A Guide to Vegan Clothing

A Guide to Vegan Clothing

It’s All About Your (Vegan) Attitude

Veganism is a whole-life approach.  All aspects of one’s life become attuned to veganism and its fundamental rejection of animal cruelty and exploitation. 

So it is that as much as one would not expect a vegan to purchase cosmetics knowing that they have been tested on animals, one would hardly expect a committed vegan to end their day by taking in a bull-fight or fox hunt. 

Veganism is an all-encompassing lifestyle code that seeks to reject and limit animal cruelty where-ever possible.  As a vegan, there is no conceivable nook or cranny of your life that you wouldn’t want to veganize if at all possible.

Again, if one wishes to extend anti-cruelty to what one eats and to what cosmetics one wears, likewise it becomes wholly logical to extend that to what one wears too. 

Just as vegan food and cosmetic choice have blossomed in recent years, so too have vegan clothing and vegan apparel options.

Unsurprisingly, to ensure you are always buying 100% vegan, your best bet is likely to spend your money at a bonafide vegan retailer.  If you’re stuck for one or two of those in your locale, the internet once again becomes your best vegan friend for shopping.  You’ll also often find an awesome line in 100% guaranteed themed vegan t-shirts at many of these sites – super cool for those that want the world to know that they wear their veganism very close to their heart.

 

Keeping Your Peepers Peeled

Outside the online realm, well, a vegan’s surveillance skills need to be put into practice so as to ensure cruelty-free shopping stays that way.

Consumer choice is a wonderful thing, especially when you have vegan needs.  And with so many clothing options out there, both online and in the brick and mortar, vegans need to mindful of what exactly they are purchasing.  What at first may seem like a great cruelty-free vegan buy may have some unwanted elements lurking within.

Leather, wool, silk, suede, mohair, and feathers can be found not only where you would most likely think they would be, but also in some pretty sneaky places where you may not always think.  Therefore, best to always have a bit of a Sherlock Holmes demeanor about you when you go shopping.

 Dog on leather seat vegan

  1. Lay Off the Leather:

Probably the most non-vegan clothing/apparel thing that first springs to mind, and almost, but not quite, so obvious as to not detail, it is though worth reiterating what leather is - the by-product of industrial-sized animal cruelty.

Here’s why vegan leather is always the better option. Wondering what vegan leather is exactly?

When dairy cows are deemed to be no longer useful regarding their milk production, they are carted off for slaughter and their skins subsequently use for leather.  This is, grotesquely, done by the millions, year on year.  As we know, animal skin belongs to animals and nowhere else.  Period.

Add to that how bad leather production is for the environment. The potent chemicals involved in the tanning process make their way into the water system and the surrounding areas.  This is especially so in poorer countries where resources and regulation can be scarce.  Those tanning chemicals come in clusters off the periodic table that while they would make a Scrabble player happy to know about, make us as vegans super not happy.

When buying shoes, for example, it’s always worthwhile checking out the entirety of the shoe, just in case you find what looks like a good synthetic make, but it actually has leather component tucked away somewhere.  The same is also true when shopping for a 100% vegan handbag or purse.

This sort of thing is more likely to happen when you’re shopping at main-stream stores.  Your best bet, to be absolutely sure, is to shop online for your vegan leather or vegan apparel needs at bonafide 100% vegan retailers. 

Either that or if you are at a store, get like Columbo - ask enough questions to ensure that if you make the purchase, you will have been happy to have done so.  Even if that does mean asking “just one more thing.”  If your vegan spider senses are tingling just prior to making the purchase, err on the side of caution.  Your conscience will thank you for it later.

 Vegan wool sheep

  1. Wool is for Woolly-Thinkers

The non-vegan world is littered with misconceptions about veganism and the things that vegans care about.  Like milk and egg production, wool is somehow deemed by an overwhelming number of non-vegans to be cruelty-free – seemingly derived from a chocolate box setting of idyllic perfection where the sheep happily hop from their fields to be gently sheared of their burdensome wool. 

Yet, surprise-surprise, just like milk and egg production, it’s nothing of the chocolate-box sanitized sort.  Wool is stripped from sheep with mechanical brutality.  Often-times the sheep’s sensitive skin is injured by the shearers clumsy, target-focussed efforts to remove as much wool as quickly as possible.

And then there’s the basic fact that sheep grow wool for their own good, not for that of humans and then their ongoing issues of over-bearing anthropocentric arrogance.

Other creatures that are needlessly persecuted for their wool are Angora rabbits (for Angora wool) and goats (for cashmere.)  Therefore, wool is should be avoided at all costs.  On top of that, wool production is extremely detrimental to the environment and causes serious issues like water pollution in the local environment (there are those animal agriculture chemicals doing their dismal thing again…)

How does this impact vegan clothes shopper?  Well, as a broad principle, most suits are either exclusively of or at least in part, wool.  That said, there are non-wool options to be mindful of, such as synthetic, linen and cotton.  Always worth going the extra mile to know that you are buying genuine vegan clothing.

 caterpillar slkling silk

  1. Sick Through Silk

Much to the astonishment of many a non-vegan, silk comes from not only just “somewhere”, but it also comes from living creatures - silk-worms.  Although, more basic creatures they are still threatened and pain averse and deserve way better than the shoddy deal that humans have offered them for centuries thus far.

Silkworms use silk to make egg-bearing cocoons as part of their reproduction process.  In just a few days, a silk-worm can generate a thread that is thousands of feet long – a stunning example of the beauty and versatility of nature that humanity, in all its “I’m just going to help my self regardless” glory, can’t resist the temptation of. 

