Ethical Vegan Clothing
Isn’t all vegan clothing ethical? Well, not quite.
Vegan clothing means no animals were harmed in the making of the products. But what about the human cost of cheap labour? And what about the environmental price of rivers flooded with toxic dyes? This means no animals can survive, let alone thrive. We can’t let the fashion industry pool the metaphorical wool over our eyes like that.
But there are eco friendly ethical vegan clothing brands that also care about the people and planet. Aside from vegan queen, Stella McCartney, of course. Her recent ad campaign used Extinction Rebellion members as models, which is awesome.
To start with, there are some brilliant vegan market places that also care about sustainable fashion. One Small Shop is one of our favourites. It sells natural skincare and ethically made clothing, accessories and homewares.
Their brands are independent and beautifully curated. The shop is based around life’s essentials, including underwear and shampoo – for you and your dog. There’s also great-smelling candles made in recycled wine bottles, stylish and functional Wilby backpacks, and sexy and durable Swedish Stockings.
Founder Katie says: “I only stock brands who are transparent in their supply chain and only use small factories which they have vetted themselves.”
Here are just a few of the eco conscious vegan fashion brands for women and men we absolutely love:
Top ethical vegan clothing brands
Vegan essentials: Natural Edition
Natural Edition focus on high quality, organic cotton essentials that are designed to last. Their tops will take you from the gym to the local shops. And their slim-fit, stretch Tencel dress will take you through the weekend.
They are vegan-approved and the factory they work with in Turkey is Fairwear audited. All employees plant trees once a month.
Vegan clothing: Cauz
Cauz’s slogan t-shirts come in contrasting black and white. But you can also chose a more subtle design.
Cauz make their clothing in a Fair Wear factory in Bangladesh. The items are then sent to London to be screen painted with vegan inks.
They only use GOTS certified organic cotton. This means the cotton is grown without harmful pesticides or fertilisers. For the elastic cuffs on their sweatshirts they use recycled polyester.
Plus, they give £5 from every purchase to a selection of charities they support.
Vegan accessories: PALA
Pala’s collection of vegan sunglasses are bright and bold. The company operates on a buy-one-give-one basis. You buy a pair of sunglasses and they give a pair of spectacles to a person who needs them in Africa. This enables visually impaired people to get access to education and improves their job prospects.
All sunglasses are made from non-petroleum based plastic in a factory with strong ethical credentials in China. The cases are weaved from recycled plastic, by women in Bolgatanga where work is hard to come by. Everyone in the supply chain is paid a living wage – at least.
A quick guide to sustainable materials
The best are recycled – especially cotton and wool.
Also top of the list are organic materials, especially linen and hemp but also cotton.
New, great and increasingly popular fibres include Tencel (created from wood) and Monocel (from bamboo).
Vegan underwear: Luva Huva
On the hunt for sexy and sustainable lingerie? Then you should try Luva Huva (pronounced Lover Huva).
They use eco-friendly materials such as Bamboo, Soy, Hemp and organic cotton. These materials are also soft and breathable.
They make their underwear at a workshop in Hove, just outside of Brighton. We also love that the models on the website look like real women.
Vegan essentials: Woron
Woron has your essential underwear needs covered. Their bras and knickers come in timeless styles and inject femininity into your wardrobe.
They make their basics from modal. This is a vegan material that’s a softer alternative to silk or cotton. Your underwear will feel as natural as a second skin!
They also offer bodysuits and leggings, meaning even your loungewear can be luxurious and elegantly simple.
Founder Sisters Arina and Anya Woron strive for a mostly female work team as a positive ‘Girl Power!’ salute.
Vegan clothing: VILDNIS
Vildnis’ are champions of sustainable materials and workers rights. Their aim is to change the fashion industry without changing our style. Their contemporary pieces are fairly relaxed. And their range includes jumpsuits, jumpers, skirts and dresses. With some simple styling they work well for both day and night looks.
Vildnis are great because they hold themselves accountable to environmental and social goals as well as financial ones. Plus, they won’t use a model below a size-10 on their website and don’t retouch photos. Very cool.
Did you know?
It can take up to 15,000 litres of water to grow the cotton for one pair of jeans.
More than 100 million new items of clothes are being produced every year.
300,000 tonnes of unwanted clothes go into landfill or get incinerated every year in the UK alone.
Vegan clothing: Punks and Chancers
Punks and Chancers specialise in slogan tees and bold, tongue-in-cheek designs.
All items are made from organic cotton, recycled cotton or recycled polyester. Plus, they use water-based inks to print their designs.
Soon-to-be vegan: ECOALF
ECOALF aim to be a fully vegan brand by 2020. Currently, some of their jackets use down filling from birds.
ECOALF’s strapline is “Because there’s no Planet B” is ECOALF’s. They transform recycled materials such as fishing nets and tyres into top quality clothes, trainers and bags. All workers are paid a living wage.
Vegan clothing: Rapanui
Rapunai are a great brand for organic cotton essentials. So much so that even Sir David Attenborough gives the brand his seal of approval.
Their clothing lines offer all the basics, such as t-shirts, jumpers, pants and socks.
Rapunai place a high emphasis on training their staff and they work to combat youth unemployment.
Brilliantly, they power their UK factory using renewable energy. Plus, they use a closed-loop water system for dyeing clothes. This filters the water so well it’s pure enough to drink.
Free returns really hit small brands hard because they’re not actually free.
Try only to order what you really want, and return items when absolutely necessary.
One to watch: Vegan shoes, Bourgeois Boheme
Vegan, loud and proud, Bourgeois Boheme are a footwear brand that are re-launching in February 2020.
A lot of high street vegan leather shoes are made with PVC, which is a plastic that contains chloride and isn’t biodegradable. Bourgeois Boheme use an Italian-made cotton-backed microfibre polyurethane called Mycro©.
They also use cotton weaved with paper, cork, recycled rubber and plant-based polymers… watch this space!
Main image: Punks and Chancers