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Vegan Clothing: Materials, Ethics, and 9 Clothing Brands You Can Trust

Being vegan isn’t just about what you eat—

It’s also about what you wear. 

Vegans do not consume products that contain animal products or byproducts--

 This includes clothing.

You may not first realize it, but there are a few clothing items that are made of animal byproducts that you need to watch out for. 

We’re not just talking fur jackets or leather clothing, but a wide array of clothing!

You’re probably wondering—

What kinds of clothing could possibly include animal products?

But where can I go to get vegan-friendly clothing? 

We’re here to help you out. 

In this article, we’re going to go over the complete guide to finding vegan clothing that will work within your lifestyle. Here’s what we’ll be going over: 

  • Vegan-Friendly Clothing: Materials to Watch Out For
  • Purchasing Vegan Clothing: All AboutSustainability 
  • Vegan Clothing Brands: 9 Brands You Can Trust

Are you ready to learn more? 

Then keep reading!

Vegan-Friendly clothing: Materials to Watch Out For

Whether you have been practicing a vegan lifestyle for years or you are new to the community, there is always more to learn when it comes to living a cruelty free lifestyle. 

It’s t like when you are learning about the vegan diet. 

Just as you may know  what foods are vegan-friendly and what is animal derived—

You will need to learn about animal derived materials that are commonly used in clothing items. 

You are probably aware of a few animal derived materials, but there are probably a few others that may surprise you!

Here are the most common animal derived materials to avoid when shopping for vegan clothing: 

1. Leather

Leather is made from tanning animal rawhide and skins. 

It is commonly used in clothing items, but it is easily distinguishable and easy for vegans to avoid when they are out shopping! 

Here are a few common clothing items that may contain leather: 

  • Motorcycle jackets
  • Shoes (especially boots)
  • The label on denim jeans
  • Purses and bags
  • Leather pants and skirts

Leather has played a longtime role in fashion. The leather jacket specifically has been a staple in people’s wardrobes as a symbol of “cool.” 

In fact, this dates as far back as 1950! 

Nowadays, you can still achieve the iconic look while choosing an animal-friendly option. 

Faux leather is one option that is made of plastic and dyes

Fashion designers that have vegans in mind have created different types of leather out of unique and versatile materials such as the following: 

  • Pineapple
  • Apples
  • Cork
  • Recycled plastic

And more! 

Forgoing leather that is made of animal skins is no sacrifice at all with the super stylish vegan leather options that are out on the market--

Like this vegan leather jacket from Madewell! 

2. Silk

There are several reasons that silk is such a popular material used in clothing. 

It is breathable, versatile, and something about it just sighs luxury. 

Unfortunately, this is not a vegan material... 

Silk is made from silkworms. 

While technically silkworms are an insect, not an animal— 

it is still considered a material that is not vegan-friendly, as silkworms die in order to make it. 

The mulberry silkworm is the main species that silk is produced from. They eat mulberry leaves in order to form their silk cocoon. 

This silk cocoon is what silk producers create their material out of. 

It is no secret that it takes approximately 3,000 silkworms to produce just one pound of silk. 

Here are the common clothing items that silk is used for: 

  • Bras, underwear, lingerie
  • Camisoles
  • Dresses 
  • Slips

Some things that may slip your under the radar  but you should keep an eye out for are: 

  • The lining in purses and bags
  • Coat and jacket linings

Luckily, we live in a day and age where there are plenty of silk alternatives. Here are a few to keep in mind: 

  • Ramié: This material is a vegan silk alternative that is made of a vegetable textile. It’s made from two species of trees that grow extremely fast and can yield ramié 2-3 times per year. 
  • Orange fiber: An Italian brand came up with a clever solution for all of the citrus waste that was ending up in landfills every year— orange silk! You would never be able to tell the difference between this vegan-friendly blend and real silk. 
  • Microsilk: This material is extremely flexible, durable, and ultra-soft. This microsilk is actually modeled after spider silk, but is produced in a sustainable way. 
  • Lotus silk: Although it is quite expensive, lotus silk is a vegan-friendly silk that just screams luxury. It is extremely rare and it takes a long time to produce, but if you are looking for a luxury silk, this is it. 

3. Fur and Wool

Fur, of course, is harvested from different animals and is not a vegan-friendly material. 

Here are some common animals that fur is taken from to produce clothing: 

  • Fox
  • Rabbit
  • Mink
  • Raccoon 
  • Beaver
  • Dogs
  • Coyotes
  • Wolves
  • Opposums
  • Sheep

And more. 

