Wool, Fur, and Cashmere: Surviving Cold Temperatures Without Non-Vegan Materials


We all vegans have experienced this sometime before: the winter comes or we are going to visit (or live in) a very cold country, so we realize that we must buy appropriate wear. What happens then? We find boots and coats made of heat-efficient materials like wool, fur, and cashmere, materials that aren’t exactly vegan, conscious, or cruelty-free. They don’t fit our beliefs.

These three materials and many others involve inhumane practices to be produced. Millions of animals suffer terrible treatments and very often find the end of their lives because of the demand of these materials. Is it worth it? It isn’t, really.

However, we feel like our hands are tied up when the time of getting the right clothes for cold weather finally comes. Many vegans in cold countries probably feel quite identified with this situation. Fortunately, there are options.

The Winter Can Be Tough

Alternative to woolIndeed, wool, fur, and cashmere are some of the very best materials when it comes to winter clothing. These materials have the capability to keep us warm and most specialized brands use them widely in their products, even for cases of extreme environments. What we often see are coats, thick ones made of animal by-products.

That’s why there are many vegans who are buying these products: because they get the job done. Yes, some vegans have chosen to work only on their diet but they still prefer this type of clothing... but it is not the way to go for fully-committed vegans that also do not support cruelty-free practices.

Cruelty-Free Alternatives

Now let’s talk about the materials that vegans can look after without worrying. Indeed, there are many options to consider. While these are less popular or known, they exist and you don’t have to suffer in order to buy coats, boots, gloves or caps made of these materials. The online offer of these products is generous.

For example, we have such materials as natural hemp, organic cotton, recycled fibers, cruelty-free feathers, and beech tree fiber. A few as natural hemp and organic cotton are getting widely popular and most vegans who care about their clothing probably know these materials. Others as beech tree fiber or recycled fibers are still working their way up.

One interesting case is the cruelty-free feathers one. The feathers used by most brands come from terrible and unconscious processes where the bird gets violently skinned in order to retrieve the feathers. Other practices involve forced feeding, which unfortunately is something usual in the food industry as well (think of Fois Gras). However, cruelty-free feathers come from companies that give a very different treatment to birds, one where they don’t get violently treated nor skinned alive.

In fact, the way these companies get cruelty-free feathers is by waiting for the bird to molt its feathers, which is a natural, organic process. Once retrieved, the feathers go under a disinfection treatment that makes them perfect for use in clothing. They are also popular for pillows and bed sheets.

The Industry’s Future

If you look further in the options vegans have for cold weather clothing, you will find extraordinary initiatives that make the most of technology in order to support environmental efforts. For example, there have been huge advancements in the manufacture of synthetic spider silk. This extremely strong and resistant silk is now available and it’s being used in different industries.

However, we mention it because vegan brands are also using it for cold weather clothing. Its properties provide outstanding resistance against low temperature, among other perks. Just like the natural silk made by spiders, this material can stretch several times, providing great possibilities in the fashion industry.

The apparition of eco-friendly synthetic spider silk means that many other materials may be replaced soon. In the meanwhile, researches continue to work on this and several others alternatives that will probably supersede the materials we consider unconscious in the near future.

The Bottom Line

There are enough options for vegans these days. Maybe you are limiting your lifestyle changes to the way you eat. However, if you want to go the extra mile for a cruelty-free world, choosing conscious brands with superb, eco-friendly materials may be the right thing to do.

Shopping online can be the solution for those living in cold countries with a more limited offering of these clothing products. You can always go with the materials cited above and experience yourself how they can help you to keep you warm during the uncomfortable winter.

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