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The Importance of Vegan Fashion and Cosmetics

This post features the importance of vegan fashion and cosmetics and why we should have a closer look at the products we purchase.

Sadly, we still exploit animals in so many different ways, even though there are plenty of alternatives nowadays. Whether it’s a pair of leather shoes, a down duvet, or a fur collar on a jacket – nothing of those can be produced without animal suffering. But everything can be easily replaced by an animal-free product.

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As you might know, both of us follow a plant-based diet since the beginning of 2019. For us, this was simply a logical step due to health benefits, animal welfare, and climate change. But we don’t want to stop changing our nutrition only. We always try to improve and optimize our behavior and become more responsible consumers.

Unfortunately, the fashion and cosmetics industries are still often neglected when it comes to animal rights. We need to start looking beyond the obvious and must also think about the impact we have when we purchase clothes, shoes, and cosmetics, etc.

WARNING: The linked videos in this blog post contain sensitive content that some people may find offensive or disturbing!

Food industry vs. fashion & cosmetic industry

Many people are already starting to overthink the origins of their food and the consequences of what they eat. It’s not a secret, that many animals get tortured in the conventional food industry. And it’s obvious that animals have to be slaughtered first to become a ready-to-eat steak.

The problem is that the fashion and cosmetic industries are as bad as the conventional agriculture industry regarding animal welfare. But who thinks of animal welfare when buying a pair of leather shoes, a down duvet or a make-up? Probably not as many as when it comes to food.

Our think-act-bias

The sad thing about it: actually, everybody knows about the cruelty happening every single day, but we (the consumers) are often still too convenient to change our habits accordingly. Why is that? Humans are creatures of habit. We are not endeavored to relinquish anything until we’re not personally and directly confronted with it.

But we don’t want to point the finger at anyone. We just want to show the truth and confront with showing the unpleasant, but in a decent way.

To make one thing clear in advance: we, the authors of this text, aren’t perfect neither. We still use a lot of products we purchased in the past, which probably caused harm to someone else. But we do our very best not to rebuy such products. Still, it doesn’t make sense to throw something away even though it’s still usable. Therefore we stand for continuous change and self-improvement. We never judge someone for anything. But we appeal to everyone to think about future purchases and to support brands and businesses with the same values.

In the following, we list different animal-based products and link to references and videos for a deeper look and better understanding of their production.

Fur

More than half the fur in the U.S. comes from China. For their fur, we bludgeon, hang, bleed to death and skin millions of animals, often vivacious.

Click here to see a 1-minute video by PETA about fur production.

Fur collar on a down jacket

Wool

Shearers are usually paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast work without any regard for the welfare of the sheep. This leads to frequent injuries, strips of skin, even teats, tails, and ears, are often cut or ripped off during shearing.

Click here to see a video about shearing practices.

Cute sheep looking in the camera

Leather

Leather can be made from cows, goats, pigs, and sheep, as well as from exotic animals such as alligators, ostriches, kangaroos, and even dogs and cats.

At slaughterhouses, animals normally have their throats cut before, but some are even skinned and dismembered while they are still conscious. This is caused by the pressure of time the slaughterers have due to the immense number of animals to be slaughtered.

This is a video of Stella McCartney speaking about leather production.

Brown leather chelsea boots of a man

Down and feather industry

Usually down and other feathers are removed from ducks and geese during slaughter. However, it also happens that birds in breeding flocks and poultry raised for meat and foie gras may be plucked repeatedly while they are still alive.

By buying down, you may also support the cruelty of the foie gras industry. To maximize their profits, producers of foie gras often also sell the feathers of force-fed ducks and geese.

This video of the organization PETA shows the cruelty behind the down and feather industry.

Down jackets with fur collar

Vegan cosmetic: Animal tests

By saying vegan cosmetics, we mean no animal-based ingredients and no animal tests. On products, it is proven with two different signs! The vegan label does not mean, that the product hasn’t been tested on animals and cruelty-free does not mean, that there are no animal-based ingredients inside!

Animal tests are a common way of testing pharmaceuticals and cosmetics for human purposes.

Products are primarily tested on mice, primates, rabbits, dogs, and cats. Not only are non-animal tests more humane, but they also have the potential to be cheaper, faster, and more relevant to humans.

Cruel animal tests on a cat
Source: PETA Animals Tests 101

Popular cosmetic brands that still test on animals are:

  • Garnier
  • Johnson&Johnson
  • Estee Lauder
  • Benefit
  • L’Oreal
  • Clarins
  • L’Occitane
  • LaRoche Posay and many more!

These lists of companies and brands with and without animal testing by PETA provide great help by choosing a cruelty-free product.

Fashion and cosmetic industry: the hidden cruelty

Due to the cruel treatment of animals, many people are already beginning to overthink their consumption of meat and other animal-based foods. But barely anybody is thinking of the animal suffering that is caused by leather, down, or cosmetics.

We don’t want to shock you – we want to show you the truth! Nowadays, it’s not necessary to test on animals or to wear real leather or fur. There are plenty of animal-free alternatives!

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