There is absolutely no doubt that vegan fashion is growing by leaps and bounds. In the past 5 years alone, we’ve seen massive growth. Sometimes, however, it feels a little bit like anyone over the age of 25 is left scratching their head trying to figure out what to wear. While those of us who are a tad older certainly don’t want to look frumpy or dated, we also don’t want to look like we are grasping (unsuccessfully!) at our youth in order to align our animal-friendly values with our wardrobe.
Let me assure you that there is more than enough animal-friendly fashion to go around, and the choices are growing daily. Sure, you might not want to wear the wafer thin fabrics or micro-minis that the younger women are wearing, but you also can look great without sacrificing your vegan ethics.
Here is a vegan shopping guide to help get you started. There are many more options out there but these are some of my favorites and can make your shopping experience fruitful and easy!
When it comes to vegan clothing, it is less about brands and more about fabrics. For instance, because cotton, linen, rayon, and micro fibers, for example, do not come from animals they are vegan-friendly, and most clothing lines focus on these fabrics in the hot weather.
In case you are wondering, silk is not cruelty-free because silk is made by silkworms and in most instances the worm is steamed or boiled to death so that the silk strand remains unbroken.
It is more challenging in the colder months because so many designers use wool, silk, suede, leather, fur and down. But we have seen a rise in very beautifully created manmade microfibers that often have the same look and feel as their non-vegan counterpart.
You can find animal-friendly fabrics everywhere from Bloomingdale’s to Kohls. For instance, Vera Wang makes a beautiful line of clothing for Kohl’s and Nicole Miller has created a line for JC Penney. Much of what they have designed is cruelty-free and at a lower price point.
No matter where you shop, it’s a matter of reading labels. It is easier to remember what not to look for (wool, silk, suede, leather, fur and down) than to list the long list of vegan-friendly fabrics.
VauteCouture.com — this is one of the only sites that features vegan winter coats that are warm and fashionable as well as using cutting-edge, conscientious fabrics. (The coat picture is made from eco-friendly, recycled materials.)
These lines of clothing, while not marketed as cruelty-free, are 90-100% vegan-friendly, including:
- Conrad C (this faux leather jacket is made out of a deliciously soft polyester)
- Samuel Dong
- Joseph Ribkoff
- Nic & Zoe
- Maggie London Dresses (red dress pictured is a polyester blend)
- Not Your Daughters Jeans — Here’s the good news…all jeans are vegan! These are just especially good for women who want to look hip but not like a teenager.
(Please note: With the exception of the Maggie London dresses, most of these lines are not found in department stores but in smaller boutiques.)
Vegan shoes can be made from many things but the one thing you can be sure of is that they are not made from any animal skin, fur or other animal by-product. And, many such as Olsen Haus and Melissa shoes are eco-friendly as well.
- Olsen Haus – (The shoe pictured is made out of recycled TV screen microfiber upper and manmade sole.)
- Cri de Coeur
- Melissa – (The shoe pictured is made out of their signature plastic material called Melflex, which is soft, breathable and recyclable.)
These lines make a lot of vegan (manmade) options:
- Big Buddha – (The handbag pictured is made out of faux leather and cloth material)
- Matt and Nat
- Susan Nichole – (The handbag pictured is made out of recyclable and/or recycled materials and is earth-friendly)
- Melie Bianco
- R&Em by Rebecca Minkoff
- OMG Handbags
- Nahui Ollin
- Shiraleah – Can be found anywhere from Target to Overstock to Shoebuy.