Celebrity Vegan Corner: Jay Troupe

Celebrity Vegan Corner: Jay Troupe


                        April 1, 2018     |    Sheree Grant   |       thejamericanvegan.com

Newark, NJ-  Cool as a cucumber, charismatic and conscious. Those were the first words that popped into my conscious thoughts when I first sat to write about this month's Celebrity Vegan. Jay Troupe, from VeganzNdaHood and Whole Hoodz is truly an inspiration. As a father, conscious fashion designer,  and advocate (in various capacities) for human and animal life, Jay has worked to change the way people think about what they eat, wear and how their decisions affect others. I had the pleasure of speaking to Jay a few months ago, and after our talk, I understood his cause and the vision he has for a better world. As he uses multiple platforms to accomplish this vision, this humble advocate challenges us all to pay attention to the world around us, while finding ways to make changes by working on ourselves.

"Jay's posts align with his lifestyle, 
which has already become a movement."

Photo: Conscious Sweatshirts are
a hit with Whole Hoodz
The  mission he's set out to live by focuses on  opening your mind and heart, to find compassion for other beings. He also strives to bring awareness on living a cruelty free life by being cognizant of the purchases you make, and how your choices ripple into the ocean of cause of effect. His passion for fashion is only a part of the creative drive that Jay uses to fuel his mission. As an advocate for animal life and living a conscious driven life, Jay also encourages the public to dig deeper, to find themselves in the beautiful journey of life. With messages of hope and encouragement on his Instagram (displaying images that state significant quotes like "Be patient. Everything is coming together"), Jay's posts align with his lifestyle, which has already become a movement.

The last screenshot I took was a post I had to keep as a reminder in my photos. It said "even the people who betray you are part of the plan." I had a whole "say word" moment! It felt like someone snatched the invisible pearls off my neck. I immediately went into a place of gratitude, as I reflected on things that  felt like they happened because they were meant to destroy me. Reading that post was a perspective shift, kindly reminding me that I am a self- fulfilling prophecy, as long as I am breathing. With thousands of followers, VeganzNdahood continues to inspire, and it shows. Jay's Instagram grows daily.

Photo: Sold Out! Earth Day Vegan Cook-Out was
sold out over a month in advance.
 Inspiring the masses to turn over a new leaf and live their best earthly life has spilled over into Jay's philanthropic work. As an advocate, creating and hosting events are common, and VeganzNdahood/ Whole Hoodz are already becoming household names in the tri-state area. Their next upcoming event will be held on April 22nd, where VeganzNdahood will collaborate with other vegan chefs to host a cook-off. In support of Earth Day, the conscious king will promote healthy food options, with attention to the way we treat our planet. While many live day-to-day with little attention to how they impact the Earth we inhabit, Jay's keen awareness of topics like "going green" transcends the basic "recycle" and "reuse" concept. VeganzNdahood promotes comprehending your impact through research and developing sincere concern for the only Earth we have... a topic that everyone should share an interest in.


Why did you originally become a vegan, and how did your philosophies change over time? What became important to you? 

So, I was introduced to veganism by my Father. I was raised N a co-parenting household, and my father had transitioned from a vegetarian lifestyle to a vegan lifestyle about 5-6 years after I was born. I've been vegetarian, pescatarian & ultimately vegan now 9 years.

Photo: Whole Hoodz tote bag
How has veganism influenced your love for fashion, and how do both concepts feed off one another?

Veganism has made me very conscious of textiles, and ethical Garment Design. It's helped me understand & fall N love with garment repair, mending, sustainable textiles, Reclaim & UPCYCLING.

What inspires you, in fashion, and how does the inspiration/ muse help you to design quality clothing?

I'm inspired by everything in my environment. My lifestyle & environment has enabled me to start using everything around me to design sound garments from the color of my food to the reflective 3M on a Parking Pylon.

Photo: Whole Hoodz T-Shirt

Why is it important to buy local and support local artists/designers? 

It's important to know WHO MADE YOUR CLOTHES. It's important to know that no human rights violations have been inflicted to produce your garment. Fast fashion & the fashion industry on a whole has put a major impact on our environment. And time is now, to align with Responsible brands.

Photo: Jay and his 5 year old son
As a parent, what are some challenges with keeping your family, (especially your son) on track with a healthy vegan diet? 

NONE. My 5 year old was born vegan, He's very advanced and extremely knowledgeable about plant-based living.

What advice would you give other parents who want to transition, but are concerned about their children's health? 

Educate yourself. Educate your family. Follow Vegans N Da Hood for GREEN LIVING HACKS. I just feel like every household- we go by archetypes, that may not work for us- so it's important to figure it out on your own, even if it is exclusive to your own household. Obviously, you'll have your own fundamentals and principles- like having enough fiber, amino acids and water intake in your diet, but at the end of the day, the basics are key. It's a lot different when you have a child who was raised vegan, as opposed to a child who's eaten meat and is learning about why they can no longer have certain foods. It's important to make sure you educate your family, but still do things your way.

Photo: Jay credits veganism for his endurance as a cyclist.

How do you physically feel now that you are vegan, as opposed to when you were not? 

When I transferred from pescetarian to veganism, it was an amazing change. I could feel the energy from the foods from an electrical diet. I could feel the difference in my energy level. As a cyclist, I could go go on longer rides. I built up even more strength than I had prior to going fully vegan.

Do you feel veganism is catered to a specific group, or have you found that the movement is expanding? 

It has been aligned with a specific group. Our community has been marketed poor nutrition for hundreds of years.. so plant-based communities have generally been taken advantage of by groups other than POC.

Your podcast is awesome, and you discuss a range of topics. I was listening to an episode that spoke of companies that buy out the smaller vegan brands, and take over the name. Any advice for the public on how to be an effective researcher? Or should people just start somewhere and grow from there? 

Thank you! Yes.... you just need to research... research & more research. We're a bit OCD, but it's all for the people and to keep a tab on RESPONSIBLE & IRRESPONSIBLE COMPANIES.
Photo: Jay believes in sustainable fashion and
 self-sustaining yourself with a  home grown produce garden.

How important is it to be woke, and do you find that many people are using the term incorrectly? 

I don't know.... veganism & consciousness are like a trend these days.. it's like a cool badge that individuals wear to say look at me. Looking forward to everyone leveling up, living cruelty & murder-free!
I agree! It does seem to be a trend, and I've also noticed that as quickly as some start, they burn out just as fast. This is why I suggest researching before becoming a vegan, and beginning your spiritual journey as well. If you have a mission, say to save animal life, it helps. It's good to have a connection to something, to remind you why you started.

Photo: Eat... vegan!
Speaking of connection, do you find a connection to certain places? Have you been anywhere that felt really special and inspired you in some way? 

Always inspired by the Southwest, West-coast and places N Europe. I love Amsterdam and Holland.

Your name on Instagram is Veganzndahood. What's the significance of the name to you, and why is representation important? 

We speak to a specific audience. Our communication needs to be familiar & direct. We cant run around at Animal conservatory's like these other Black Vegan Influencers without addressing the oppressed & marginalized HUMANS Right N our Communities.

Where can people find you on social media? Where can we purchase your fashion?

Ppl can connect with us: IG, YouTube, FACEBOOK & iTunes. SHOP our GIFT SHOP of Ethical & Sustainable Fashion @WHOLEHOODZ

Be sure to check out Veganzndahood's  Podcast!
Subscribe to stay current.
Season 2 drops on 4/27.

Limited editing has been done to this interview, to remain transparent and capture the personality, influence and charm of Jay Troupe.

Peace, love and light,



  1. Super Great Article! And well deserved! JT is the poster child of peace, connecting and well being! From my first encounter my spirit connected harmoniously and I appreciate everything you’ve done to encourage and shine light on my business! Much Love and continued success Jay Troupe! ❤️

  2. This guy is amazing..He inspires me and give me the super powers I need..Thanks Brother.

  3. This guy is amazing..He inspires me and give me the super powers I need..Thanks Brother.

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