Vegan clothing is more popular than ever.
A decade ago, vegan clothing wasn’t really a ‘thing’. Today, it’s a full-blown part of the clothing industry complete with recognizable brands, known designers, and a burgeoning reputation for quality.
What is vegan clothing? What is considered vegan and what is not considered vegan? Why is vegan clothing believed to be better for the environment?
We’re answering all your questions about vegan clothing today.
Q: What is Vegan Clothing?
A: Vegan clothing is based on the same principle as vegan food. Vegan clothing is made without animal products.
Q: What is Considered Vegan Clothing?
A: You can probably think of obvious examples non-vegan-friendly clothing materials, including leather and suede. However, garments made with silk, fur, feathers, angora, and similar materials are also considered non-vegan. They’re all animal products even if animals are not killed to make them.
Here are some of the most common types of clothing materials that are not vegan:
There are plenty of other examples. However, the clothing materials above are some of the most common non-vegan materials in the clothing industry today.
Q: What Are Vegan Clothes Made From?
A: Vegan clothes are commonly made from organic cotton, hemp, polyester, and other materials.
Some of the most common types of vegan clothing materials available today include:
- Organic cotton
- Polyester and recycled polyester
- Recycled cotton
The use of organic cotton as opposed to traditional cotton is important. Organic cotton uses more eco-friendly growing and manufacturing processes compared to conventional cotton. Although all cotton is vegan, most vegan clothing companies use organic cotton.
Q: What Are the Best Vegan Clothing Brands?
A: The vegan clothing space is relatively new, although several brands have already risen to prominence.
PETA has curated a list of some of the best eco-friendly, vegan clothing brands available today. Some of the best vegan clothing brands on the list include:
WAMA Underwear: Have you ever worn hemp underwear? WAMA Underwear is one of the best-known hemp underwear manufacturers in the world. The company doesn’t just use vegan-friendly clothing; they also use eco-conscious manufacturing processes, reducing their drinking water usage and electricity usage compared to other fashion companies. Plus, WAMA Underwear insists hemp is the ideal underwear material for its sustainability, softness, and antibacterial properties.
SUSI Studio: SUSI Studio makes cruelty-free footwear using recycled rubber and other sustainable materials.
Hipsters for Sisters: Hipsters for Sisters makes fashionable fanny packs that are handcrafted from 100% organic cotton and recycle materials.
Native Shoes: Native Shoes uses a low emission production process and recyclable packaging material while making 100% animal-friendly products.
Insecta Shoes: Insecta Shoes uses recycled rubber, plastic bottles, vintage clothing, and vegan leather to create eco-friendly shoes.
In The Soulshine: In The Soulshine is an Australia-based vegan clothing company best-known for its vegan T-shirts. At the company factory in Bali, In The Soulshine pays its workers 3 to 5 times what the average tailor on the island makes.
Della: Della makes vegan apparel while providing practical training and education to men and women in Hohoe, Ghana. The company also has a cruelty-free manufacturing process, making them one of the more popular and better-known vegan clothing companies available today.
Brave GentleMan: Brave GentleMan makes vegan unisex clothing from recycled soda and water bottles diverted from water streams. The company also adds recycled polyester and cotton blends to its clothing.
Q: Why is Vegan Clothing Important?
A: Many are surprised to learn that the apparel industry is the fourth largest polluter of air and water on the planet. Vegan clothing manufacturers use eco-conscious practices to reduce environmental impact – all while making great clothes without animal products.
Specific clothing materials like leather are considered especially bad for the environment. In fact, PETA claims leather is the worst material for the environment because it contributes to the environmental destruction caused by the meat industry while also polluting the earth with toxins used in the tanning process.
Q: Is Cotton Considered a Vegan Clothing Material?
A: Cotton clothes are vegan, although try to pick organic cotton instead of conventional cotton. Although all types of cotton are technically vegan, only organic cotton is grown in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. Conventional cotton is grown from GMO seeds and has large amounts of herbicides, inorganic fertilizers, and hazardous pesticides. Cotton is also a water-intensive crop because of its irrigation processes.
Q: Why is Bamboo a Bad Material for Vegan Clothing?
A: Although some vegan clothing companies use bamboo to create apparel, others claim bamboo is bad for the environment. Converting bamboo into a soft fabric requires a lot of chemicals and energy. A lot of bamboo is also harvested in a non-sustainable way from ancient forests. Although bamboo is vegan, it needs to be harvested and processed efficiently to make it an environmentally-friendly choice.
Q: Is Silk Considered a Vegan Clothing Material?
A: Silk is not considered to be a vegan clothing material because it comes from silk worms. Plus, growing and feeding silk worms requires large amounts of trees and growth hormones. Silk isn’t a renewable animal fiber: the silk worms die during the extraction process.
Q: Which Major Clothing Brands Offer Vegan Clothing?
A: Many major clothing brands offer animal-free leather. You can find affordable animal-free leather at Top Shop and Zara. You can even find animal-free leather at higher end designers like Stella McCartney and bebe. Search for ‘vegan leather’ at your favorite clothing store and you may be surprised by the number of options.
Q: Is Wool Considered a Vegan Clothing Material?
A: Wool is not considered a vegan clothing material because it’s hair from a lamb or sheep. Similar materials like shearling, cashmere, and angora are also not considered vegan (shearling is the skin of a lamb with the fleece still attached; angora is wool from a rabbit; and cashmere is hair from the Cashmere goat, all of which are animal products.
Q: What is Vegan Leather Made From?
A: Vegan leather is made from several different materials, including non-animal microfibers, recycled nylon, polyurethane (PU), and plants. Some vegan leather even comes from mushrooms and fruits.
As technology improves, researchers are getting better at bio-fabricating leather in labs. Look for this type of leather to appear at clothing stores near you soon.
You have more vegan clothing options today than ever before. For those trying to help the planet, vegan clothing is an easy, practical, and stylish way to make a difference.