Veganism pertains to animal compassion. It’s a lifestyle choice that aims to protect animals. Therefore, vegans refuse to use animal products not only in food but also in clothing, furnishing and entertainment. Factory farming is always perceived as cruel to animals and there’s no way for arguing that animals bred for their skin or their fur could have a life of welfare. They are often mistreated and always kept in captivity and slaughtered prematurely.
So, when it comes to purchasing, vegans seek clothes that don’t feature animal products, namely leather, feathers, down, fur, hair, wool, fleece, silk, bone, horn and shell. Don’t worry, while this may seem like a long list, it’s not that difficult to shop vegan clothes. Just look for plant-based fabrics like cotton, linen, hemp, bamboo or for synthetic textiles.
There are very good alternatives to silk, wool and leather. Actually, choices are many, more cost-effective and as good looking as those made from animal products. Most of the time, it’s just impossible to recognise the difference between leather and faux-leather, silk and viscose, wool and acrylic without first checking the clothing labels. Viscose looks like silk and the brands often play with the likeness, using names like crepe to refer to polyester clothes. This can be confusing and even leads you not to purchase clothes absolutely suitable for vegans!
Miss a purchase is not such a great issue but purchase animal-cruelty clothes is just not possible. People should be aware that animal products can be hidden in unexpected places and not mentioned on clothing labels. It’s possible to find trousers stamped as 100% cotton hidden a leather brand label on the back. Similarly, pearl buttons can be sewed on a viscose shirt and not mentioned at all. That is why I don’t recommend to shop online vegan clothes from non-vegan brands. Anyway, at the end if you are unsure whether there are animal products, give up purchase! You will find many others beautiful cruelty-free things to buy elsewhere.
In my “a brand, a day” series, I point out clothes that are suitable for vegans in non-vegan brands after having checked for myself in store. Vegans can shop clothes from vegan and non-vegan brands. However, the latter must improve accuracy and clarity of their labels. So, when shopping from non-vegan brands, keep an eye on the clothing labels, rely on your best judgement, and don’t hesitate to call or write to customer support for more details. Animals are worth it!