If you’re like me, you absolutely adore animals. (In fact, you may even prefer them to most humans.) But the fashion industry isn’t always kind to our furry friends. Before you stock your closet with the latest cold-weather styles, you may want to take a closer look at what you’re buying. We’re making it easy to make compassionate choices with a beginner’s guide to animal-friendly style. Check out these cruelty-free clothes that are both fashionable and kind.
Go Faux: Cruelty-Free Clothes for the Season
Each and every year, millions of cows, pigs, sheep, and goats are slaughtered by the leather industry for their skin. And while leather may look supple and expensive, vegan leather offers a more compassionate alternative with the same good looks. Opt for shoes, handbags, and accessories made with synthetic materials instead.
Sole Society Harley Front Pocket Vegan Leather Tote, $69.95
H&M Gloves, $17.99
Sole Society Vegan Bucket Bag, $32.48
More and more retailers are banning real fur altogether, and for good reason. Animals are skinned alive for their pelts, and who could ever feel pretty wearing the product of such a barbaric practice? Fortunately, faux fur clothing is everywhere — and it’s way more affordable than real skins.
Why spend a fortune on weather-sensitive suede when you can rock a low-maintenance imitator for a fraction of the cost? Look for fall styles made with faux suede, microfiber, or even velvet for a luxe feel that’s better than the real thing.
Down-filled jackets don’t give geese and ducks any warm and fuzzy feelings. These designs are made by plucking the closest layer of feathers to a bird’s skin, which causes the bird excruciating pain. Oddly enough, down is less effective than its synthetic counterparts — and it’s less durable in extreme conditions. Look for padded jackets and vests that are made with synthetic down or polyester fill.
A lot of people mistakenly assume that wool is derived from giving sheep routine haircuts, but that’s so far removed from the truth. Sheep need their wool coats to stay warm in frigid temperatures, and shearers are paid by volume instead of being paid hourly. As a result, sheep are routinely injured and mauled, and many die as a direct result of their grueling environments. Avoid cashmere, mohair, angora, shearling, and pashmina, and cuddle up to synthetic options like polyester fleece, cotton flannel, and acrylic knits.
Parisian-inspired neck scarves are so chic — as long as they’re not cruel. Silk may seem like an innocent fabric compared to the others listed above, but its coveted fibers are obtained by boiling, steaming, or gassing live silkworms in their cocoons. Reach for synthetic alternatives like nylon, polyester, rayon, satin, and viscose chiffon instead.
Are you an animal lover? If so, where do you shop for your cruelty-free clothes? Let us know in the comments!