Nowadays, being vegan has become far more frequent. That being said, in addition to having a plant-based diet, there are so many more things you can do when it comes to the vegan lifestyle. One of the quite important parameters out there regarding veganism is definitely opting for vegan clothes and shoes. Fortunately, nowadays, it is a lot easier than ever to buy sustainable, ethical, animal-free pieces for your closet.

Whether you want to buy cruelty-free faux-leather, a stylish vegan handbag, boots, or even jewelry, there are numerous animal-friendly options for you to choose from.

In this article, we will discuss some basics regarding vegan fashion and all the things that you need to be aware of if you have just started embarking on veganism.

What is considered a vegan fashion?

Generally, any clothing and shoes that have any parts that come from animals or the ones that have any cruelty or exploitation involved in the production process are not considered vegan.

The most obvious ones are, of course, leather, wool, and fur, but exotic skins, shearing, angora, cashmere, silk, and down feathers are also a part of this group, and many people aren’t really aware of this. All of that being said, by the end of the article, you will be able to learn what exactly are all of these materials, and what are the better options you could choose when you go shopping for clothes.

Leather and exotic skins

The material we call leather is, basically, the skin of animals such as cows, goats, pigs, ostriches, kangaroos, and even dogs and cats, even though in most cases, you aren’t even aware of this. Most of the time, the leather items are not properly labeled, and so you can’t know where they come from exactly. Alligators, snakes, and crocodiles are considered “exotic” in the fashion industry, so the probability is high that you will run into these while shopping.

What is the better option?

There are quite a few different brands out there that offer animal-free leather these days. Even when it comes to some not so commercially sought options like vegan combat boots, there are still options out there that you can find. You can find these in more affordable stores as well as the high-end ones. High-quality vegan leather can be made from various materials, including non-animal microfibers, recycled nylon, polyurethane, and even plants. Very soon, you will be able to buy bio-fabricated leather grown in labs!

Wool, cashmere, angora, and shearling

As you probably already know, wool is the hair from a sheep or lamb. On the other hand, shearling is the skin of the lamb with its fleece still attached. Cashmere is hair from the Cashmere goat, while angora is the wool of a rabbit.

What are the alternatives?

Luckily, in the world, we live in today, vegan shearling, wool-free coats, and cozy cruelty sweaters can be found in many stores. Many brands are actually teaming up with the manufacturers to create innovative, cruelty-free materials of high quality. Look for fabrics made from cotton, twill, and recycled polyester (rPET). These materials dry faster and are definitely better for the environment!


Fur represents literally an animal’s coat still attached to their skin. Different animals are being killed to get fur. These include beavers, bears, foxes, minks, rabbits, seals, and even cats and dogs.

Better options

The archaic and cruelly obtained fur is finally fading into the past. Numerous brands have gone completely fur-free. When shopping for clothes with fur, just read the label to see if it is faux-fur or not.

vegan fashion

Silk and down feathers

The fiber that silkworms weave to make their cocoons is the material we call silk. It is mostly used for making shirts and dresses. Down is the softest layer of bird feathers, which is closest to their skin. Down is mostly obtained from geese and ducks and is used for pillows, bedding, and puffy jackets.

Are there any alternatives?

Alternative options are milkweed-pod fibers, nylon. Ceiba tree and cotton tree filaments, rayon, and polyester. These materials are animal-free and definitely a lot less expensive than silk.  Most of the brands today don’t use real feathers either. As for everything else, look through the label to see if the product you want to buy used silk and fur or one of these animal-free options.

To wrap things up

Thankfully, today we don’t have to rely only on materials we find in nature. So why not pick the ones that do not harm any animals? There are a plethora of options for you to choose from when it comes to vegan fashion. Just be sure to read the labels of the products first. If most people buy cruelty-free and animal-free products, fashion companies are discouraged from making clothing and shoes that are not vegan since they can’t profit. So, continue buying vegan fashion products to save our lovely furry friends!