Vegan wardrobe: get rid of leather!

This post is the first in a series of four.

I have been a vegan for about 3 years now. As I mentioned in my About page, I felt a sudden and irrepressible consciousness after stumbling upon videos online depicting cruelty against animals. I began by checking my food and, soon after, my closet. It was a real surprise to discover, even in clothes I believed to be 100% cotton, there were always animal products included. It was so strange to look at these familiar clothes with a new lens and see the animal suffering and death carried in them.

Anyway, after the assessment I had two choices, go naked or plan a gradual transformation of my wardrobe. For personal reasons I opted for the latter approach.

My first fight was against leather, because it is the most obvious harm caused to animals. Coats, bags, shoes, everything needed to be changed. Unfortunately, I had not anticipated the cost of such a renewal! So, from this beginning I learnt a key rule that vegans must follow to stick to their budget: change everything but buy less and better quality.

I bought two basic pairs of shoes, derbies and ballerinas, and a gorgeous pair of heels. The only possibilities to purchase quality faux-leather town footwear shoes are from vegan brands such as Wills, Vegetarian shoes, Noah, Beyond skin, Love is mighty or Bourgeois Boheme. Boots could be expensive. So to replace my leather boots, I tried knee socks. They are generally made from cotton-mix fabric, warm, colourful, cost-effective and so trendy.

See below a sample of my  shoe cupboard.

I completed my outfit with a large convenient black faux-leather bag, carried over the shoulder or by the handles. For bags, choice is endless not only within vegan brands like Matt and Nat or Gunas but also in non-vegan brands like Esprit. I shopped most of my basic bags from Esprit.

See below a sample of faux-leather bags. Unfortunately, I’m not the happy owner of all of them!

When it was possible, I removed the brand leather label from my clothes. This was particularly necessary with jeans. Now, I am careful buying jeans without leather from the beginning. I also changed the leather strap of my watch for one in silicone  and I invested in two classic belts. Getting rid of leather is the first and most difficult movement in term of costs and habits. After that, everything has seemed easier for me.

In my following post, I will tell you a bit about alternative to silk.