Day 25

Going vegan extends far beyond our dietary choices; it extends to all aspects of life. While adopting a vegan diet is a significant step toward this goal, it's equally important to consider the non-food products we use, such as clothing, accessories, and personal care items. Items like leather shoes, belts, feather jewelry, down-filled coats, or fur-lined clothing are not consistent with veganism.

Leather, for example, is made from the hides of animals, often cows, who have been raised in the leather industry. The production of leather involves immense suffering, including inhumane living conditions and often brutal slaughtering practices. The leather industry is associated with deforestation, water pollution, and the use of toxic chemicals. 

Thankfully, there are numerous alternative materials available that offer stylish and cruelty-free options. Innovative advancements in technology have given rise to synthetic materials like faux leather, which closely mimic the look and feel of traditional leather without harming animals. Additionally, sustainable materials such as cork, pineapple leaf fiber (Piñatex), and mushroom leather (MuSkin) offer environmentally friendly alternatives that are both stylish and compassionate.

Feather jewelry and down-filled items may seem harmless, but they often come from birds who endure cruel practices in the feather and down industry. Birds raised for feathers and down often live in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions and can suffer during the plucking process. Opting for cruelty-free, synthetic materials or ethically sourced alternatives is essential to align with the principles of veganism.

Fur involves the killing of animals for their pelts. Fur farming is associated with extreme cruelty, and trapping methods can result in suffering for animals caught in the wild. Choosing faux fur or other animal-free options is a compassionate choice that avoids contributing to the fur industry's harm.

Wool is a material that has long been associated with ethical concerns. One primary reason for this is the process of shearing, which can be detrimental to the well-being of sheep. In many cases, they are subjected to harsh and sometimes inhumane treatment during shearing, leading to issues like cuts, injuries, and stress. The commercial wool industry also often involves practices such as mulesing, where parts of a sheep's skin are cut away to prevent flystrike, causing significant pain and suffering. Additionally, the demand for wool has led to overgrazing, soil degradation, and ecosystem disruption in various regions, which can be detrimental to the environment.

Choosing vegan options in accessories is a wonderful way to align your fashion choices with your ethical values. Here are some tips to help you find vegan accessories:

  • Check Labels and Materials:
  • Always check labels and product descriptions for terms like "vegan leather," "synthetic materials," "faux suede," or "man-made materials." These are indicators that the accessory is free from animal-derived components.
  • Research Brands:
  • Look for brands that specialize in vegan or cruelty-free accessories. Many companies now proudly advertise their vegan offerings, making it easier for consumers to identify ethical options.
  • Online Retailers:
  • Shop on online retailers or marketplaces that have a specific vegan or cruelty-free section. Websites like Etsy often have a wide range of handmade, vegan accessories.
  • Secondhand and Vintage:
  • Consider exploring secondhand or vintage stores for accessories. Many older items were made with non-animal materials, and buying secondhand is a sustainable choice.
  • Contact the Brand:
  • If you're unsure about an accessory's materials, don't hesitate to reach out to the brand or manufacturer for clarification. Most companies are happy to provide information about their products.
  • Vegan Accessories Stores:
  • Look for vegan boutiques or stores that exclusively sell animal-friendly accessories. These shops are excellent sources for a wide variety of vegan options.
  • Avoid Exotic Skins:
  • Be cautious of items made from exotic animal skins, like snakeskin or crocodile. These materials are often obtained through inhumane practices, and opting for vegan alternatives is a more ethical choice.
  • Ethical Fashion Apps:
  • Consider using ethical fashion apps or websites that provide information on vegan and cruelty-free brands and products. These resources can simplify your search for ethical accessories.
  • Read Reviews:
  • Reading reviews and customer feedback can provide insights into the quality and durability of vegan accessories, helping you make informed choices.
  • DIY and Customization:
  • For a unique touch, you can explore DIY projects or customization options. Personalizing your accessories allows you to create one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect your style and values.

By following these tips and staying mindful of the materials and brands you choose, you can build a stylish collection of vegan accessories that align with your ethical principles.

Shout Out

Dominique Drakeford is a trailblazing figure in the fashion industry, celebrated for her dedication to sustainable and vegan fashion. As the co-founder of Sustainable Brooklyn, she has emerged as a powerful advocate for ethical and eco-conscious fashion practices, with a particular focus on promoting sustainability within communities of color. Dominique's passion extends beyond fashion; she actively addresses the intersection of fashion, environmentalism, and social justice, advocating for more inclusive and ethical industry standards.

Recipe of the Day

Fashion is a global phenomenon, and in keeping with that spirit, we're excited to share a link to delicious vegan pastries from around the world.

Further Inspiration

Check out this video of a talk in which philosopher Lori Gruen shows that empathy is central to justice for all human and non-human beings: "Justice and Empathy Beyond the Human"

Other Ways to Engage

Follow Us on Social Media

Get to meet the members of our multi-species community. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for an inside look into the daily adventures at the sanctuary.

Follow Us on Social Media

Get to meet the members of our multi-species community. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for an inside look into the daily adventures at the sanctuary.

Follow Us on Social Media

Get to meet the members of our multi-species community. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for an inside look into the daily adventures at the sanctuary.

Join our Book Club

The VINE Book Club meets monthly to discuss books of interest to animal advocates who work within an ecological awareness of the linkages between animal exploitation and other forms of injustice.Learn more here.

Upcoming Events

Stay in the loop! We host many in-person and virtual events year-round. Make sure you don't miss out! Check them out here.


We want to do so much more than we have been able to, but to do that, WE NEED YOU. Find out ways to get involved, and sign up here.

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