Fashion brands have always adapted to match the pressuring issues society faces. We’ve seen it along the years: in the 70s we had punk fashion brands, then the goth and emo brands, and now, in a time where people are so much more aware of the dangers that humans cause, there has been a rise in the vegan fashion brands. Just like veganism, vegan clothing brands are part of a movement towards being more ethical, compassionate towards the earth and animals and living a cruelty-free lifestyle. It’s not too late to change the way we perceive clothing and what type of clothes we wear and any small change will encourage others to behave in a positive way.
We know a thing or two about fabrics and how clothing works, and we have compiled a small guide to vegan clothing and how to best go about it. Whether you are looking to buy new clothes, thrift shop or buy special made vegan clothes, we’ve got everything covered.
Buying from regular shops & thrift stores
It might not be always possible to only buy from exclusive vegan clothing brands and this is why shopping in regular stores or vintage shops remains a great option. The only thing to remember is that you will have to check a couple of things before buying the item. Most of the things you need to look out for are pretty common sense and you won’t need a lot of time to draw a conclusion.
1. Real vs fake fur
Since the cold season has already settled in already, we’re assuming you’re already looking for some comfy coats. And if you happen to like the furry ones, then you need to know that there are some things you might want to check before buying anything. Distinguish between faux and real fur. The thing to remember is fur is very similar to natural hair and it will follow a growth pattern. Faux, on the other hand, can be checked if it was sewn, and if this is the case, you will see that it should be arranged in single and straight rows. Make sure you check for the stitches! If it has them, then you are safe to go.
2. Vintage clothes
If you’re particularly interested in vintage pieces, you have to remember that in the past, tailors used to make clothes predominately with materials that come from animals. Anything that you could think of, from wool sweaters, coats, leather jeans and jackets, scarfs etc., are probably made out from animal materials. To be safe, you will have to check for the actual label on the clothing and identify the products that come from animals.
3. The good vs the bad materials
Once you find the label inside the item you want to buy, it’s time for a small brainstorming session. Although there are some obvious materials that you will know right away that they are not vegan-friendly (leather, wool), others can be a bit tricky. The ones that are not cruelty-free are mohair, cashmere, silk, suede, angora, pashmina, shearling. Those are only a few but they are quite common and chances are, you will come across a piece of clothing that has one of those materials.
In terms of ”approved” materials, the most common one is cotton and you will see a lot of items that contain it as most clothes usually include it. Other cruelty-free materials that are a safe choice include bamboo, hemp, denim, microfiber, viscose, linen, polyester, spandex, lycra.
Specialised vegan clothing brands
If you want to buy something new, try to find trusted sources. Those are companies that specifically sell cruelty-free products and you’re going to be 100% sure they are what you have been looking for. While some can be quite pricey, it is an investment that it is worth every penny if you think of the impact you have on the animals and planet. We have compiled a list of our favourite vegan clothing brands below and why we think they are awesome.
Not only cruelty-free but also ethical, Alive Boutique is a British vegan brand that sells clothes, shoes and other accessories. What we really liked are the fashionable bags and watches that come in such a wide variety. An outfit can’t really be complete without taking care of the extra details, right?
Our favourite in terms of t-shirt designs done right, Veganized World has a really cool selection of t-shirts that are made to resemble top-brands, but with a slight twist. They really scored well in terms of minimalistic designs that have an impact.
Shoes are always going to be a hard thing to get right, but the team from Will’s Vegan Shoes are doing a fantastic job at creating beautiful designs that are also affordable and look nice. Based in London, the company makes various types of shoes, ranging from oxfords shoes to Chelsea and hiking boots and much more.
Norway based company, DNH Apparel has some great designs for t-shirts and hoodies. They combine great text messages with minimalistic designs and the result is a piece of clothing that has a unique personality.
This one is the perfect example of clothes with attitude and Plant Faced Clothing, a British vegan clothing brand is one of the best pioneers in terms of streetwear fashion brands that know how to combine great designs with a message that matters.