Hat by Brave Gentelman, Shoes by Jents, Shirt and Pants by Zara, Smile by Vegan Life.
As many of you may know, I went vegan for ethical reasons and it didn’t take me long to realize that some of my clothing wasn’t vegan-friendly. Luckily, I’ve always been one to adopt a minimalist approach when it comes to THINGS and clothing is no exception.
I probably owned only 4 pairs of footwear when I went vegan and one of those was a pair of leather boots. I wore them even after going vegan, but didn’t feel comfortable after a while knowing that it was the skin of a living being. I kept these boots tucked away for the most part. I wore them for my motorcycle safety class and decided to donate them not too long after receiving my license. I eventually opted for non-leather boots from Target or as some like to call it, “Tar-jey.”
Going through my closet I discovered a couple more items that had leather. The handle of a canvas bag and the collar buckle to a very European style blazer. Me being the person that I am, I sold those items on Ebay.
I worked as a manager at a fashion retailer while living the vegan lifestyle. This was pretty tough because although this particular retailer didn’t use too much leather in its apparel, the footwear was a different story. Virtually all of the shoes were leather, not to mention bags and accessories like belts. Imagine being a vegan and your co-workers showing off new leather store arrivals at the morning meetings. As a manager, I was able to block certain items from coming to the store, so I would block leather items that I could whether they were selling or not. *shrug*
Another thing that I learned to keep an eye out for when it came to purchasing clothing is wool. That one can be sneaky, especially during the Fall/Winter season.
In short, it was pretty easy for me to swap-out my non-vegan clothes for vegan options because I didn’t have much to begin with. But I would have made it a priority to do the same even if I had more non-vegan clothing. It’s easier to be guided by your values when you live a life of detachment.
For those of you who are vegan and wear non-vegan clothes that you’ve purchased before, I say trust the process and follow your heart. Maybe you don’t have the money to buy new boots or a new jacket. But I also say this…you may be promoting the purchase of that particular item or something similarly non-vegan every time you wear it, especially if it’s unique looking. Keep that in mind, but you’re an adult. You make the decisions here 🙂
Free Bird, Berto