Today we want to share an the complete guide on how to shop for vegan clothes. It’s estimated that there are more than one million vegans in the United States. For many people, veganism is more than just a diet. It’s an entire lifestyle. To be a vegan means that you don’t consume any product that was made by an animal. That not only includes food but also clothes and materials.
Many people don’t really know where their clothes come from or how they’re made. And when you start learning about vegan clothes, and the ethics behind them, you really see the fabrics that you wear in a whole new light. So how can one get started with shopping for vegan clothes? Continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know!
Feel It Out
When you’re in a second-hand or vintage store, it can be difficult to know what kind of material you’re actually encountering, especially if the clothing doesn’t come with labels. Run your fingers through the fabric and see if you can tell if it’s real or not.
Real fur feels similar to actual hair and grows in a certain direction. Faux fur, on the other hand, resembles more of a shag rug. This kind of fabric is sewn in straight rows.
Real fur comes from the skin of actual animals. Fake fur and leathers come with a fabric backing, usually a white one. You can usually see the stitching with fake fur if you look closely.
Know Your Garments
By knowing which types of clothes are usually made by which material, you’ll be able to better navigate the clothing aisles. For example, a suit is usually made out of wool while a t-shirt tends to be made of cotton. This means that when you’re looking to buy a suit, you’ll want to look for one that’s cotton or linen.
Belts and shoes are common clothing items that tend to be made out of leather. Shoes often come with leather soles.
Also, a woman’s blouse is often made out of silk but you can find plenty of high-quality ones that are made out of synthetic blends.
Interestingly enough, Orthodox Jewish tailors aren’t allowed to blend fibers. They often have stores specifically for wool, linen, or cotton. This can make it easier for vegan shoppers to find clothes that suit their needs.
Look Out for Vintage
Using animal products in clothing was more common in the past few decades than it is today. So the older the clothes are, the more likely they were made from animals.
If you find an old item that feels like leather or fur, it probably is.
While pearls are usually made from glass or plastic, look out for mother of pearl, which can often be found on purses and shirt buttons and in jewelry.
Always Read the Label
Learning to read the clothing label can be more difficult than it seems. However, because the label is going to list all of the parts of the garment, it’s crucial that you read it.
When you’re going over the label, look out for categories such as quilting, outer shell, and lining. And if you can’t find a materials list anywhere, then look at the “Care Instruction” label. Most clothing made from animals has to be dry-cleaned and can’t be wet or thrown in the dryer.
Most plant materials and modern synthetics can be used in a washing machine. Also, be wary of blends. Cotton/silk and wool/cotton are common blends that you need to be looking out for.
Know Your Fibers
Cotton is a beloved material by most vegans. That’s because there are many clothing items that can be made with cotton. Some fibers that vegan clothes can also be made from include:
You should also know what fabrics are always made with animals. These fabrics include:
You should also avoid any materials that have the name of an animal. Lambskin is one example. Many people also wonder: “is suede vegan?” And because suede is made of leather, the answer is no.
Remember to Look at the Details
Sometimes, leather, fur, and other animal fabrics can be added onto clothes in areas that you don’t notice until you’ve already paid for them. Because of this, you should always check for fur pom-poms on hats and scarves, leather pocket details, fur trim, horn or shell buttons, and leather labels on jeans.
Feathers on hats and leather pulls on zippers are other common accents that tend to be overlooked.
Buy From Trusted Sources
While you can find vegan clothes from big brand retailers, it’s usually better to buy from smaller and more trusted vegan sources. This is because these smaller brands tend to practice more ethical means as opposed to the bigger stores, which will often sell animal products right next to the vegan ones.
The Importance of Knowing How to Shop for Vegan Clothes
As people become more aware of how their clothes and food are sourced, they’re realizing that they want to be more respectful to the creatures that they share this earth with. Whether you’re a full-on vegan or you just want to shop a little more ethically, buying vegan clothes is a great way to show more care for the animals in this world.