Tips for buying vegan shoes and vegan clothing
As a proud vegan who is usually spotted rocking skin tight vinyl and 6 inch pleather heels, Leah Ludlow is on a mission to turn being animal-friendly into a cool as well as compassionate stance.
1. Decide your personal style, then make it vegan
Too many people automatically think that by being vegan they are limiting what they wear. This shouldn’t be the case. Whatever you’re into, you should stay true to personal style, and work being vegan into it.
2. Don’t assume wearing vegan clothing is going to be a chore
When I started out, I spent so much time thinking what I couldn’t have, I forgot about all the cool stuff I could still wear. Denim hotpants? Lace minidress? Comfy cardie? As long as there’s no fur, leather, wool, silk, or angora (rabbit fur) it’s all good!
3. Try cheaper shops
Don’t grimace. We’re not about being label snobs on here after all, are we? Many cheap shops are cheaper precisely because they don’t use animal products. Leather is frequently substituted for PU, wool for acrylic, and satin for silk, so chances are you can go to your favourite bargain hunting base and still buy what you like.
4. Accessorise creatively
Being animal products, feathers and pearls are also off the menu. But with so many fake feathers and pearls available, if you see something you like, try re-creating it using the ethical alternatives.
5. Shop alternative
Alternative shops are great for leather alternatives. Don’t be put off by ‘alternative wear’ stores; lots of them have vinyl, PVC and pleather trousers that look great and are a good substitute for real leather. (Also, most of these type of stores stock plus-size in said garments.)
6. Not sure if they really are vegan shoes/clothing? Always read the label
Don’t discard something before you’ve checked the label. I recently nearly missed some gorgeous fake leather boots because I thought they were real – but now I have a great pair of boots and got a bargain, too!
7. Pleather? Man-made? Know what the terms are
If you’re shopping for vegan boots, shoes or fashion, look for descriptions like ‘faux’ (as in ‘faux suede, faux fur’), pleather and man-made – this means they’ve got the animal look without animals being involved.
8. Don’t be afraid to tell people you’re (and your outfit is) vegan
Firstly, you should be proud to be making a compassionate ethical stance. Secondly, when people realise you can look so good whilst rocking some ethics, they will instantly be impressed. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have reconsidered their view of vegans when they’ve appreciated my outfit then found out that it’s animal friendly!
If you have a personal style and want to go fully vegan (in what you wear as well as what you eat), give it a go. I bet your style will adapt to it just fine.
Vegan shoes, boots and fashion online
- Vegetarian Shoes UK – big vegan selection including fake Doc Martens (UK)
- FunkeFeet – Vegan shoes marked with cow symbol for easy identification. Creepers, Mary Janes, chunky platform boots – they’ve got it! (US)
- Beyond Skin – Designer vegan shoes (UK)
- Bourgeois Boheme – Vegan fashion, including shoes, handbags and jewellery (UK)
- Honesty Cosmeticas – Vegan makeup, hair colour, toothpaste and more (UK)
- Good Goth vegan goth fashion – yep. Vegan goth. (US)
- Ethical Wares – Vegan shoes, plus fair trade clothes and hemp products (UK)
- Freerangers vegan shoes (UK)
- My Vegan Shoes – fashionable vegan boots and shoes (UK)
- Alloy – good selection of non-leather shoes recommended by PETA (US)
- Chadwicks – Cool boots and shoes in man-made leather (US)
- Chinese Laundry – vegan section for gorgeous shoes (US)
- Crystalyn Kae – vegan handbags and belts (US)
- Delia’s – Good selection of nonleather shoes (US)
- Dimarzio – Non-leather guitar straps (US)
- Alternative Outfitters – Vegan boutique (US)
- Moo Shoes – Expensive but rocking vegan boots and shoes. Do a lovely 14 eye fake DM. (US)
- Pennangalan – Alternative/goth footwear. Check, as they do leather too.