What Is Vegan Fashion? Your Guide to a Cruelty-Free Wardrobe

In the fashion industry, trends come and go - they’re everywhere one minute, and then they’re gone the next. But one trend that seems to be sticking around for good is vegan fashion - and we’re all here for it! 

That’s right, the world of fashion is finally waking up to reality and starting to make some changes. From big designers like Stella McCartney championing cruelty-free clothing, to more and more consumers searching for vegan and cruelty-free alternatives, this is a trend that’s got real power. 

But what actually is vegan fashion? Whether you’re already a committed animal-rights activist, you’re wanting to reduce your impact on the environment, or you’re taking your first steps into the world of sustainability, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a handy guide to give you the lowdown on how to veganify your wardrobe.

What is veganism?

Chances are, you have a pretty good idea of what veganism is - but how is it defined? The Vegan Society describes it like this: 

"Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment.” 

What is vegan fashion?

You might be wondering how best to incorporate this ethos into your style choices. Well, the first thing to think about is what materials your clothes and accessories are made from. Does it contain any products derived from animals? Is it tested on animals? If not, then you’re good!

An easy way to see if a brand is vegan is to check for the PETA-approved seal or the Vegan Trademark, which assure that no animals have been harmed in the production of the items. Don’t forget to read the label on each garment to spot any animal-derived materials.

Here are some common non-vegan materials to look out for:

  • Leather
  • Wool
  • Silk
  • Fur 
  • Down 
  • Cashmere
  • Angora
  • Pearls 
  • Beeswax
  • Lanolin 
  • Keratin 

Looking at this list might be intimidating at first - how are you supposed to remove all of these materials from your wardrobe? Don’t worry - there are plenty of vegan alternatives that are just as good, if not better, than any of these.

Take a look at some materials to try instead:

  • Vegan leather alternatives - such as the leaf leather we use here at Jungley! 
  • Organic cotton
  • Linen
  • Bamboo
  • Cork
  • Recycled rubber
  • Synthetics
  • Lyocell
  • Modal

Not to mention that there are new and exciting innovations in vegan materials being developed all the time! From mushroom leather to wine leather, and even flexible stone, we already live in a world where animal-derived materials are no longer necessary. So what are you waiting for? Make the swap! 

It’s Not Just About Animals

So, now you know how to avoid harm to animals when selecting your wardrobe - but there’s still more you can do. Let’s take a look at that veganism definition again: “for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment.” We’ve only checked one off the list so far! Now it’s time to take a look at how to make your wardrobe sustainable and conscious too.

Sustainable Fashion

It’s well-known by now that the fashion industry is hugely wasteful. Fast fashion means that trends cycle through like lightning, and as soon as something goes out of style, there’s millions of items of clothing being thrown away - which is hardly good for the environment! 

That’s why it’s time to embrace slow fashion - quality, classic pieces that are built to last and won’t be thrown away every trend cycle. It might mean shelling out a little more money at first, but you’ll get something that will last for years and years, and not disintegrate after a couple of washes. 

Plus, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your clothes are made sustainably - that means minimal waste, production processes that don’t harm the environment, and eco-friendly materials, so we can preserve our resources for future generations. 

Recycled or upcycled materials are a great way to keep materials out of landfill - take a look at our ‘I Used To Be A Truck Tyre’ range for an example. Made from upcycled truck tyres that would otherwise go to waste, we’ve made a range of gorgeous accessories that are eco-friendly and totally unique! 

Ethical Fashion

It’s time for the final part of veganism: for the benefit of humans. We’ve all heard about the horrors of sweatshops, with long hours and dangerous conditions - well this is the antithesis of that. Ethical fashion is all about making sure your clothes are made by workers who are treated fairly and paid well, and supporting companies who put their money where their mouth is.

Transparency is key here - take a look at a company’s ethos to find out how they make their products. Bonus points if they take part in community initiatives or partner with charities! 

Think about your purchases as a form of political activism, and support companies that align with your values, whether you’re committed to anti-racism, feminism, worker rights, protecting the environment, or anything else that’s important to you!

Here at Jungley we’re passionate about looking after the environment for future generations, so we’ve partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects to plant a tree for every item sold. Working with communities around the world, you can be sure that your purchase has a positive impact on their lives and surroundings. 

So that’s it! Now you’re all clued up on how to veganize your wardrobe, it’s time to start making some changes! Shop our range of eco-friendly accessories, from bags and bottles to purses and wallets - they’re all vegan, cruelty-free, and sustainably made! Then get out there and make a difference. Let us know in the comments if you have any more tips and tricks that you learn along the way.