November 03, 2021 5 min read
Sustainable fashion may be coming into vogue now, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t brands out there trying to cut corners.Vegan is a title thatDoshi and many other sustainable brands bestow upon their productions proudly - and truly.
The best in the vegan fashion industry put their money where their mouth is by investing the time and effort to ensure the items they sell and market to their customers as vegan are truly sustainably produced.
However, there are also many clothes and accessories out there that claim to be “vegan” while still using animal parts and unsustainable manufacturing processes. Luckily there are ways to tell the difference.
By knowing what to look for in materials lists, the sources of various garments, and through the vague language of inspiringly false marketing speak, you can avoid the stores that do not align with a vegan philosophy.
Here we present a guide on how to spot the red flags on vegan-marketed items that are anything but.
Many brands today like to utilize vague language or list out buzzwords like “all-natural” and “sustainable,” even when it’s not true of their products or processes.
The first red flag you should look for as a shopper of sustainable fashion is vagueness in the descriptions of the product. A clothing item or accessory that is being described as “vegan-friendly” or “eco”, “green”, “pure”, “natural” or otherwise - without any real proof to back it up - is likely to be false advertising.
“Made from recycled materials” or “utilizing processes that save energy” are also claims that may be true, technically, but a question arrives at the degree of those claims. Are companies saving 5% of the prior energy usage? Do recycled materials only make up 5% of the product?
Whether online or in-store, take the time to read the product description carefully, then move on to the brand’s own bio or about page for more info. From there, you should be able to begin to suss out what is really going on with their product line.
If they do not speak in clear language or ever make the statement that their product’s ingredients and manufacturing process are vegan, then you should take that as a bad sign.
Then, you should investigate the underlying materials within their items.
Do you know which ingredients are vegan? Trusted vegan source VegNews providesa simple guide on vegan clothing, including a comprehensive list of vegan-friendly fibers to look out for. Cotton, first and foremost, is a vegan’s best friend, as many clothes already use it and it is vegan by nature.
Other vegan fibers include linen, polyester, spandex, lycra, ramie, bamboo, hemp, denim, nylon, rayon, tyvek, PVC (polyvinyl chloride fiber), microfiber, cork, acrylic, viscose, and modal.
Alternatively, some absolutely non-vegan materials that always involve animal products include (real) leather, wool, alpaca, cashmere, silk, suede, maribou, angora, mohair, stingray, alligator, kangaroo, pashmina, and shearling.
Notably, t-shirts are often made fully or mostly of cotton whereas suits are made of wool. For vegan alternatives, look for linen, cotton, or synthetic, vegan-friendly suits. Shoes and belts are often made of leather, so the best option would be to look for vegan leather shoes andbelts. Ties and women’s blouses are often made of silk, but popular alternatives are available in nylon, rayon, and polyester.
Whenever you buy any product you think may be vegan, you should check to make sure there is not any fur or leather added into the clothing accents where you might not expect. Check for fur trims on suits, leather labels or pocket details on pants, and fur pom-poms on scarves or hats. Leather pulls on zippers or hat feathers are all frequently overlooked as well.
When you buy a piece of clothing or an accessory from modern mass producers, there are often many different materials utilized for the whole item. Be sure to read to the end of the ingredients list on the tag or website product description. Contact the company directly if you have to.
The eco-lifestyle blog Pretty Green Lily cites a recent studyshowing that 37% of Americans are willing to spend more money on sustainable products. This number is likely to increase as the younger generation enters the workforce and consumer economy (the study shows the sustainable stat at 45% of people aged 18-34 vs 14% of those aged 55 and up).
As a result of this growing phenomenon in consumer demand, many companies are now allocating more resources to producing their products sustainably. While there are many brands doing it the right way - likeDoshi! - there are also many that are taking advantage of the trend with their marketing and not with their actual manufacturing processes.
The U.S. Federal Trades Commission (FTC) provides aGreen Guides page to help consumers and producers understand just what makes something sustainable or “green” beyond just wording on a product description.
At the end of the day, as a consumer, you have to be able to see through the B.S. Vegan products arevegan - meaning no animal materials and sustainable manufacturing are used in their production.
In the modern economy, someone looking for vegan clothing and accessories will need to thoroughly vet brands and their products to ensure they are shopping sustainably. Trends in sustainable marketing mean you will have to parse out the details of what is true around the products you buy. Answering the simple question of “is it vegan?” may not be as easy as it seems.
We at Doshi promise to stay committed to sustainable processes and vegan items. They are the only types of products we ever want to sell within ourstore!
Doshi FCSA (Fine Clothes, Shoes, and Accessories) offer vegan leather bags, briefcases, backpacks, belts, and other accessories. Throughintentionality in our design, materials, and manufacturing, we aim to be a part of the vegan community. Our team studies trends, consults designers, and keeps a constant awareness of the marketplace in order to ensure we produce the best vegan products we can. Our founder himself is vegan and personally oversees that the manufacturing process is satisfactory.
We hope this article helps you on your vegan buying journey. Be on the lookout for these red flags on “vegan” items as you build your wardrobe!
Comments will be approved before showing up.