7 Eco-Vegan Fashions That Fit Vegans Just Right
Tank top season is officially here! Find out which eco-chic fashions fit your cruelty-free lifestyle.
If the words "vegan" and "fashion" conjure up images of hemp skirts that could double as tents, you're thinking of '90s eco clothing-practical, but hardly chic. Enter 2010, a time when top designers such as VN's March+April issue cover gal Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture or Matt & Nat's Inder Bedi are changing the face of cruelty-free fashion by creating clothing that isn't only green, but also animal-friendly, thanks to fabulous, fashionable alternatives to wool, leather, fur, and silk. Some of these animal-free textiles are not exactly new, but rediscovered and repurposed in our era of environmental consciousness. Browsing online, you can shop at companies pioneering eco clothing and at new green boutiques that are cashing in on the current wave of demand. Make sure to look for outfitters who use the following earth-friendly threads.
Comparable to cotton and silk, bamboo gets an "A" for its list of benefits: organic, sustainable, biodegradable, and extremely comfortable. Even better, the world's fastest growing plant doesn't require fertilizers or pesticides.
Made from recycled plastic soda bottles, this polyester finds new life as warm fleece hoodies. After the bottles are separated at recycling plants, they're chopped, melted and stirred. The resulting liquid is thick and yields polyester strands, which are stretched to make threads.
Recycled fabrics are used to make clothing out of clothing. Some companies even have garment recycling programs where used clothes are reborn, good-as-new.
A renewable natural resource and byproduct of food production, soy wear is easy to clean and similar to wool in its heat retention. First made into a snazzy suit for Henry Ford in the 1940s, the demand for soy is on the rise thanks to conscious consumers.
This choice, quickly gaining popularity, is poised to eclipse traditional cotton, which accounts for half of all pesticide use in the US and a quarter of that used throughout the world.
Synthetics like nylon, polyester and lyocell—better known by its brand name, Tencel—have a similar look and feel as silk, minus the cruelty. The nonprofit organization Green America recommends Tencel over rayon; although both are wood-based, turning wood into rayon requires a tremendous amount of water and chemicals. The organization reports that only about one-third of the pulp obtained from a tree will end up in finished rayon thread. Tencel manufacturers insist that production of their product doesn't harm the environment, but these claims have not been independently verified.
If wearing faux leather doesn't rub your ethics the wrong way, scope out the variety of manmade imitations currently flooding mainstream stores nationwide. Leather alternatives are easy to find and more affordable, to boot—most designer discount shoe stores carry synthetic shoes that have the look and feel of leather. Look for labels that identify the shoe as "manmade leather," "synthetic," "all man-made materials" or "pleather." If you're looking to spend more on designer lines, upscale stores such as Nordstrom, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue also carry synthetic alternatives. Keep in mind that synthetic materials, often petroleum based, aren't necessarily eco-friendly, but shoes made with hemp, bamboo, soy, and rubbers are.
9 Vegan Tips for Natural Allergy Relief
Toss out your antihistamine pills and battle seasonal allergy-induced sneezing with natural products.
Read More »
5 Vegan Products to Help with Spring Cleaning
Keep your home clean and your ethics in check with these cruelty-free cleaners.
Read More »
How to Have the Perfect Vegan Backyard for Spring
Buzzing bees, chirping birds, and homegrown vegetables will have your backyard set for spring.
Read More »
4 Ways to Celebrate a Vegan Earth Day
Make your Earth Day (and every day!) vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.
Read More »
5 Ways to Celebrate Spring with a Vegan Twist
Put a progressive spin on holiday traditions without foregoing the festive feelings of the season.
Read More »
- 5 Things You Can Do This Spring to Help Animals
- The VegNews Guide to Eco-Friendly Holiday Trees
- The Holidays Do Not Give You the Right to Ruin the Planet
- 8 Cool Foods to Plant Now
- 10 Vegan-Friendly Ways to Lather Yourself in Pumpkin
- 5 Vegan Sofas to Improve Your Living Room
- 5 Ways to Throw a Summer Vegan Birthday Party
- 11 Vegan Clothing Companies that Let You Wear Your Ethics on Your Sleeve
- 7 Ways to Make Sure Youre Buying Vegan-Friendly Clothing
- 5 Tips to Veganize Your Summer Spaces
- 3 Types of Vegan Leather for Your Home, Car, and Closet
- The Environmental Impacts of Going Vegetarian for Just One Day
- 5 Vegan Spring Date Ideas
- 7 Deals to Celebrate Earth Day
- 6 Easy Ways to Go Green Right Now
- 6 (More) Reasons to Go Vegan
- 4 DIY Holiday Decorating Tips
- 7 Vegan Candles to Create a Cozy Winter Home
- The 6 Best Winter Nail Colors
- 7 (Free!) Ways to Reduce and Reuse