As we slowly inch towards the holiday season, the weather is becoming chillier. It’s pretty easy to stick to vegan clothing textiles in the spring when cotton and linen are enough to keep you comfortable. But as the months get colder, the need for more substantial garments increases. 

Wool and mohair are two popular animal fibers used to make sweaters, scarves, and so forth. Wool comes from sheep and mohair comes from Angora goats, both of which are held in captivity for the sole purpose of being shaved. Angora goats have their horns burned off at no more than 2 weeks old and both animals are abused in the farms. 

This season, make a conscious effort to avoid wearing and purchasing these animal fibers. We’ve compiled a few great vegan alternatives to wool and mohair so you can stay toasty while making the right ethical choices! 

SeaCell

The idea of wrapping yourself up in seaweed may sound slimy and stinky, but Seacell fiber is anything but that. It’s made from crushing and grinding seaweed and turning it into yarn then eventually into fabric. The final result is a silky, insulated fabric that will keep you warm in the winter months. The seaweed is also supposed to nourish the skin and limit inflammation.

Seacell is also cooling in the summer, so clothing made from the fiber is great to transition from one season to the next. 

Hemp 

Not only is hemp vegan, but the hemp plant is also great for the environment! It can be grown without pesticides and fertilizers and its deep roots prevent soil runoff which protects the structure of the surrounding soil. Hemp makes great clothing. It does a great job insulating and keeps the body warm and cozy. It also offers UV protection, which is essential for those chilly days where the sun is still shining bright. Toad & Co has lots of great hemp clothing options like this Women’s Epiq Quilted Jacket

Recycled Polyester

We know, we know, polyester is awful for the environment. However, recycled polyester requires less water and no virgin plastic to be produced. Therefore, it is a better option than new polyester. It’s also an affordable and super accessible option since not everyone is probably not going to be able to get their hands on hemp clothing. 

Polyester is warm and can be made into a multitude of garments from knitwear to puffer coats. One thing to keep in mind is to limit how often you wash polyester clothing because it releases harmful microplastics into the water system. 

Check out this recycled polyester beanie!

Lyocell 

Lyocell has become increasingly popular over the last few years. It’s made from breaking down wood pulp (eucalyptus) and spinning it into yarn for garments. Lyocell is super soft and breathable. The production process for lyocell uses significantly less water than cotton and doesn’t need to be washed as often. 

One thing to keep in mind is that although lyocell is biodegradable, it loses that property when blended with synthetic fibers. 

This Eileen Fisher Peruvian Organic Cotton Tencel Top is ethically made and a great example of how lyocell is turned into beautiful winter garments. 

In Conclusion 

The wool and mohair industries are cruel and promote the idea that animals are commodities to be taken advantage of. It is entirely possible to stay warm and comfortable during winter without compromising your moral compass. 

As the conversation about how we use and treat animals evolve, it will be interesting to watch what new innovative textiles emerge in an attempt to distance ourselves from animal fibers.

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