Vegan Clothing – Easy to Find

Have you considered how veg-friendly the clothing you buy is?  More and more people want to know how the clothes they buy are produced, and whether animals were harmed in doing so.  Like factory farming in the food industry, raising animals for clothing and accessories is often cruel to the animals and harmful to the environment. Even “humanely raised” animals are kept in captivity and slaughtered years before they would have died naturally, so it’s hard to argue that any animal-based material is truly humane. Vegan clothing is any clothing item which is made without animal products, and nowadays there are abundant choices.  You just have to know which materials to avoid, so here’s a list to help you, along with suitable alternatives to look for:

Leather or suede – look for labels such as manmade leather, all-manmade materials, pleather, or synthetic. The price may give you a clue since synthetic leather sells for much cheaper than the price of real leather.

Wool – read labels carefully and avoid materials such as pashmina, angora, cashmere, shearling, camel hair and mohair, as well as wool.  Instead look for polyester fleece, acrylic, and cotton flannel, which wash easily, keep their bright colors, cost less and don’t contribute to cruelty. New fabrics such as Gore-tex, Polartec Wind Pro, Thermolite, and Thinsulate are great for insulation. Tencel, a natural fabric made from wood pulp is a breathable, durable and biodegradable alternative to wool for men’s and women’s dress suits.

Silk – Humane alternatives to silk include fabrics such as nylon, polyester, rayon, Tencel, milkweed seed-pod fibers and even silk-cotton tree and ceiba tree filaments – available online and in stores for a fraction of the price of silk.

Down or feathers – Down-free coats, sleeping bags, comforters, pillows and more are readily available.  Look for labels with “synthetic down” “down alternative” or “polyester fill”.  PrimaLoft and Thinsulate are soft, washable, downlike materials that are often used in coats, gloves, and comforters, that stay warm even when wet.

Fur – If you love the feel of fur, cruelty-free faux furs or fun furs made of plush, modern synthetics are becoming easier and easier to find.

Shopping for vegan clothing doesn’t have to be difficult.  Many mainstream brands have vegan clothes, shoes, and accessories – just keep an eye on the label when you’re shopping. Target and Payless have a great selection of accidentally vegan shoes and accessories and there are many specialty online stores with specifically vegan selections. All it takes is a bit of awareness and label reading to avoid cruelty to animals.