Regardless of your reason for transitioning to a vegan lifestyle—whether it’s because of ethical or health reasons—we can’t deny that it’s always going to be hard. Going the traditional route is more convenient and easily accessible, not to mention the social consequences. Not everyone can understand our new choices. But the good news is that as long as your reasons are clear, then there’s no reason why you can’t commit to this decision.
If you have recently decided to go vegan in your diet, clothing must be next on the list of your priorities. Here is a step-by-step guide to transitioning to vegan clothing.
What is vegan fashion?
Vegan fashion is any item of clothing or accessory that is sustainable, ethically sourced, and animal-free. This means that no animals were harmed in their creation and that the planet will suffer no negative consequences for their sourcing. While no one company will be perfect in all their operations, many have pledged to provide vegan clothing to consumers who want it.
Cherish your vegan pieces of clothing
If you already have pieces of clothing that check all the boxes for the vegan checklist, then there is nothing more sustainable and green than cherishing what you already have. While making a scan of your closet, make sure to keep all your clothes that were not made from animal abuse and were sustainably created.
Get rid of your non-vegan clothes in increments
Just because you’re getting a lifestyle overhaul doesn’t mean you need to go cold turkey. Now might be a good time to unclutter your closet, sure, but having the goal of getting rid of everything all at once might cause too much pressure and too big of a burden that might discourage you from going through with it.
If you have accumulated too many clothes—especially those that may not carry the vegan tag—don’t pressure yourself into getting rid of them. Do it in increments. Set realistic goals, like getting rid of your tops for the first month, then the bottoms for the second month, then coats for the third month, and so forth. Setting smaller and doable goals like this will motivate you to achieve them in less time.
When getting rid of your old clothes, make sure they go to a new home. Donate them to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or to women’s shelters—especially ones that still look good.
Sustainable can still be stylish
When looking for new clothing alternatives, you don’t need to fall into the lie that vegan clothing is dull or less stylish than its non-vegan counterparts. You can also still find ways to let your unique personality shine by designing your own shirts or having a professional create gorgeous designs for you.
Avail of garment or T-shirt print screening services that are vegan, especially if you aim for water-based inks since they are more eco-friendly. Since more brands are pledging to use sustainable cotton by 2025, you don’t need to look far and wide for stylish options that are still in line with your values and priorities.
Opt for durability and good quality
Nothing says sustainable more than investing in a few quality pieces that you know will last you for a long time. The fast-fashion options may be cheaper and may look cute, but they will only end up in a landfill after a few holes and a few years of wear and tear.
Durable and high-quality pieces may cost more upfront. But if you can create a capsule wardrobe filled with stunning basics that you can mix and match for any occasion, you have everything you need without having to invest in a big closet or hundreds of pieces that you will never wear anyway.
Make a list of sustainable and vegan brands
Like everything in life that involves choices that will affect our health and finances, you need to do thorough research to ensure that you will only be patronizing brands truly living out what they proclaim. This includes scouring the websites of clothing brands that claim to be vegan.
You can also check customer reviews and news articles about their founders and designers. It may seem like a lot of work. But if you’re serious about this advocacy, your money needs to go to corporations that are sincere in their pledge and true to their word.
Switching to a vegan closet may be hard work, but it can be fulfilling. Stand tall with your convictions and let them influence your sartorial choices.