By Simone McAllister
Now that you’ve become a vegan, don’t stop there; it’s time to rethink your wardrobe.
For most of us, we will have a wardrobe filled with animal derived shoes and clothes and accessories. Immediately throwing out every pair of leather shoes and boots, every leather handbag and purse and your fluffy woollen jumpers and Ugg boots and that sexy silk blouse is not only costly, but a waste and environmental destruction. Instead, give them to charity, or sell them. By doing this, you encourage people to buy your pre-loved garments and accessories instead of buying brand new and it will discourage the demand for production. Personally, I love op shops and charity stores. Not only are they very reasonably priced, but you are helping organisations that are helping financially disadvantaged people. Also, I love the idea of character and history with an item. Who wore it before me? Where are they from? Did this jacket travel the globe?
It’s ok to continue wearing your Docs or your Uggs; it’s fine to use that woollen blanket and silk scarf until you can afford to replace them. Throwing them out means the animal truly died for nothing. Just remember to buy vegan next time you need a pair of shoes or a warm jumper. It’s perfectly normal to take time with change; so, don’t be hard on yourself.
When you begin to replace your items, you will find plenty of alternatives to leather, wool and silk; and with the growing number of vegan and eco-friendly manufacturers appearing, there’s no better time than now to make the switch.
If you love the look and feel of leather but no longer wish to wear it, these three suppliers will satisfy your needs. Not only are they 100% vegan, but they are also part of the growing number of companies that are steering away from PVC and using the less toxic Polyurethane. And what makes them even better…they are Australian; in fact, all the companies mentioned here are Australian!
The Vegan Leather Co has their huge stall set up at The Brisbane Vegan markets almost every fortnight. And while your there, grab some lunch and desert from the vast array of stalls; and yes, you will go back for more.
I saw this handbag in David Jones Brisbane city. It’s $139 and impeccably made; beautifully presented with a protective pouch when not in use. It was hard to walk past this gorgeous creation and leave it there!
Humankind offers a huge range of vegan wear from sandals and boots to wallets and bags. The choice is endless.
The wool trade is another area you will want to avoid due to the cruel practices of mulesing and rough and quick sheering which causes injuries, disease and infections; not to mention extreme stress. It is however, easily done. I own a lot of jumpers, cardigans and scarfs that are either cotton, hemp or synthetic and they are perfectly warm and comfortable. I prefer vegan for the most obvious reason – no animals were harmed – but also because some wools irritate my skin. Vegan woollen items are so readily found everywhere; just check the label and put it back down if there is even 1% wool. You’re looking for acrylic or cotton or hemp; this is warmer than you think. But I did discover an online store that sells beautiful cardigans and jumpers at The Everley Collective.
Humankind also make cute boots that will keep your toes warm and ease your conscience.
Stay on the path to kindness and give up silk. It takes 30,000 silkworm cocoons to make one blouse and each and every one of those worms die. Personally, I don’t like the feel. But a lot of people love it and see it as luxurious. You can buy artificial silk, or ArtSilk as it is known, that looks and feels like the real thing, but without the sad truth behind it. Bamboo Blonde is a gorgeous Australian company based in Bali but you can easily order online.
Velvety make everything for your wardrobe except shoes. There are so many garments and accessories to choose from as well as cosmetics which are of course, cruelty-free.
I absolutely love this backpack from Velvety. It’s made from seatbelt webbing, upholstery canvas and reclaimed tyre innertube. Vegan and sustainable.
So you’re vegan, or you’re thinking about becoming vegan or you’ve already started the http://vegan4life.org.au/ 30 day challenge; keep with it, you’re off to a great start.
© 2020 Simone McAllister