Here are the common clothing items at utilize fur and wool: 

  • Hoods
  • Scarves
  • Mittens
  • Sweaters
  • Coats

Many companies have discontinued the cruel practice of using fur in their clothing brand and instead opt for faux fur. 

Stick around to find out the best vegan brands to purchase from that have ruled out animal fur!

4. Mohair

    Mohair fleece is an expensive textile that is yielded from the Angora goat. This material has legendary softness and durability, but unfortunately it is not ethical. 

    Luckily—

    Many clothing brands have banned mohair due to animal rights issues, which is a huge win for the vegan community. 

    5. Animal Derived Glue

      One thing that vegan’s may not be aware of is that animal derived glue is often used in creating clothing. 

      Here are a few places that animal derived glue can find its way into: 

      • Shoes
      • Bags

      There are vegan specified companies that use synthetic glue instead so that you do not have to worry about any animal derived glue in your products. 

      Here are a few common brands you’ll find at your local store: 

      • Elmer’s
      • Mod Podge
      • Gorilla

      6. Feathers and Down Padding

        Feathers and down are animal derived materials that you need to avoid if you want an all-vegan wardrobe. 

        Feathers and down come from birds and are often used as a way to make clothing items warmer and more padded. 

        The most common way feathers and down padding is used? 

        In coats! 

        When shopping for your winter apparel, do a quick scan to ensure that no feathers or down has been used. 

        7. Details made from bones or horns

          Animal derived embellishments?  

          They can sneak their way into our otherwise vegan clothing items, too. 

          Details in clothing made of animal bone and horns can be found in the following: 

          • Buttons
          • Designs on clothing
          • Jewelry 

          Checking the tag for these ingredients is a quick way to avoid this snafu!

          Purchasing Vegan Clothing: All About Sustainability 

          Did you know that the fashion industry is actually the second largest polluter in the world? 

          Crazy, right?

          Now, more than ever is the time to make ethical fashion choices that are sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

          The great news is that simply taking the time to research your purchases in advance is one great step towards making better decisions for both your closet—

          And the world. 

          Luckily, vegan clothing brands understand that the vegan community are socially and environmentally conscious consumers. 

          The good news? 

          Many vegan clothing brands aren’t just free of animal cruelty...

          they offer durable, timeless, and sustainable options for their consumers. 

          When you are perusing online for vegan clothing items, there are a few buzzwords that you’ll see come up over and over again. 

          Here is a crash course of all the terms you need to know:

          Organic: 

          When a clothing brand is labeled as “organic,” it is referring to the organic cotton that is used to make the clothing. 

          That means the following practices are followed: 

          • Organic fertilizer is used to yield crops
          • Proper crop rotation is practiced
          • No GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
          • Encourages native small animal habitats in the field

          However, this term is regulated. 

          Simply seeing the word “organic” on the label does not actually mean you are getting an organic product! 

          Make sure you are looking for a certified organic label given by a reputable authority. 

          Here are the two primary authority’s in the United States:

          Fair Trade: 

          Purchasing certified fair trade clothing is one way to ensure that the worker that made your clothes is making a livable wage and working in good conditions. 

          This is a standard that rejects the unethical practices of sweatshops, abuse, and even slavery

          The good news is that clothing that is both vegan and fair trade often overlap. 

          The third party certification to look for when shopping is: 

          Don’t see the certification while shopping? 

          Send an inquiry to their company about the supply chain. They may have fair trade practices without the label. 

          Slow Fashion: 

          You commonly hear the term “fast-fashion” thrown around about today’s industry. 

          Slow fashion is the antidote to that! 

          Slow fashion is the practice of creating garments that are timeless, built for longevity, and rooted in ethical production practices. 

          This most often results in beautiful clothing, fair wages, and a lower carbon footprint. 

          Slow fashion does not have a certification, but many clothing brands use this term to describe their production process in blogs, on their product pages, and more. 

          Sustainable:

          When it comes to the term sustainable—

          There is no official third party that certifies the company’s ethical practices. 

          At the core, sustainable fashion is defined as fashion that can continue being produced in that way for decades to come. 

          Currently, fast fashion is not sustainable. 

          It is gutting many of our resources and rooted in unethical practices that we cannot continue to support. 

          The upside?

          Many clothing brands are starting to recognize this and are laying the framework for the following: 

          • Slow fashion
          • High-quality products
          • Fair wages for their employees. 

          This also extends to the shipping and stocking process, and many sustainable companies will offset the carbon footprint of shipping, package items with zero waste, and more. 

