November marks World Vegan Month, celebrating and spreading awareness of an increasingly popular global movement that promotes a sustainable lifestyle that isn’t dependent on animals. As more and more people begin to adopt veganism, industries have started to adapt and cater to an ethically driven consumer market – but it’s not always easy to recognize and stick to day-to-day vegan-friendly choices.
So, today, we’re offering a practical, bite-sized guide to vegan fashion essentials that simply must be a staple of any ethical wardrobe – helping novice and veteran vegans alike ensure they know what materials and fabrics allow them to stay on-trend without sacrificing their ethical beliefs.
Good news! The most popular clothing material, cotton (with cotton fibers being contained in 60% of women’s clothing items and 75% of men’s), is a natural fiber that’s incidentally about as vegan-friendly as you can get.
The breathable, comfy and hypoallergenic qualities of cotton make it the number one choice for a variety of clothing items, meaning you can rely on this fiber for all your wardrobe basics. From socks and underwear to t-shirts and leggings, cotton has got you covered for all your everyday fashion needs without supporting any unethical manufacturing practises.
Even better news! Both women’s and men’s denim jeans, the versatile go-to fashion staple for just about any occasion, are also vegan-friendly thanks to the sustainability of denim.
This means that classic jeans-and-a-tee look can still be rocked without you having to worry about the ethical consequences. Whether you’re sporting a slick pair of Levi’s or a trendy new jacket, denim can be utilized in a variety of forms to pull off a range of different styles and looks. Just be sure to check the brand patches for use of leather – however, as the consumer consensus shifts towards an ethical duty for manufacturer and consume alike, use of alternative synthetic brand patches are becoming more and more common.
On the topic of leather, leatherette is a trendy imitation fabric that allows you to get that classic leather look without supporting the manufacture of actual leather.
When it comes to vegan fashion, leather holds the top spot alongside fur as the ultimate no-go, made from a distressing manufacturing process that includes the tanning of animal (primarily cattle) rawhide and skin. However, leatherette provides vegans with a handy alternative that allows them to achieve those timeless leather-orientated fashions, from cool leather jackets to bold leather pants, without jeopardizing their ethical and moral codes in the process.
Another very popular clothing material, nylon is a vegan-friendly, synthetic, thermoplastic fabric.
Used for its durability, abrasion resistance, moisture absorption, and variability of textures, nylon can be found in everything from pantyhose to bomber jackets, meaning it can be utilized for many different looks and styles.
As you can see, the likelihood is that most of your existing wardrobe is already vegan-ready. All the vegan wardrobe really needs is a conscious understanding of the materials used in your clothing – and with increased awareness, you can begin making fashion choices that are both on-trend and ethical.
About the Author
Luke Conod is Managing Director of Buy Jeans and its parent company Denim Nation, providing competitively priced men's jeans and other high-quality clothing from leading international labels.