How to Buy Vegan Clothes

How to Buy Vegan Clothes

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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

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Stylish Gift Wrap Ideas for the Frugal Santa

Stylish gift wrap doesn’t need to cost a ton of cash. You can easily wrap gifts with everyday items you already have on hand. Not only will you save, but people will appreciate your creativity.

Use the Sunday comics section. Brownie points for having a Peanuts comic strip prominently displayed.
Leftover wallpaper or fabric from your home improvement projects can add a touch of whimsy.  I’ve also used paper grocery bags to wrap gifts– I cut the bags into wrapping paper-like shape and then on the inside (plain side without writing) I painted a pretty design of a wreath or tree and sprinkled glitter.  For the “ribbon” I used a recycled ribbon.  Vintage Christmas cards make for pretty and interesting gift tags.  And this is all stuff you probably already have on hand in a clutter drawer in the kitchen!!

Hat and shoe boxes can be used for sentimental gifts, especially mementos or keepsakes.  Spray paint boxes with bright Christmas colors. This works great for large gifts that already come in their own boxes.
For a more rustic look, use craft or construction paper and dress up the package with twine, strings, sprigs, or pine cones.
You can also dress up plain construction paper with stickers, stencils, and stamps.

Use things related to the gift– such as pages from magazines related to your gift. For example, Vogue for clothing, Rolling Stone for CDs, National Geographic for business traveler’s gifts, Wired for gadgets, etc.  Use old school computer paper (the kind with hole-punched edges) for computer products, and use maps for gifts related to traveling (i.e. those annoying travel size grooming kits).

Use Child Labor– Children’s drawings made in school are wonderful as gift wrap for grandparents .  (Grandma will definitely want to “save” this wrapping paper!)  Another fun option is your children’s hand prints on white construction paper. Acrylic paint is usually the best choice for these kinds of projects.  If you have a baby, little foot prints would also work (I did this myself when my son was a baby– we made a wreath-look wrapping paper with his footprints).

These are just a few fun ideas for low-cost and creative wrapping paper for holiday gifts.  Much more fun than store-bought.

Faking it: How to spot counterfeit fashion


Knockoff designer goods are easily available on the streets in areas like Los Angeles’ Santee Street and New York’s Canal Street.

The internet is also full of online auctions and cybersellers offering “Inspired by” copies and fakes.

The old method of spotting counterfeit items was simple: flimsy hardware, cheap leather and crooked logos were a dead giveaway.

Fakes are now so good (and expensive) that you sometimes can’t tell the difference.

So how do you know what’s real and what’s not?

Some clues:

  • The price. A new Louis Vuitton handbag for $100 is not the real. The real LV typically sells for $800 to well over $2000. Same thing for my friends Prada and Gucci.
  • Where it’s sold.  Authorized dealers for Chanel, LV, etc. do not merchandise out of the trunk of a car and they do not sell at online auctions or home parties.
  • Point of origin tag. Designer apparel or leather goods with a “Made in Taiwan” tag is likely not authentic.
  • What if you are shopping online and come across a great deal on designer apparel? How do you know you’re getting the real thing?

    Read the fine print.

    Some etailers will lure you in with key words you’re likely to search for like Chanel or Prada. Many sites use overkill with words like “authentic,” “genuine” and other adjectives — to describe their merchandise.

    Only by reading the descriptions carefully will you see comments like “Inspired by…” to clue you in that the merchandise isn’t an exact copy (which the etailers claim gives them immunity from trademark infringement.)

    Many of the better knockoffs come with packaging, locks, etc. to appear (and sound in description) like the real thing. has rules posted forbidding the sale of counterfeit merchandise, but it’s not unusual to see Louis Vuitton and Gucci bags on the site for less than $100.

    How do you protect yourself?

    Purchase goods from an authorized dealer (a department store or a company outlet). Many labels sell directly to the public on company-owned sites such as, (Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, etc.) and

    If in doubt, contact the designer directly and ask if you’re buying from an authorized dealer.