Beyond the Diet: What Is Vegan Clothing

Beyond the Diet: What Is Vegan Clothing

Time to Read: 8 minutes


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You’ve probably heard the word vegan many times in association with healthy eating. A friend or two may even be vegans, and you may have considered joining them a time or two.

Many people associate being a vegan with the non-animal products they eat. Being a vegan is not just about healthy eating, it is about a total lifestyle change.

Veganism is a commitment to stand against cruelty and exploitation of animals for human gain. It makes little sense to live by a philosophy that excludes animal products from your diet and overlook how it is used in other facets of our lives.

Animals are used for everything from accessories and clothing to makeup and bathroom items. Providing alternative products is a growing business. There are a plethora of products on the market manufactured for those committed to veganism.

Vegan living has been around for a while. Blogs and guides on veganism and how to live a vegan life are increasing in popularity as more people join the movement.

As the public becomes more educated on the subject and awareness grows, they learn about things like vegan clothing.

What is vegan clothing?

When people think of veganism their minds immediately go to a vegetarian diet. So how does vegan clothing play into this?

Vegan clothing plays by the same rules as vegan food. Avoid clothing that is made via the exploitation of animals. This would mean staying away from leather, fur, silk, and wool.

In regards to wool, some would use the same argument they do when it comes to eggs, honey and milk. They argue that no animal was killed to obtain these products so why can’t they be consumed.

The belief is anytime an animal is exploited for profit, the opportunity for abuse is real. Sheep endure great hardships when being raised for their wool. The sheering process is seen as cruel and inhumane.

Also, sheep are not the only animals that produce wool. Goats give us cashmere and mohair, while rabbits produce angora wool, which is said to be softer than cashmere wool.

A die-hard vegan will be fully committed to the practice while some others may waver in their decisions when it comes to these items. Particularly honey.

Wool alternatives

It would seem that removing wool from fabric choices would leave a huge void, especially when it comes to cold weather items like jackets and sweaters.

Guilty-free, kind woolens are not only possible, they exist. Wool that is considered to be vegan-friendly come is fabrics like cotton, polar fleece, polyester and other animal-free fabrics.

If the tag says its synthetic wool, rest assured no animal was harmed in the making of this vegan clothing.

The clothing is designed with enough thickness to keep you warm and protect you from the cold. The same is true for winter blankets and throws. The best part, you don’t have to sacrifice on style, color or price.

Generally, the same stores that carry authentic wool taken from sheep, goats, and rabbits, also carry vegan items made of synthetic wool.

Check the label or ask a salesperson for assistance. I would be leery of any clothing that does not have a label clearly defining the make-up of the fabric used.

Cotton

In 2004 Southeast FarmPress rolled out a campaign titled “The Fabric of Our Lives,” to reintroduce cotton. It is the fabric of our lives because there are so many items created by the soft white fiber.

Broadcloth, buckram, calico, chiffon, chino, denim, flannel and the list goes on. It would be virtually impossible to go through your closet and not have an article of clothing made from cotton.

It is a perfect choice for the vegan wardrobe.

Whether you want to wear a t-shirt and jeans or formal evening wear, cotton has you covered. Clothing made of cotton comes in a variety of styles, thickness, and color.

Cotton also comes with great benefits. It is a comfortable fabric to wear and it’s durable and has good moisture control. Rarely do we hear of people being allergic to cotton or items made from cotton. Manufacturers have also been able to manufacture waterproof clothing for cotton fabrics while allowing the fabric to breathe.

It is a comfortable fabric to wear and it’s durable and has good moisture control. Rarely do we hear of people being allergic to cotton or items made from cotton. Manufacturers have also been able to manufacture waterproof clothing for cotton fabrics while allowing the fabric to breathe.

Breathability in clothing is a plus for athletes and people continuously on the go.

Cotton not only gives you a great selection of cruelt-free clothing and shoes, it also provides vegan options for towels, linens and other household textiles.

Linen

Linen is a fabric made from the flax plant.

Buckram, which can also be made from cotton, can be used to create linen. A lot of white linen suits, popular in the summer, are made of cambric. Khaki’s is another good representation of linen.

