some of the biggest inspirations were having a symbol to very quickly drive away cruelty to animals and to send a signal to those who share our same belief in compassion for all.

What’s the most exciting innovation your company has made that helps animals?

Creating a new category in fashion called “meanings” is what SEGAN is based on, which has led our team to look for not only vegan alternatives but also plastic-free and “circular” (from the unique vegan leather to other components) items to craft pieces that can go back to the Earth or actually get recycled (not like blue bin recycling).

What advice would you give someone wanting to start a completely vegan company?

Make sure that you’re prepared for a bumpy road, one that will make you ask the question “Why am I doing this?” many times. The only way to be prepared for what lies ahead is to make sure you know and believe in the answer to this question. And when you figure it out, just go for it, because you can save many lives and change things with your work.

Check Out Some of the Other 1,250+ PETA-Approved Brands!