In a week which has seen sports giant Adidas launch a vegan training shoe in conjunction with the popular band, The Beastie Boys, we look at how vegans are embracing the total vegan lifestyle, including clothing.
The new Adidas shoe features canvas uppers and a cotton liner, with gum soles and the Beastie Boy logo on the tongue. A percentage of sales revenue will be donated to the US charities PEACE Sisters and Little Kids Rock, which promote the empowerment of young women. The shoes, which will be a limited edition, follow the collaboration between Adidas and Stella McCartney, who last year launched a vegan version of the famous Stan Smith tennis training shoe. Stella has a full range of vegan-friendly Adidas clothing available for the UK market.
At the time, Stella told Vogue Magazine “Many years ago, I was given a special pair of vegetarian leather Stan Smiths by my husband and Adidas. I could not help but think of how many animals’ lives could be saved if Stan Smith and Adidas would change from real leather to vegetarian leather, and use non-animal-based glues. We’ve been collaborating with Adidas for many years, so I thought this would be a great way to reach a really wide audience and enable them to understand that you don’t have to have leather shoes or animal-based glues in order to have an incredible, iconic product.”
It seems an obvious choice for vegans to only wear vegan-friendly clothing, and the range is increasing in high street and online stores. Bute Island Foods works closely with PETA UK, who on its website offers advice about the brands which are vegan and eco-friendly. It shows that veganism is not just about an animal-free diet, but is a total lifestyle choice, where clothing, cosmetics and household products containing any trace of animal products. This includes leather, fur, wool and silk, but the list is long as a huge range of animal products are traditionally used in the manufacturing of clothing.
Like factory farming in the food industry, animals raised for the manufacture of clothing are kept in activity and are slaughtered long before the end of their natural lives – which is abhorrent to vegans. Even sheep raised for wool can lead miserable lives, as the practice of “mulesing” (removing excess skin around the backside of a sheep) leads to exposed, raw tissue and even a lifetime of pain for the sheep.
We have seen that there is an increasingly large range of clothing available which are vegan-friendly, but what about the clothes in your wardrobe from your “pregan” (pre-vagan) days? This comes down to personal choice, and we are not ones to lecture on what you should be doing. Some vegans cannot bear to wear, or even have in the wardrobe, any clothing that contains animal products. Others feel that to throw them away is wasteful, although donating them to charity shops would be a double win. Whatever option you choose for your old clothes is up to you. We are individuals, and it’s all about living your own personal beliefs as best you can.
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