As most of us should know, veganism isn't just about what you eat. It's also about what you wear. Unfortunately, totally vegan (and fashionable) clothing items can be hard to find in mainstream stores. Animal products are hidden where you'd least expect them - it's not all just leather, silk, fur and wool. Those are the obvious fabrics to avoid, but did you know that the glue used in some shoe brands isn't cruelty-free?
Regardless of these issues, all is not lost. There are many fashionable brands of clothing that will always be 100% cruelty-free, so you can buy and wear them without worry. Many mainstream stores and brands also provide a variety of cruelty-free clothing options.
- If you like the style of Converse shoes, you'll be glad to know that some of their products are vegan. The problem is - nobody is exactly sure which. It turns out that the company themselves aren't entirely sure which shoes contain animal products (it might be in the glue) and which don't. The general consensus is that they probably don't contain animal products, so if you're fine with that, go ahead and buy them!
- For an equally stylish alternative to Converse, check out Ethical Wares. They provide an almost identical 100% cruelty-free version of Converse-style shoes, available in many different styles. Check them out here. Fortunately, they are also free trade approved! Ethical Wares also offers many other clothing options, not only shoes - so feel free to browse around without guilt.
- Vans also offer some vegan shoe styles. Their "Prelow" style, for example, is 100% cruelty-free and made from cork. Check them out here.
- Vegan Style offers a variety of 100% vegan shoes, including flats, sandals, sneakers, boots and high heels. Unfortunately, many of their options are quite expensive, but you should be able to catch something on sale for under $40. They're also based in Australia, which means you won't have to worry about shipping costs if you live here.
- The Cruelty Free Shop has a small range of affordable footwear, which resemble Vans. Check them out here. They're also Australian based and sell many other vegan products, including food, magazines and accessories.
- The Cruelty Free Shop offers a variety of accessories, including bags, belts and wallets, all with a leather-look. Check them out here.
- The Arctic Vegan Store, based in Australia, offers cruelty-free accessories (including wallets, clutches and belts), jewellery and a small footwear range, all at moderate prices.
- Alternative Outfitters offers many accessories, including handbags, wallets, purses and belts. They also offer cruelty-free footwear, so browse as you please!
- Herbivore Clothing offers many fashionable, 100% cruelty-free t-shirts, sweaters, pants and even clothing for babies! Although based in America, their prices are very affordable, at $20 to $30 for a t-shirt. You can't go wrong with that!
- Freedom Hill Sanctuary offers many animal rights-themed, cruelty-free t-shirts... and the money goes towards rescuing farm animals! They're also Australian-made and very affordable, at $25 to $30 per tee.
- Vegan Store provides many cruelty free tees that promote the vegan message. They're highly affordable, although not particularly fashionable... in my opinion anyway. They're still worth checking out! They also offer a range of accessories.
- ASOS offers a range of on-trend clothing items, many of which contain no animal products. Just make sure to check the materials used on each item (they should be provided in the item description). Many of their knits are made with cotton or nylon rather than wool.
- Forever 21 also offers a range of very fashionable clothing items free of animal products at affordable prices. Also make sure to check the materials description and steer clear of anything containing leather, wool, silk or fur (of course!)
- Fashion Conscience is cruelty-free, following the motto "Seriously Stylish, Seriously Ethical." How good is that? Unfortunately, their apparel is too expensive for my tastes, but if you've got some extra money to throw around, definitely check them out. They also offer shoes and accessories.