Animal-Free or "Vegan" Apparel Is Both Stylish and Smart
Vegan clothing not only feels better against your skin, but it's safer to wear and is environmentally friendly.
In recent years, the movement in fashion has been toward clothing that is produced and distributed in an environmentally friendly manner. Eco-friendly clothing lines and stores have been popping up around the world as more and more consumers are making "green" choices when they shop. Additionally, an emphasis has been put on "vegan" apparel, which is clothing made without animal products.
Although you might hear about eco-friendly apparel, you may not really know a lot about it. When shopping for clothing, avoid nylon, acrylic and other synthetic fabrics that contain plastics. Look for materials such as organic cotton, soy silk, bamboo and hemp, which are grown without pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals. Bamboo and hemp are highly durable and use fewer resources to grow than do most other fibers. Also consider clothing created with recycled fibers made from fabric remnants, soda bottles, old tires and other such materials.
How you take care of your clothes also makes a difference. Wash them at cool temperatures to use less energy and cut down on carbon emissions. Consider an energy-saving washing machine and hang your clothes to dry whenever possible.
Eco-friendly or "vegan" clothing lines
Here are a few eco-friendly clothing lines to consider next time you shop.
Loomstate offers organic, sustainable clothing for men and women including jeans, shirts, tees, hoodies, pants, shorts and outerwear. Their organic cotton denim jeans are durable and comfortable, coming in various colors and the latest styles. They use high-quality, 100 percent certified organic materials and ensure eco-responsibility throughout their manufacturing process. Loomstate was founded in 2004 in New York City, and their organic apparel is available online at Loomstate.org or at other retailers throughout the country.
Patagonia creates products with materials and processes that are environmentally friendly. For example, much of their apparel is created from recycled polyester. They recycle used soda bottles, second-quality fabrics and worn out clothing into polyester fiber to create clothing that includes shirts, sweaters, pants, jackets and much more. The fabric is comfortable, durable and stylish, too. They also use organic cotton. You can find out more about Patagonia and shop for their apparel and accessories at Patagonia.com.
In addition to eco-friendly apparel, also consider vegan choices. Many retailers are now offering fashionable, cruelty-free options. If you are trying to adhere to a vegan philosophy or just want to be a little more animal friendly, keep the following in mind:
- Skip fur. The most obvious is to avoid authentic fur. Fake, or faux, fur can be just as warm and much less expensive.
- Avoid wool. The conditions on many sheep farms are horrendous, with surgical removing of the animal's skin occurring in some instances.
- Avoid Down. Kapok is an eco-friendly, humane and sustainable plant-based alternative to down feathers.
- Choose faux leather. Imitation leather, including PVC, microfiber and coated canvas, are animal-free alternatives to leather.
When shopping for vegan clothing, MooShoes is a good place to start. MooShoes offers an assortment of vegan, cruelty-free footwear, T-shirts, jackets, bags, wallets and other accessories. They have a store in New York City (78 Orchard Street in Manhattan) and an online shop at MooShoes.com. This vegan-owned business carries dozens of brands including Birkenstock, Herbivore Clothing, Matt & Nat, Novacas and Vegetarian Shoes.
Another source for vegan apparel is PETAMall.com. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has created this online shopping mall that links to retailers selling cruelty-free apparel, jewelry, gifts and much more. Here you will find dozens of vendors, including among others Ahimsa Footwear, AnimalRightStuff.com and VeganStore.com.
When shopping for clothes, it's easy to be oblivious to how the item was manufactured. However, if you are in the market for anything from shoes and hats to sweaters and jeans, be sure to keep the environment and the animals in mind. Do your research before shopping for a particular brand or shop to learn more about a company’s stance on eco-friendly and vegan practices. With just a little bit of effort and forethought, we can make the world a better place.
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