Tom Ford has gone vegan - but will still use fur in his designs.

The 56-year-old designer has adopted a plant-based diet and admitted it has made him question the use of animal skins in his creations, but he has decided to ''limit'' what he uses and in the future will only use real skins if they are ''food byproducts''.

He said: ''I've been vegan for about the last year. When you look at how most of our meat, our animal products, are raised, from a health standpoint, I didn't feel that I should eat those things anymore.

''The fur thing - of course, is a natural thing. [Going vegan] starts to make you question that. I have started using much more fake fur. I'm not yet ready to say that I'm fur-free.

''Now, however, I have limited the fur in these collections and going forward to food byproducts, which does not sound very sexy. ''I'm selling you a food byproduct!'' That means cowhide, it means shearling, it means not doing fur that is raised purely for its pelt.

''No mink, no fox. I have used a lot of fake fur this season. I've also used some shearling and what is called pony in the industry but it is not pony, it is cowhide. There's longhaired cowhide and shorthaired.

''So I have been very conscious of using animal skins that are food byproducts. Because whether I'm consuming meat or not, other people are, so these are things that are collected.''

Tom also admitted he is reluctant to use fake fur because it is ''terrible'' for the environment and it doesn't get used for anywhere near as long as real animal skin.

He told WWD: ''I'm also very torn about this because fake fur is terrible for the environment. People think of fake fur as a disposable thing. They buy it, they wear it a few seasons, they throw it away, it doesn't biodegrade. It's a petroleum product. It is highly toxic.

''And then, you could argue that tanning leather is a highly toxic process.

A fur coat gets recycled. People wear them for 30 years, they give them to their kids, then they turn them into throw pillows. So I don't know the answer to that. I've been very honest, and it's probably going to get me in all sorts of trouble with everybody, but I don't know the answer.''

And though he is vegan, the 'A Single Man' director can't help but ''cheat'' with his favourite sugary desserts.

Discussing his love of donuts, he admitted: ''I do cheat with baked goods. That's true. I will eat a baked good that clearly has some eggs in it. But I don't eat eggs and I don't drink milk; I use almond milk. And I don't eat any animal flesh, I don't eat fish, I don't eat chicken, I don't eat meat. But yes, I do cheat with some baked goods, because most vegan baked goods just don't do it like a box of Hostess doughnuts. And I still eat a lot of sugar.

''I mean, I don't drink. I don't smoke. Now I don't eat any meat. I'm essentially vegan. But, yes, sugar.''