Veganuary is all about celebrating different habits of consumption, and challenging ourselves to adopt new attitudes.
Veganism is as relevant for clothes as it is for food! According to WRAP, approximately 1,130,000 tonnes of clothing was purchased in 2016 in the UK alone. It’s clearly never been more important for fashion companies to strive to be compassionate more broadly, and this is something that includes avoiding certain products as well as operating in an ethical way more generally.
What does Veganism look like when it comes to clothing?
At its core, Veganism in clothing is all about avoiding animal products, especially the following:
- Leather: Leather is one of the most polluting materials, as it not only relies on the meat and dairy industries (responsible for much environmental destruction), but also on toxins and harsh chemicals used in the tanning process.
- Wool, shearling, cashmere and Angora: Lambs, goats and rabbits farmed for their wool are often treated very badly, and the process of extracting the fibres can be painful and harmful to these animals.
- Fur: an animal’s coat, that’s still attached to the skin. The fur industry is rife with animal abuse, with animals on fur farms often spending their entire lives confined in cramped dirty spaces, before being killed for their fur.
- Silk: silk is obtained by boiling worms alive inside their cocoons, and according to the Higg Index, silk has one of the worst impacts on the environment of any textile (including viscose and non-organic cotton).
- Down feathers: down is the soft layer of feathers closest to a bird’s skin, and it’s commonly used in jackets, pillows and bedding. These feathers are often obtained by painfully plucking live birds.
Check out PETA’s Vegan Clothing Shopping Guide for a great selection of alternative brands and products to help you avoid these problematic ingredients.
Veganism is also about the importance of compassionate business more broadly
Vegan clothing is not just about avoiding the obvious culprits of leather, fur and exotic skins, for example, but about being cruelty-free more broadly. PETA have outlined that the presence of their certification is a way of recognising progressive compassionate businesses.
What does our Vegan certification mean?
All Y.O.U Underwear is PETA-Approved Vegan, Fairtrade and also made from 100% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton.
For us, being cruelty free goes beyond avoiding certain ingredients. Our underwear already contains no animal products, but we're committed to using the kindest products and processes in our supply chains and business practices. For us, veganism is about a wider drive to make our products and business as sustainable as possible, and having the least harmful impact on people, animals and the environment as we can.
Using organic cotton is part of our commitment to being a compassionate business more broadly, as the crop is much better for people and the planet! We also ensure the ethical credentials of our supply chain, by working with an SA8000 certified factory in India.
We’re aligned with a number of the Sustainable Development Goals, and have recently submitted our application to become a B Corporation – a certification that’s all about recognising businesses that really are trying to do good! We've also got active commitments on body positivity and reducing waste.
So next time you're thinking about buying a new item of clothing - or refreshing your underwear drawer - you can vote with your wallet for products that are animal friendly, as well as kind to the environment and the people who make them.