One of the unexpected side effects of going vegan for me was taking a long, hard look at my wardrobe. Aside from the obvious offender - leather - I never realized how much clothing is made from some form of animal product. Wool seems to be in everything, down is a big part of winter clothing, silk and cashmere (while usually out of my budget) had to be crossed off the list, and, of course, fur is heinous. Poor animals! I had no idea how much I'd been contributing to animal suffering just by buying a sweater.
Rather than get rid of everything I'd purchased prior to going vegan, I made the choice to keep what I have and use it until it's worn out. But every purchase going forward has been free of animal products and I'm not gonna lie, it's taken some research! As a recent transplant to somewhere that actually HAS a Winter, I needed some cold weather gear and had a tough time finding items that weren't made with down, wool, etc. I think I managed to piece together some adorable and conscious staples that got me through the Winter. Now I get to shop for Spring/Summer! (PS - These pics are taken from various spots on the internets as they do way more justice to the products than my crappy photography ever could!)
It was quite the task to find a vegan boot that was sturdy, comfy, and cute. I lucked out by stumbling across the Colorado Vegan Boot by Jambu. As someone who suffers from plantar fasciitis and who does quite a bit of walking, I need lots of support in my shoes. I have literally worn these boots everyday this Winter through rain and snow and walked for miles on end, but my feet remain happy! I've gotten a ton of compliments on them, too, so I know they're not only cute by vegan standards. And the fact that they have "vegan" right in the name means there are no hidden animal products (like in the glue).
Winter coats are generally made of wool or stuffed with down. There is an amazing company called Vaute Couture that makes vegan, eco-friendly coats, but they are a bit out of my price range. I found this coat made by American Rag at Macy's on-line (the one I purchased is black). It's made of all man-made materials and it is SO soft and warm! The buttons and detailing make it very trendy and it got me through some tough 20 degree days.
I saw my first Big Buddha purse while living in Tucson, before I became a vegan. I was instantly in love with their asthetic and counted the days until I could call one my own. My parents bought me the pink Mia bag for Christmas and I am still in love with it! Again, I've received more compliments on it than I can count, and I definitely plan on buying one of their many other adorable styles for Spring.
I love to support the little guy when I can and I'm so happy that I stumbled across Couch Guitar Straps and Wallets one day on Etsy. This company is based on Long Beach, CA and uses new or recycled automotive upholstery vinyl or seatbelt material to make some of the most creative and rad guitar straps and wallets I've ever seen! They're always cruelty-free (vegan) and sweatshop-free and each item is handcrafted with love. I bought myself the Oldsmobile Station Wagon Wallet which I think is meant for dudes, but who cares? I've always loved mixing feminine and masculine styles, and there's no better representation of that than by having a men's wallet hanging out in my pink, flowery Mia purse! Check them out next time you want to buy your dad or significant other a cool gift.
What are some of your favorite eco-friendly or vegan clothing companies?