If you love animals, you are probably concerned about animal welfare and you are also aware of the problems with animal cruelty in meat production. But did you know that animal cruelty is sometimes worst in the manufacturing of clothing that uses animal derived materials?

Materials like leather, wool, fur, exotic skins, angora and cashmere are created at the expense of millions of animals who live miserable lives and die horrific deaths just to clothe us. We won’t go into the details on the subject of what goes on behind closed doors at fur farms and slaughterhouses in this article but we highly recommend doing some research online if you want to learn more.  In the meantime though, here are some tips on how to choose animal-friendly clothing:
• The first step is to find a store, physical or online, that sells animal-friendly clothes. It would be best to find a place that doesn’t sell any items that use animal materials but even buying one article of animal-friendly clothes will help tell the owners that their customers want cruelty-free clothes in the market.
• You can search online for guidelines on what to look for when shopping for animal-friendly clothing.  Some organizations like PETA offer useful shopping guides online that can help in your search for example.
• Many companies are now offering “vegan shoes”.  These shoes do not use any animal materials and if you search online for “vegan shoes” you will find plenty of options.  If you are in a shoe store, make sure the label says Vegan instead of Natural or Organic since animal materials can still be considered natural.
• Plant-based materials like jute, bamboo, hemp, cork and cotton are materials that are both beautiful and long lasting.
• If you love leather or fur, look for faux versions which look just like the real thing yet are much less expensive.  Faux leather is sometimes called pleather.
• Always check the tags to make sure there are no hidden animal materials which are not in plain view.  Sometimes smaller parts, like the buttons, might be animal-based and cotton may seem harmless except for when animal habitats are destroyed to make way for cotton plantations.
Why is it important to find out more about how clothes are made? It is simple. Maybe, the articles of clothes use animal-friendly materials but the company does not follow ethical practices. Maybe the processes involve animal products or cause negative effects on animals and their habitats. No matter the reason, it’s always important to know more about the companies and products we purchase…our dollars are silent votes that tell companies what we want and care about.  The bigger the demand for eco-friendly products, the more supplies, the better the quality, and the lower the price.  It’s a win-win for us, the animals and the environment!


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