Though, most of us grew up eating meat, and wearing animal hides and fur, many of us
never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved.
The abuse that animals suffer at human hands is sickening, heartbreaking and sad.
It’s even more so when we realize that the everyday choices we make—such as what we
eat for lunch, what we choose to wear, and the kind of skin cream we buy—may be supporting
some of this abuse.
But with a little effort, you can find a ‘cruelty-free’ vegan substitute for almost every item
you wear and often within your budget.
“The decision to lead a compassionate lifestyle
is a very personal one.
There is no ‘right way’ to do things. It is up to you
how you make the transition, depending
upon what you feel comfortable with.”
Once you start doing a bit of research, reading labels and keeping an eye out for vegan
alternatives, you will see them everywhere.
Shopping at your local mall may not be as much fun as it used to be once you learn where
most of the clothing comes from–as well as the damage it is doing to our planet.
So you may need get creative.
Fortunately, there are hundreds of cruelty-free clothing options including wonderful
websites that specialize in vegan and eco-friendly fashion.
Here are a few tips to get your started…
14 Ways to Go Vegan Style
1. Learn the Lingo
Find out what materials are vegan and which are not. Vegan fabrics are those that are not
made from anypart of an animal and that don’t contribute to cruelty. Fabrics that are not
vegan include: leather, silk, wool and fur.
Fortunately, many humane substitutes for these materials are available.
Vegan substitutes for leather include man-made leather, all-man-made materials, pleather
and synthetic leather.
Vegan substitutes for wool include polyester fleece, acrylics and cotton flannel.
Vegan substitutes for silk include polyester, nylon, rayon, tussah, milkweed seed-pod fibers,
silk-cotton tree and ceiba tree filaments.
Vegan subitutes for fur include synthetic fur and faux fur.
(It is important to note that silk and wool are often considered ecofriendly fabrics,
yet they are not vegan-friendly.)
“Personally, I try to find vegan accesories and apparel
made from natural, recycled
and environmentally-friendly materials including
hemp, organic cotton, bamboo, soy fiber,
Tencel, Lenpur, Inego and Ecospun (a recycled fiber),
to name a few.”
2. Do Your Homework
Find out which labels offer vegan fashions that you like and get to know where you can find them.
For example, vegan clothing and accessory labels include Tom Bihn, MooShoes, Pangea, MATT & NAT,
Urban Expressions, and Cow Jones Industrials.
3. Shop the Web
Google vegan fashion and you’ll discover dozens of vegan online boutiques where you can
“shop til you drop”.
A few vegan clothing websites include:
4. Toss leather, wool, fur and silk from your closet
Go throught your closet and identify what you own that isn’t vegan and, if you can afford to,
donate non-vegan items to a local charity store.
5. Commit to Buying Vegan
If you cannot afford to get rid of everything at once, simply make the decision to purchase
only vegan items in the future.
6. Learn How to Read Labels
When you go shopping it’s important to scrutinize the label of each item since it can
be difficult to know when something is real leather or faux leather.
7. Be a Savvy Shopper
Many of the less expensive stores and labels offer clothing that qualifies as “vegan alternatives”,
so you can usually find an affordable vegan option.
8. Consider Quality Over Quantity
It is actually better to invest in a few quality pieces that will last longer, than to buy a lot of
poor quality clothing that won’t last more than a few washes.
9. Shop at Thrift Stores
You’ll be surprised how well you can shop and save by frequenting thrift shops for vegan clothing.
10. Swap Your Old Clothes at Exchanges
Clean out your closet and take unwanted clothing to barter shops and exchanges where you can trade
your old clothing for more suitable vegan-friendly finds.
11. Sew Your Own
Why not buy some eco-friendly fabric and create your own clothing. Or re-fashion your old clothing
into something new and wonderful to wear.
12. Shop at Craft Fairs
You’ll find amazing handmade clothing at local craft fairs. Often you can even find designers who
will create custom clothing to meet your needs.
13. Make New Vegan Shopping Friends
Join the conversation and ask for vegan clothing recommendations on vegan chat rooms, forums,
communities. You can share your finds online as well.
14. Ask Retailers to Carry Vegan
Store owners want to satisfy their customers. So, let your favorite shop owners and designers know
that you want vegan items, and they make just start stocking them!
The more customers request cruelty-free, the more likely it is that store owners will listen.
Ready to Veganise Your Style?
These are just a few suggestions to help you “veganise your style”.
As you can see, it’s not so hard to dress vegan style after all.
So what if you have to get a little creative or venture off the beaten track to find what you want.
Ultimately, it will be worth the extra effort just knowing that you are doing the “compassionate thing”
and dressing cruelty-free.
So grab your cute Compassionate Couture bag and shoes, go home and hug your pet!
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