5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Vegan Clothing

5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Vegan Clothing

When we think about veganism, we think about a natural, plant-based diet that uses no animal by-products as food. In reality, veganism means much more than just a diet.

It is a lifestyle choice, encompassing diet, clothing, cosmetics and other products that we purchase in our daily lives. 

Vegan clothing simply means clothes and accessories made without the use or harm of animals. Animal products were not used throughout the entire production process, it is 100% cruelty-free. 

One may switch to veganism because of ethical motives and compassion for the suffering of animals, but did you know it brings many more positive effects on us, the environment, and personal health?

Here are some of the reasons why vegan clothing is taking off in a good way, and steadily increasing in popularity over the last few years. 

 

1. Save The Animals

Save the Animals

The number one reason why most people choose a vegan lifestyle is because they want to save animals and spare suffering. Animals are not ours to use, abuse, wear or entertain ourselves with. 

Before their skin or hair reaches the shelves, animals have to endure a lifetime of misery, pain and fear, often kept in cramped, filthy conditions with little to no laws preventing their abuse. 

Every year, more than a billion animals are slaughtered for the global leather industry. Two of the top three leather-producing economies in the world are India and China, where there are lax laws on animal rights and still no penalties for animal abuse. 

China is now the world’s biggest animal farming nation, with double the meat consumption of the US. 12 hours prior to slaughter, 5 to 10 kilograms of water is pumped into the cow’s nostrils to artificially increase the animal’s weight. There are currently no humane slaughter laws in China. 

Sheep raised for wool are mutilated in a process called mulesing. Mulesing is done to reduce flystrike, a condition where parasitic flies lay eggs on the skin with soiled wool or open wounds. To prevent flystrike, many sheep farms practice mulesing, a preventative measure that involves cutting chunks of skin and flesh from the buttock region, usually without anaesthetic.

The fur industry is the worst of them all. Fur can come from minks, rabbits, foxes, dogs, seals, raccoons, cats, coyotes, chinchillas and anything that has a desirable coat. These animals are bred in fur farms and live in terrible conditions in very small cages, driving these often curious and intelligent creatures into insanity.

After a thankfully short lifetime of immense suffering, they are often beaten senseless, gassed or killed with an electric rod. Even more appalling is when the slaughter doesn’t work and the animal is not killed but instead, being skinned alive. 

Humane Society UK released a horrifying video of the treatment of raccoons and foxes in Chinese fur farms. China is one of the biggest fur producing countries in the world, producing 13 million foxes and 14 million raccoon dogs. There are currently no nationwide laws in China that explicitly prohibit the abuse of animals. 

Hats and fur-lined hooded coats have become a common sight these days, and poor labelling may mean that many consumers may be unaware that they are wearing animal fur. 

 

2. Environmental Impact 

Environmental Impact

Clothing production has roughly doubled since 2000. On the average, people bought 60% more garments in 2014 than they did in 2000. 

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to the livestock sector. China, India and Brazil are 3 of the world’s largest leather exporters, with weaker environmental protection laws than the US or EU have. 

The tanning process of turning animal skin into leather involves the use of many chemicals for dyes and finishes. Tanneries are known to be a major contributor of pollution in waterways, rivers, lakes and surrounding ecosystems. Chemicals used in the tanning process include sulphur, nitrogen and ammonia. 

Leather products can also contain high levels of a toxic chemical called hexavalent chromium, linking it to cancer and causing skin conditions such as eczema.

More than 4,000 kilograms of insecticides were applied to sheep in the US alone. Sheep farms emit high levels of a greenhouse gas called methane, as a by-product of the sheeps’ natural digestive process as well as from the waste and fertilizer in farms. 

 

3. Healthier Choice 

 

With animal fibres, the pelt has to be treated with toxic and heavy chemicals to prevent decay. The chemicals used to process fur, wool and leather not only harms the health of workers and surrounding communities in processing plants, but poses an overall threat to us that choose to wear it. 

Harmful levels of toxins in fur trims such as formaldehyde and ethoxylates can cause allergies, cancer and hormonal imbalance. The most common method of tanning leather releases a toxic slush of chromium salts and tanning liquor. Wool production results in high levels of adsorbable organohalogens (AOX), toxins that can be deadly to humans. 

Our clothes have maximum contact with our skin, which readily absorbs the chemicals in treated fabrics!

 

4. Human Rights

Human Rights

More than a billion humans are facing malnutrition and starvation in the world. Animal agriculture consumes 16% of the global freshwater supply while 785 million people do not have access to drinkable water. 

We use vast amounts of land, water and other resources to grow the grain and other plants needed to feed these animals. Animal agriculture takes up to a third of the world’s total grain production. If we just channeled all the resources that we would have from growing and harvesting animals, we would solve most of the world’s problems! 

 

5. Better Alternatives

 

As the fashion industry develops and caters to more socially and environmentally conscious consumers, so too, does the range of vegan alternatives. 

Without compromising on comfort, durability and price, you can find all you need and more from linen, Tencel, organic cotton, wood, soy, bamboo and hemp, to name a few natural and vegan fabric choices. You don’t need animal products to be stylish and look good! 

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