Vegan isn't just a word that describes eating — it also can describe clothing and fashion. It all starts with the vegan philosophy. The vegan philosophy says that humans do not have the right to take and use anything that is from an animal. This includes obvious things like leather and animal skins, but also includes sheep wool and silk from silk worms. Vegans believe that using any of these products that come from animals is a form of exploitation.
Many vegans also partake in the vegan lifestyle because of the perceived harm of factory-style production, including bad conditions for the animals and workers. One such condition is known as mulesing. Merino sheep produce the most wool of all sheep breeds because they have large folds of skin. However, the folds of skin are perfect places for bacteria and infections to grow. Some factories will cut off the large folds of skin to make a scarred surface where it is harder for infections to grow or for flies to lay eggs. This is one example of many situations of harsh conditions that animals live in to produce products used for clothes.
So what exactly is vegan clothing?
Vegan clothing is clothing that does not use any animal products in its production — no wool, no leather, no eggs, etc. It is purely made out of natural plant-based ingredients, mainly cotton. Vegan clothing companies are also using other products such as bamboo, PET (made from recycled plastic), nylon and polyester. Vegan shoes can be a little more difficult to find as the materials that are usually used for shoes are animal products, such as leather. However, there are many sites that are popping up that sell only vegan shoes, such as MooShoes and Vegan Chic.
Vegan clothing sites
With the increasing popularity of the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles comes an increase in the options for vegan clothing. There are many companies that only sell vegan clothing, such as Herbivore Clothing and Alternative Outfitters. There are also many vegan lines at major retailers. Lulu's offers an entire vegan shoe line and many vegan clothes. H&M, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe and Target also sell vegan clothes — you just need to search vegan in the search bar on these websites or make sure the materials used are vegan (the good thing about a lot of vegan materials is that they are a lot cheaper than the real thing).