Like cotton, linen is a very popular light-weight fabric that is very versatile. It is known to keep the body cool, it too absorbs moisture quickly, and it is a breathable fabric that does not hold heat.

Vegans can enjoy linen shirts, skirts, shorts, dresses, suits and more.

Other vegan uses for the fabric includes textiles, bandages, and bedding, which is commonly referred to as linens. Heavier linen is used to make tapestry for curtains and furniture upholstery. Lint is a linen fabric used for bandages. Another popular household item is the beloved linen sheets.

As shown here, opting to wear cruelty-free clothing or fill your home with vegan fabrics does not require much sacrifice.

Leather

Leather is a textile that is used on some many items that we don’t give much thought to. Items like belts, wallets, purses, car seats, and our comfy reclining chairs.

Vegans do not have to forgo the look or feel of leather because there are many products on the market made of imitation leather.

Imitation leather, or faux leather as it is known on the market, is a man-made fabric. It can also be referred to as vegan leather as a selling point for vegan clothing.

This composite of non-animal fabrics is often treated with wax and dye to give it a variation of colors and textures.

Vegans can step out in their leather-look jackets, pants and shoes, and throw a stylish bag over their shoulder assured no animal was harmed.

Nylon

Nylon is a synthetic fabric. Like rayon, it was created to mimic silk. The most popular nylon clothing items are pantyhose and undergarments.

Oftentimes nylon will be mixed with another synthetic fabric called spandex, which has a stretching quality. You will find the combination in form fitting dresses and work-out clothes. Some jackets like windbreakers are also made of nylon making them a great vegan clothing option.

Outside of clothing, common uses for nylon include tie-down ropes, umbrellas, and kites.

Nylon fabrics are water resistant, they dry fast and require little to no ironing, which is a huge plus.

There are many different types of vegan lifestyles, so there should also be many different options for vegan clothing. The manufacturing of synthetic fabrics adds to those choices.

Polyester

Polyester covers a wide range of synthetic fabrics. It can also be mixed with cottons, linens, wool’s, and nylons.

It is another versatile fabric that lends to the notion that vegan clothing is everyday clothing. Again, whether you are looking for pants, dresses, skirts, shirts, suits or swimwear, this is a fabric that was not created by the inhumane treatment or death of an animal.

The greatest thing about polyester, it is usually wrinkle resistant. Just dress and go. It also doesn’t require dry-cleaning like some other fabrics.

Vegan-friendly doesn’t always equal eco-friendly

Veganism is a boon to our planet, if we said that leading a completely vegan lifestyle is easy, we would be lying.

The truth is, being 100% vegan in every aspect of our lives would require a lot of work. We’ve shared with you how easy it is to shop for vegan clothing. As you can see it isn’t that hard. By the very nature of what they wear, some people are already vegans and don’t even know it.

Our clothing doesn’t stop with the fibers we select and ensuring they are free of animal products. In the move towards sustainability, there are people who want to go one step further and ensure the clothing we wear is also Eco-friendly.

Shying away from products made with chemicals like petroleum and other oils will limit your selections, but minimally. You may have to bypass the faux leather and polyester until manufacturers develop a more sustainable product.

Before you head out to go shopping for a vegan outfit, we invite you to check out some great vegan recipes.

If you like what you see, we have vegan meal plans and shopping lists you can try.

You do not have to break the bank on comfortable clothing or great vegan foods. Drop a comment and let us know if you are rocking clothing this summer.

About the author

Julia Ott
Hi! I'm Julia and I'm a junior developer, vegan recipe inventor, furniture collector and mum to a little boy. I've been a vegetarian for 20 years, and a vegan for 3. I spend all of my spare time visiting farmers markets, searching for antiques at flea markets and cooking up a vegan storm in the kitchen! I co-founded Vegan.io to make the world a better place.

Want to try a vegan diet?

We created a meal planner app to help you! Get your fresh customized meal plan full of delicious, quick, budget friendly, healthy recipes.

GET YOUR MEAL PLAN!