Vegan, baby

I’m not sure that with all our sustainability efforts, the majority of us are aware of what’s in our clothes: Birkenstocks made of leather, shaving brushes made of badger hair, hip down jackets made of goose feathers – all sustainable. It depends on how you look at it. All these things contain materials of animal origin. Is vegan the more sustainable alternative?

The vegan lifestyle is becoming more and more popular, especially when it comes to food. Veganism refers to a lifestyle and philosophy of protecting animals and not inflicting suffering on them. People consciously avoid animal products out of ethical conviction. We also have a choice when it comes to clothing, if we know what to look for.

We easily identify classic animal products such as leather from cowhide, down from goose feathers, fur from foxes and wool from sheep and goats as products of animal origin. It is also interesting to note that buttons (horn, bone and mother-of-pearl), silk (caterpillars) and accessories made of shells and pearls are not vegan.

Going deeper into the matter, we can pay even more attention to whether glues made from animals were used in the production or clothes with coating made from beeswax.

Textile labels must indicate the use of animal materials. We know the classic leather mark. Materialkennzeichnung - Die europäische ...
Likewise, labels such as “contains non-textile parts of animal origin” are helpful when making a purchase decision.

Which materials should you avoid for vegan clothing consumption?

leather: leather, nubuck, nappa, suede, soft leather, suede, smooth leather.

wool: wool, merino, pashmina, angora, cashmere, alpaca, camel hair, mohair

down, silk, fur

If you are not sure, just ask the sales staff or write to the service.

There are also certificates like Veganblume or the label of the animal protection organisation PeTA  approved vegan. However, you should know that it is based on self-disclosure.

PETA-Approved Vegan – Das Label für vegane Mode

If you absolutely have to have a wool jumper, it would be a good idea to look for sheep’s wool from controlled organic animal husbandry.

It makes sense to search and filter online shops for vegan fashion. Keywords like vegan, animalfriedly, animal-free, animal-friendly, cruelty-free, free of animal testing will help you.

It’s already going well, 90% of German wardrobes are vegan. But that is mainly due to the proportion of clothes made of cotton and synthetics. These are not necessarily the most sustainable alternatives.

“Vegan fashion that is also sustainable uses organic ingredients and not plastic”.

Animal welfare is our choice – we have a choice.


photo by Georgi Kalaydzhiev unsplash



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