We know that one of the most daunting parts of vegan life can be making ethical fashion choices, and that is why NICORA was founded. It also happens to be why we love Vaute, a fully vegan, all cruelty-free brand. Matter of fact, we're working on something this fall with them. (Shh!) But before that happens we want to show you something from them that we think is especially useful. We think this quick vid by Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart is perfect, because we all need an easy reference guide to keep our fashion choices in check. And if we could just rant for a minute, there's nothing especially difficult about making more sustainable choices. Like anything else there are layers to sustainable fashion and we encourage everyone to develop (and pursue) their own values, but there's no debating that cruelty free is a great launching pad for anyone looking to make a more positive impact in their homes, communities, and global environment. So, this video was made with the help of Farm Sanctuary, another amazing resource for really any question you might have when it comes to moving into a more ethical space, from fashion and beauty, to compassionate meals, all the way back to shelter tours (do it!) and educational resources on why your choices matter. And, at NICORA we think what you choose matters a lot.
First of, here's what to avoid all together: fur, leather, wool, down, silk, angora, shearling, and cashmere.
Instead look for textiles or the 'other materials' label, use more caution with the label other materials, and you can always use a quick Google search to find out what the company you're giving your money to is about.
Shoes: Are you surprised we're starting with shoes? Neither are we. Here's what you'll need to check with shoes—and keep in mind these might be the trickiest to find fully vegan—but always check soles, tongue, and inside, as well as, the upper of course. In shoes there are a number of nooks and crannies to hide non-vegan materials. Just be wary. Our shoes, which are always ethical, cruelty-free, American-made, with American sourced materials.
Accessories: These are a little bit easier than shoes, but basically the same idea. Your belt or purse might have man-made materials, or textiles on the exterior but not on the interior, just check both and you'll be good to go.
Outerwear: Vaute makes one of the coolest (er, warmest) fully vegan, ethical coats we've seen, with some pretty impressive science to keep you warm. Avoid down and wool. They're just all together not ethical. Look for faux-leather, synthetic, or man-made materials. Double check the fill on any synthetic down jackets to make sure both the inside and outside match your values.
Sweaters: Avoid wool, cashmere, and angora. Check instead for cotton, or better yet recycled cotton like the sweater above. Organic cotton or thrifted sweaters are another great choice when getting your fall and winter wardrobe ready.
Hats: Watch out for leather details, straps, and buckles which can be made of leather even if the remainder of the hat is cruelty-free. Best option, in our opinion, is a hat made of recycled materials or thrifted.
Beanies: Acrylic or cotton. Both are cruelty-free and there are so many options for synthetic yarns available that finding the style you're looking for shouldn't be any challenge at all.
Fashion can bring in the best of both worlds, an expression of your values as well your personality and creativity, and we here at NICORA strive to help you accomplish both. We hope these tips demystify the vegan fashion world, and can help you to make more ethical choices in an achievable way. Have any good tips we forgot? Mention them in the comments.