Here is a short list of a few vegan and sweatshop-free apparel and accessory marketplaces. By the time you read this, there may be tens more! We do realize all-vegan, sweatshop-free apparel can be expensive, so we recommend thrift shops as well! Just be sure to look for clothing without the use of nonhuman animals and that you know have labor ethics. It may be difficult to find both sometimes but if you have a choice between a wool sweater and a non-wool one, ditch the one with nonhuman violence.
Now here is the dark truth in the form of a list of what common “materials” really are:
is animal skin. The process of “producing” it is extremely violent and polluting. Often times the animals are still alive when they are being de-skinned. Against popular belief, leather is not a mere “by-product” but an intentional yield of the animal agriculture industry, as economically viable as “meat”, and as such, it can be made from the skin of a variety of animals - cows, goats, pigs, alligators, etc., including dogs and cats, and even the skin of baby or unborn (forcefully aborted) animals. Leather has become so commonplace that there are no regulations on its "sourcing" (i.e. what species of animal it is stripped from) and almost no regulations on its production, which happens to also require an enormous amount of water and polluting heavy metals and toxic substances. It's a dirty industry that causes serious health damage to most of its human workers as well.
is animal skin with the hair/fur still attached. The process is essentially the same as “producing” leather, even if the chemicals used are different. These days the fur industry is so large, that animals are bred in farms and live in similar conditions to farmed animals bred for food. Typically these are mink, foxes and chinchillas, though dogs and cats are used in certain parts of the world as well. Unlike the leather-agriculture connection, here the remaining skinless carcasses do become an industry "by-product" since most of these animals aren't typically viewed as "edible". And since the industry already bases its profits on death, it's not surprising that the bodies of the animals end up in a variety of other "applications", from cosmetics to tires to - yes - "pet"food.
is made from sheep or alpaca coat. Similarly, cashmere is made from the coat of a goat and Shahtoosh is made from the coat of the endangered chiru, or Tibetan antelope.
This process involves shearing the animals and then spinning the fibers into yarn. At industrial levels, however, shearing essentially means shaving, for the purposes of higher yield, and often cutting the animals’ skins.
is rabbit fur that is "processed" in methods more similar to that of wool. Rabbits are bred so that their hair can be sheared, shaved or downright ripped from their bodies, all methods causing extreme amounts of pain.
is a fiber spun by particular species of moths. They spin it into a cocoon as they ready themselves to transition from larvae. Silk “farmers” take the completed cocoons and boil the creatures alive in order to "rid"of the larvae and unravel the fibers, which then get woven into textiles.
is feathers from various birds, such as ducks and geese. The process consists of manually plucking feathers from individual birds, which is incredibly painful - the equivalent of having your nails or teeth pulled out all at once, over and over.
Continue on WHAT TO BUY page.