Why is vegan clothing so expensive?
It’s hard to argue, that on balance, it can cost more to dress ethically compared with shopping from the high street. It’s perhaps unsurprising given the grossly underpriced and commoditised approach that fast fashion and big business is having on the poorest countries of the planet.
Supermarket fashion is now the norm for many people, and it’s hard to blame someone for saving money when faced with price rises that outstrip pay packet growth. However, the audience for vegan and ethical clothes has grown so much, that costs have decreased massively. Vegan brands have become mainstream, meaning that it’s now possible to create a fully vegan wardrobe that’s also stylish – if you really want to!
How to buy vegan clothing
Just like when you’re food shopping as a vegan, squinting at the back of everything you pick up, there is a lot of label gazing involved in vegan clothes shopping too. In this blog (What is vegan clothing?) post we discuss a bunch of tips to consider when starting out shopping vegan, including vegan clothing, what to look out for.
What stores sell vegan clothing?
There are some physical stores explicitly marketing vegan clothing in the UK, but not many. There are also thousands of accidentally vegan clothes on the high street and elsewhere, which just happen to avoid animal products in favour of synthetic. But unless a garment is specifically labelled vegan, or the brand is openly so, you can’t be sure the supply chain is being monitored closely enough to ensure animals haven’t been used or harmed.
What is vegan fashion?
A truly vegan lifestyle seeks to exclude all forms of exploitation of and cruelty to animals; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. This means that the fur, skin, hair and feathers of animals are no longer an option.
In the past this would have been extremely restrictive, and potentially expensive, but today there are loads of fashionable brands creating affordable and wearable clothes for modern living. It’s Vegan Made aims to bring you all the best vegan brands in one place to make ethical clothes shopping easy.
What vegan clothing should I avoid?
It’s Vegan Made support environmentally sound choices (it’s one of the main reasons we’re vegan), but when it comes to vegan clothing materials to avoid, things aren’t so black and white. We must all make our own judgement calls based on what seems right to us individually.
In general, natural materials are clearly preferable to man made ones, because most man made materials inevitably involve either hydrocarbons (a finite resource removed from the ground), or the release chemicals into the environment through processing, potentially harming the health of humans, animals and nature.
One material we do support the reduction of is PVC. Polyvinyl chloride can contain phthalates and other chemicals which are bad for the environment.
What is the best vegan clothing?
As with non-vegan labels on the high street there are brands that range from budget to luxury. The best vegan clothes though are not only exclude animal products but are ethical too. And most importantly of all, they must be stylish – veganism doesn’t mean drab!
Are UGGs vegan?
Sadly, no. Most UGGs designs are made from leather and sheepskin, which are not vegan materials. A small number of UGGs are made from non leather materials, but they all feature some form of wool or suede.
WARNING! Graphic content.
If you need any convincing about why that is then consider watching this 30 second undercover video, which shows the reality of the industry.
Are shoes vegan?
Footwear is still the main source of animal derived materials in fashion. Leather and suede were once used solely for their durability, but now largely remain a staple due to their familiar look and feel (Oh, and the fact they are intrinsically linked to the meat industry).
Leather is still as common in clothing now as it was a hundred, or even a thousand years ago, but we live in a time where the number of alternative materials available makes its continued use hard to justify.
There are many, many cost effective and durable alternative materials available to manufacturers, including vegan leather, rubber, canvas and more. If people stop buying outdated animal based fashion, then it will stop being made!
What are vegan shoes made of?
Vegan shoes use alternatives to leather and suede, including:
- Vegan leather (polyurethane / PU)
- Mushroom leather
- Apple leather
- Pineapple leather (Piñatex®)
- Natural rubber (Crepe)
- Recycled rubber
- Synthetic rubber (EPDM)
- Dinamica (100% recycled PET bottles)
- Upcycled materials