To get hold of the silk, the worms are boiled alive inside the cocoons that they have spun. 

And that is why silk sucks as yet a further example of human exploitation of another species.  Consequently, when shopping, savvy vegans are silk averse.

Ties and blouses have traditionally been garments made from silk.  While that can still be the case, there are plenty of cruelty-free options to those.  Synthetics like nylon, rayon and polyester are available alternatives for vegans to be looking for when shopping for ties or blouses.

 Down with the down vegan feather goose

  1. Down with Down

Down is yet another classic descriptive human ruse. Just like how brutalized and then slaughtered pig is labeled “pork” or tormented then butchered baby calves are deemed to be “veal”, humanity is very adept at coming up with terms for things that it knows to deep down to be morally reprehensible, but carries on doing it regardless.

Down is the name for the fine under-feather found on geese and can be used in things like the padding of jackets or bedding.

The process of obtaining down is sickeningly cruel.  The geese have the soft feathers torn from their skin while still alive, subjecting them to bewildering levels of shock and pain.

This is an abhorrent practice that all vegans would want to reject being any part of, including the handing over of their hard-earned cash for.

 

Old School Maybe Doesn’t Rule?

Vegans are a resourceful lot. They are of course accustomed to living in a largely non-vegan world (which is thankfully changing), so they are used to having to think a little before they leap when choosing from a menu for example.

Like-wise vegans are very good at shopping for recycled goods at a charity or second-hand shops.  You can find great bargains while all the time doing more for the environment by reusing what others don’t want. 

Word of caution though. Charity and second-hand shops can sometimes have any number of older items or clothes to be found.  It is more common-place for older items to contain animal-derived components. Trim and finishing are two main culprits to look out for as a vegan buyer. Things like feathers tucked discretely away somewhere or leather pull-tags on zippers

 

Brush Up Like a Beast!

Doing a little bit of research never hurts.  Once you’ve implemented that research a few times, it stops being research and becomes ingrained knowledge. And once that knowledge is ingrained, shopping for vegan clothing becomes easier still. 

And here are a few more tips to help out…

Rejecting fur is another seemingly obvious no-no for vegans.  That said, the labeling may not always be the clearest and therefore may be open to interpretation.  So, there are clues to be looking for. 

For instance, getting to know that real fur grows like real human hair, it will have a direction that it “leans” to.  Conversely, faux fur does not do that in that the fibers tend to protrude out in a vertical fashion.  Also, fur, of course, grows from the skin of an animal, while fake fur will be stitched in – something you may be able to see at the rear of the garment.

As a vegan, cotton is always going to be your go-to for garments.  “100% cotton” is just as good as “100% vegan” as far as labels or advertising go.

vegan nylon fabric stockings

Then there is nylon. 

Vegan fun fact of the day:  Nylon is named after the two cities where it was simultaneously developed – New York and London (your author, sadly, likes his Trivial Pursuit…)  Casual facts aside, 100% nylon is another synthetic clothing safe-haven go-to for vegans.

Labels are another source of information on clothing materials.  That again sounds obvious, but sometimes it can take a little bit more work.  The label may be hard to decipher or have become faded, so trying to locate a care instruction label may be your next best bet.

If you make a purchase and you have niggling doubts, generally speaking, animal hair/fur/products do not wet wash well, needing to be dry cleaned, whereas faux products will hold up much better in a wet-wash.

 

Vegan Style

Your author is a forty-something guy who likes nothing better than to spend most of his down-time dressed in a rugby-shirt and cut off shorts.  Classy huh?  Well, in a shocking revelation, especially so to him, he exudes 100% fashion sense, as everything he wears is vegan.

In fact, every vegan who dresses vegan is making the best ever fashion statement to the world.  Nothing speaks style more than rejecting cruelty and animal exploitation.  It is the coolest look that that there is and gets cooler by the day as more and more people make the switch to a vegan lifestyle.

As we know, if it’s not cool to eat because it has been exploited, then it certainly isn’t going to be cool to wear. That’s why vegan clothing rocks.

Just don’t expect your author to be striding up and down the catwalks of Milan or Paris any time soon.

 


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Sizing Guide

In this guide you can see the detailed sizing charts to all our products

Unisex Tshirts

S M L XL 2XL 3XL 4XL 5XL
Width, in 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33
Length, in 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
Sleeve length, in 8 8 9 9 10 10 11 11

 

S M L XL 2XL 3XL 4XL 5XL
Width, cm 47 52.1 57.2 62.2 67.3 72.4 77.5 82.6
Length, cm 72.4 74.9 77.5 80 82.6 85.1 87.6 90.2
Sleeve length, cm 18.4 19.7 20.9 22.2 23.5 24.8 26 27.3

 

Women's Tees:

S M L XL 2XL
Width, in 17 18 19 20 22
Length, in 26 26 27 28 28
Sleeve length, in 7 8 8 8 8

 

 

S M L XL 2XL
Width, cm 41.2 43.8 46.3 50.2 54
Length, cm 64.4 66 67.6 69.2 70.8
Sleeve length, cm 17.3 17.9 18.5 19.1 19.7

 

Hoodies:

  

S M L XL 2XL 3XL 4XL 5XL
Sleeve length, in 25 25 25 25 25 25 27 27
Length, in 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34
Width, in 20 23 24 26 28 30 33 34

 

S M L XL 2XL 3XL 4XL 5XL
Sleeve length, cm 62.9 62.9 62.9 62.9 62.9 62.9 67.9 67.9
Length, cm 68.5 71.1 73.6 76.2 78.7 81.2 83.8 86.3
Width, cm 50.8 55.9 60.9 66 71.1 76.2 81.3 86.3