There is cruelty in more than just what you put on your plate or what products you use! So much of what you wear can be made from animals. Before I went vegan it was not really on my radar at all, as I am sure pretty much most of the population do, I just went to the shop and bought what I liked. When something looks nice I don’t think we give much thought as to what it is made of as no one has really ever told us to care. Since having my eyes opened I have been surprised to find just how easy it actually is to buy cruelty free. I have had a few questions on cruelty free fashion recently and am answering some of them in my post today.
What is cruelty free fashion?
When most people think of cruel fashion they automatically think fur. It is an odd concept as why should it be terrible to wear a fur coat, yet fine to wear leather shoes. There is no difference. If you get horrified at the thought of wearing fur, I think leather should horrify you just as much! At the end of the day you are still paying for an animal to be killed to wear their skin. And before anyone thinks I am preaching, I very much wore leather until I went vegan, I am no saint! We are so used to it being a normal thing and I always thought it was a by product of the meat industry, which it is not. I did a whole post on the problem with leather so wont go into it again, but if you want to read it’s here.
Other materials which come from animals are wool and silk. I am sure there are places where animals used for wool are well treated, but unfortunately as with everything now animals are factory farmed. This puts them in terrible conditions and they are treated horrendously when it comes to actually being sheared. The shearers are in such a rush to get a job done they do not care about the animal. It is not what I thought at all. Silk is made by boiling silk worms alive in their cocoons, I don’t really think I need to say more on why that is cruel!
It is obviously a choice for you to make yourselves, but all the above materials are considered cruel for animals. Personally I have changed to not buying any products using leather, wool, fur or silk.
What are vegan materials?
There is a great list on the PETA website, which is where my information came from. For ease, I have put them in categories.
Bags, Shoes & Accessories
- Faux leather
- Synthetic materials
- Synthetic Fabrics
- Synthetic Down
- Waxed Canvas
Which brands are cruelty free?
It is possible to find clothes in high street shops, for example H&M. Just check the label to see what the product contains using the list above. However, there are actually brands out there which are 100% vegan. I love to support them as their values align with mine so naturally I am more happy giving them my money!
Bags, Shoes & Accessories
There are an abundance of vegan bags, shoes and accessories brands. A quick Google search will pull up loads of options but I have listed some of the most popular below.
Finding cruelty free clothes I have found that little bit harder. There are plenty companies offering slogan t-shirts and jumpers, but whilst this is great for others, it is not really my style now I am in my 30s (although who wouldn’t want a “Kale Yeah” t-shirt!). I also often find companies making vegan clothes are quite expensive, often because they also pay their workers more too. To me, this is fine, I just choose what I want more carefully. Some options of brands are below.
What should you do with old products?
When you move to using products not tested on aniamls it is an easy decision to just use up the products you have from before. The products will usually be used up in a short space of time. A leather jacket however could last you for the rest of your life. This makes it a very common to question what you should you do with old products. The answer is, whatever you feel comfortable with. My decision was to give most of my leather away. I had a number of handbags which I just no longer got any enjoyment from owning so they were all given to family. However, I have kept my leather DMs. They are so trashed the only place they could go is the bin, no one else would want them. While I no longer want to wear leather, throwing out shoes an animal died to make does not sit right with me.
The process may be a transition for you too. You may feel comfortable keeping something but then find in a year your opinion has changed. The important point is really just do what you are happy with. Don’t feel pressure from anyone else and do not think you need to go out and rebuy an entire wardrobe, unless of course you want to and have loads of money!
Hopefully the above has given you some food for thought and maybe a bit of help in knowing where to go to start your cruelty free wardrobe. There are so many options, it really is no hardship! In the coming months I will aim to put up some cruelty free outfit ideas too so keep an eye out!