Becoming vegan generally starts with your diet, but then branches out into other aspects of your life. You start to consider the make-up and bath products you use. The household cleaners need to be checked, and then there are the clothes. Leather, suede, wool; We often wear our fashion without any thoughts about where they have come from, until our life choices make us consider them.
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What does vegan fashion have to do with this?
Living a vegan lifestyle means that we try to eliminate the damage we inflict; on animals, the planet and also on other people too; because when we consider how we obtain leather and suede in particular, it’s not just the animals that need to be thought about. The living conditions for the people, often children, who prepare these items are usually appalling. They walk around in the chemicals used to prepare them, which more often than not makes them extremely ill, and can be fatal.
Not only that, but very often the animals are not dead before they begin to be skinned, so they endure agony, beyond anything you can imagine before they actually die, all so that people can wear their skins.
Wool is another item to be very careful with. If you buy a product containing real wool, you will find it very hard to determine where that wool came from. Standards in the UK and US are generally quite good for sheep welfare. But there are places, where welfare standards are way below par. The animals are abused, cut during shearing and often seen as a commodity. We do not want to support this.
How do we make sure our fashion is vegan?
There are so many brands out there now, offering alternatives to leather, fur, suede and wool. Often they are also cheaper too. Take advantage of these brands to purchase your products from. The less money that gets spent on animal by-products, the less will be produced. It’s all about supply and demand!
A few tips for you if you want to look into sourcing vegan fashion of your own:
- The best thing to do if you want knit wear, is to buy wool from a wool shop (as it is generally acrylic and not actual wool) and knit your own! Learning a new craft, especially one where you work with your hands can be extremely therapeutic, not to mention you will have clothing you made with your own two hands, which is a pretty cool feeling!
- Buy faux leather, faux suede and faux fur. Many high street stores sell these items at affordable prices.
- Check out ethical fashion brands such as Gringo, and Alternative Stores, or Fair Indigo in the USA where you can buy ready made items knowing that no harm has been inflicted to gain it.
Gringo is one of the leading fair trade companies in the UK. They are based in Swansea, where they started way back in 1988. Their vision is to ‘aid through trade.’ This means that when sourcing from factories, certain criteria has to be met, including:
- No child labour
- Workplace equality
- Safe working conditions
- Encouraging respect for the environment and using sustainable materials
Alternative Stores is a vegan run company dedicated to supplying ethical, cruelty free and vegan products. They sell vegan shoes, (which are awesome!) as well as a range of grocery, health and beauty products that can be delivered to your door. I would definitely recommend a look!
Fair Indigo is a fashion company who believe in doing business in a way that benefits everyone involved. From the factories and manufacturers, right through to you, the customer, so for my American readers, they are your gold dust! Their values are:
- Sustainable materials
- Enduring quality
- Forever in Fashion
- Fair Trade
I am very excited to announce the launch of my own shop! I have vegan slogan t-shirts, and more is being added regularly! Check it out right now! A lot of time and love has gone into the design of these products as I wanted to be sure that they would be ethically sound before I went ahead and made them available. But now, they are finally here, and you can grab a great 20% discount on your first order of anything in the shop when you sign up to my mailing list below!
If you skipped all the way down here…
I totally get it! We don’t have tons of time to spend reading blogs, therefore your time is valuable. So to summarise this post for you; Think about what you purchase and where you buy it from. Is it ethically sourced and cruelty free? Have a look at the fair trade companies I have mentioned above, you can easily buy their products through Amazon! Be sure to check out my shop, I have a new range of products there with some nifty vegan slogans on them! And if you join my mailing list, I will also give you 20% off your first order too!