What is Vegan Clothing and Why Does It Matter?
By Wildchild London
Someone once said to me that if humans are making clothes then surely, they can’t be classified as vegan? You don’t eat your clothes so what is it all about? Here’s how and why to choose vegan clothing.
Being vegan is a lifestyle choice that’s all about protecting animals by avoiding animal products. Becoming vegan is definitely a great first step toward better animal welfare, but vegans also avoid, clothing, household products and cosmetics that contain animal product.
What is vegan clothing?
Any garment made without animal products is vegan. No, it doesn’t mean that a vegan actually handcrafted your garment!
Most animal products, like leather, are very obvious, but others might be a harder to spot. Here’s a list of things to avoid, if you want to keep dead animals out of your wardrobe:
- suede (microsuede is animal free, though)
Why Don’t Vegans Wear Wool?
Many non-vegans do not understand why this is the case, because sheep are not killed for their fleeces. Many are of the belief that sheep need to be sheared, and that farmers are doing their sheep a favour by taking their coats from them. This is not the case. Just like humans, sheep evolved across millions of years, and survived perfectly well long before humans were there to take their fleeces from them.
Like most farm animals, sheep are bred and kept for one sole purpose; to make money for farmers. Because those who keep them are trying to make money for themselves, they rarely have the best interests of the animals in mind. Sheep are selectively bred to have wrinkly skin so that they can produce more wool, which makes them susceptible to fly-strike, a deadly disease usually found in rabbits. To prevent it, farmers sometimes subject sheep to mulesing, a practice that involves cutting skin and flesh from the hind quarters of sheep.
As they age, sheep fleeces deteriorate in quality, and they are sent to slaughter. Sheep are exploited for their lambs, their fleeces and finally, their flesh.
Why buy vegan clothing?
Veganism is about protecting animals, vegans don’t buy clothing made from materials that exploit animals.
Like factory farming in the food industry, raising animals for clothing and accessories is often cruel to the animals and harmful to the environment. Even “humanely raised” animals are kept in captivity and slaughtered years before they would have died naturally, so it’s hard to argue that any animal-based material is truly humane.
If we want to protect animals, we need to stop exploiting them, and what we put in our closets has as much power to change that as what’s on our plates.
Where can I find vegan clothing?
Shopping for vegan clothing doesn’t have to be difficult. Just look for natural, plant-based fabrics like cotton, linen, and hemp. Synthetics are also animal-friendly alternatives to materials like leather, wool, and silk. Many mainstream brands have vegan clothes, shoes, and accessories – just keep an eye on the label when you’re shopping. It’s also worth looking out for the PETA
Similar to PETA’s “Cruelty-Free Bunny” logo, Wildchild London's “PETA-Approved Vegan” label allows clothing and accessory companies to identify their animal-friendly products. All companies that use the logo must sign PETA’s statement of assurance verifying that their product is vegan.
The Spring Summer 2019 Wildchild London collections of children’s wear is PETA approved Vegan, designed and made in Britain, the Spring Summer collection is GOTS Certified Organic cotton. Available for 2 to 9 years old.
Shop the collection here: