Vegan clothes are apparel and shoes that are made without animal products or parts. A benefit of wearing vegan clothes is they guarantee no animals were harmed or slaughtered to make the apparel. Although some specialty stores exist that exclusively sell vegan lines of clothing, you can purchase vegan clothes from any retail store. To buy vegan clothes, you must learn how to identify the vegan and non-vegan products and materials found on clothing label
*Buy imitation-leather instead of real, genuine leather or suede.
- Leather is not vegan because it is made from animal skin and hides.
- Read clothing labels to find alternative products that imitate leather such as pleather, synthetic leather, man-made leather, waxed-cotton, and imitation-leather.
- Clothing made from imitation-leather materials are generally far lower in price than clothing made from genuine leather or suede.
- Do not purchase clothing or fabric made from silk.
- Although silkworms produce silk naturally, sometimes silkworms are boiled alive to extract extra amounts of silk.
- Buy materials and fabric that feel like and resemble silk such as polyester, nylon, rayon, tussah, ceiba tree and silk-cotton tree filaments, milkweed seed-pod fibers, and tencel, which is fabric made from wood pulp.
- Do not buy clothing made from down or animal feathers.
- Clothing made from down and feathers are not vegan because they are plucked from animals while they are alive or the animals are slaughtered specifically for their down.
- Read clothing labels to find substitutes for down, such as polyester fill, synthetic down, down-alternative, and hypo-allergenic synthetic down.
- Do not buy clothing made from any type of wool.
- Goats, sheep, camels, and rabbits are animals that generate wool and in some cases are raised in harsh conditions for their hair.
- Wool products that should be avoided are angora, cashmere, pashmina, mohair, camel hair, and shearling.
- Buy alternative wool materials such as polyester fleece, cotton flannel, acrylic, orlon, synthetic wool, synthetic fleece, and any other wool fabric preceded by “synthetic.”
- Some man-made products exist that rival wool in terms of thickness, providing warmth, and can wick away moisture. These products are generally made from recycled plastic soda bottles and can be found in specialty stores that feature outdoors clothing.
- Buy faux fur or fake fur instead of genuine fur or pelts.
- Fur and pelts are not vegan because they are taken from animals raised or trapped specifically for their fur such as foxes, minks, lynxes, rabbits and more.
- Look for clothing labels that indicate faux fur, polyester, acrylic, or mod-acrylic, all of which can accurately replicate fur.
- Vegan clothing can also be made from organic canvas, hemp, and bamboo.
- Visit the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) website listed in the Sources section of this article to view a list of companies that sell vegan clothing or call PETA directly at 757-622-7382.
- If the clothing or shoes are made internationally, educate yourself on words for non-vegan materials in other languages, like the translations for “silk” or “leather.”
- Ask a salesperson or contact the clothing manufacturer directly if you are unsure if a product contains vegan materials.
Sources and Citations