          Since the term sustainable is unregulated—

          If the company is claiming it is not fair trade certified, vegan, or organic, you will want to do a further inquiry about their practices before purchasing. 

          Dauntless Clothing

          Vegan Clothing Brands: 9 Brands You Can Trust 

          Now for the moment you have been waiting for—

          The best clothing brands to purchase your beautiful vegan wardrobe from! 

          Let’s get started. 

          1. Amy Onyx for everyday fashion

          Amy Onyx is the antidote to fast fashion brands like H&M and ASOS! 

          They offer trendy pieces at an affordable rate, but their production practices are ethical and 100% vegan from start to finish

          Another reason to love this brand? 

          They are totally size inclusive! 

          This company is US based, has incredible reviews, and has fashionable clothing starting at just $12. 

          2. Boden for business wear

            If you are looking for a clothing brand to purchase your business wear from—

            Boden needs to be your next stop. 

            While the brand is not 100% vegan, the majority of items from this brand are vegan and they are rooted in sustainable practices such as: 

            • Giving back to charities
            • Reducing their environmental impact
            • Treating their employees with dignity

            This brand offers clothing for women, men, and kids, so it can be a one-stop shop for your family shopping. 

            The price range for this store is midrange, offering shirts and blouses starting at $45 and jeans at $75. 

            3. MUD for jeans

              MUD jeans is on a mission to create a circular system to create their items. 

              They are dedicated to only using sustainable practices and the primary materials used for their products are:

              • Cotton
              • Recycled cotton

              This brand is 100% vegan, (no annoying leather labels!) 

              Jeans average around $100. 

              Plot twist— 

              They also offer leasing options starting at just $10 where you can basically rent your jeans! 

              How cool is that? 

              4. Dauntless for timeless staples

                Dauntless is a brand created for the fashion forward. 

                This is a luxury pret-a-porter fashion label that is entirely focused on sustainability. 

                They offer a wide range of products for men and women. 

                If you are looking to invest in some quality staples in your closet, such as trousers, bodysuits, and jackets, this is the place to go. 

                Bodysuits start at $95 and bottoms start at $96. 

                5. Boody for intimates and loungewear

                  Boody is a brand where all items are PETA approved and 100% vegan

                  With ultra-comfy loungewear, activewear, and intimates, this brand can’t be beat. 

                  They have clothing items for women, men, and babies so if you are a busy mom you can do all of your shopping here. 

                  This brand is affordable with some sleep sets available for just $29.95. 

                  6. Symbology for dresses

                    Looking to purchase a dress for an event?

                    Look  no further than Symbology

                    The whole premise of Symbology is to create fair-trade and sustainable pieces that are also totally sexy. 

                    The price range of their dresses run from mid-range to high, starting at $65 and running upwards of $300. 

                    7. Will’s Vegan Shoes for shoes and jackets

                      This London-based brand has vegan shoes for everyday wear that are 100% vegan and affordable—

                      A hard combination to come by!

                      This store offers both men and women’s shoes and their product will stand the test of your time. 

                      Prices for shoes start around $80. 

                      8. Wuxly Movement for outerwear

                        Wuxly is a Canadian-based brand that specializes in producing vegan-friendly and sustainable outerwear. 

                        Since it’s made in Canada—

                        You know their coats can stand up to even the harshest winters. 

                        They boast the best goose-down alternative on the market to make their coats warm and durable. 

                        If that isn’t enough reason to buy a coat from Wuxly...

                        These coats are also water resistant to keep you both cozy and dry! 

                        These coats are definitely on the pricer side, with their bomber starting at $500. 

                        However, keep in mind with outerwear that you will be wearing these coats for years to come. 

                        If you live in a harsh climate, this may be worth the investment. 

                        9. SAMARA for bags

                          SAMARA is a company that creates gorgeous, timeless vegan bags. 

                          Since many bags are created with silk, leather, and animal derived glue, it can be tricky to find a bag that is both stylish and cruelty-free. 

                          The price range for these bags range from medium to high, with plenty of options available for under $100. 

                          Vegan Clothing: Comfort, Sustainability, and Fashion

                          Now you know everything you need to know about vegan clothing, all the common animal derived materials to avoid, the reasons to invest in vegan materials, and the best vegan brands to invest in. 

                          Not only is vegan clothing more ethical—

                          It is also sustainable in more than one way. 

                          Investing in slow fashion that will stand the test of time and create a statement about your sense of style will serve you for years to come. 

                          Interested in learning more about vegan fashion and beauty? 

                          Make sure to check out our article about vegan beauty products

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