You’ve probably been weighing veganism in your mind for a while now. After all, it’s a moral dilemma we all struggle with. We know that the planet and the animals on it need protection. It’s easy to see the impacts of the meat industry. Animal products and byproducts in our foods are a massive money market that is both unsustainable and in most all cases, terribly inhumane.
However, if you’re looking to really make a lifestyle choice that will make a difference, it’s important to think of the big picture and not just follow the masses. It certainly makes a big difference to eliminate animal meat and byproducts from your diet. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
If you’ve been looking to move beyond just conscious eating, and make a more complete statement, your clothing is a great place to start. We’re going to cover the materials you’ll want to avoid, the arguments you’re going to hear, and the reasons why your choices matter.
Here at Gimmerton, we strive to provide as many vegan options and sustainable products as we possibly can. We want it to be easy for anyone to make a positive impact on our world. However, we also realize that not everyone wants, or can afford to eliminate all animal products from their wardrobe right away. That’s okay.
It’s easy to feel small in this big world. Making small choices can be discouraging when so much of the world is still adding to the problem. But movements start with the mindful, and your mindfulness matters. So whether you purchase from our vegan collections or our other sustainably sourced clothing, know that your dollars are helping to make the world a healthier place for everyone.
The big pictureThe fact of the matter is that billions of dollars of animal byproducts are sold to the clothing industry every year. From leather for making boots and jackets, to powders and perfumes in cosmetics, it really can be daunting to do away with all forms of animal exploitation. But that is all the more reason to make the effort.
And sure, your friends might try to tell you that those byproducts will be sold anyways. I’ve heard this argument a hundred times:
“The cow was slaughtered for it’s meat, the hyde might as well be used anyways. You’re not adding to the problem.”
The truth is, that although they are partially correct, the bigger problem than a single cow is the money that this generates for the same industry.
After all, money is what makes the world go round. The true vegan understands that making a difference is bigger than saving a single animal’s life. It’s about standing up to the industry that profits off of that life.
So don’t listen to your friends excuses and half baked logic. The fact is that whether you are eating their meat, or wearing their skins, you are supporting the same industry.
So what is vegan clothing?As we already mentioned, animal products can hide in places you would never expect, as well as some that you would. It can be daunting to try to figure out what you can and cannot wear on your own.
Vegan clothing doesn’t just mean avoiding leather. Animal byproducts are used in buckles, decoration, jewelry, and numerous materials throughout the average wardrobe. Most people probably don’t even realize when they are walking around covered in animal products head to toe.
So here’s a list of the most common types of animal products you will want to avoid in your clothing:
- suede (microsuede is vegan)
Is the line as blurry as people say?When most people have this conversation about vegan clothing, someone brings up wool. “The sheep grow it naturally and it is harvested without harming the sheep. They grow it back and are perfectly happy!”
If you haven’t done your research about what happens in the wool industry, that would seem like the obvious truth. But unfortunately, the global market has a way of escalating once sustainable practices to obscene levels of production.
In the modern wool industry, for example, mulesing is a common practice to ‘safely’ increase the amount of wool a single sheep can produce. What is mulesing you say?
Well, farmers decades ago realised that if they bred their sheep to have more skin, they could harvest more wool from each one. However, eventually, sheep started growing so much skin that (sorry, this is not a pleasant image) their feces and urine started to cake onto the folds of skin around their backsides. This often would lead to infestations of maggots that literally killed the animal.
So, true to progressive human nature, farmers invented the practice of mulesing by which they would shave and then cut away this extra flesh from the sheep’s backside. This is often done without painkillers and leaves open wounds. This is not a rare practice either, it’s industry standard for maximizing wool production.
That is just one example of a way that unchecked industry growth has led to terribly inhumane practices in the name of progress.
So what do you do about it?Well, you’re going to have to make your own moral decisions about how important making a difference is to you. Are you going to go all the way and eliminate all animal products and byproducts from your life? Or will you make exceptions for things like honey, or fish, or wool?
I’m certainly not here to shame anyone who does use animal byproducts. After all, there are so many problems in this world that require our attention, we all have to pick our battles and make a difference where we can.
However, here at Gimmerton, we try to make it as easy as possible for everyone to make a change. That’s why we offer a selection of stylish, vegan clothing that will help you make a statement, or even just a difference, without looking like you just walked out of the woods.
Because, like we already talked about, it’s the money that matters. The more that we, as a culture, can support humane industries that are making positive changes, the more power these alternative industries will wield.
Change happens in small steps, every day. It’s important to keep the big picture in mind. Once you start wearing animal free clothing, it becomes easier and easier to feel the impact of your decisions. Whether it’s the money you didn’t spend on leather, or the conversations you start having with other open minded individuals. Every little bit counts and we can all do our part.