I am on the search for as much as possible sustainable vegan fashion items. As part of my cruelty-free lifestyle, I am avoiding animal-derived fabrics. On the other hand, I am avoiding plastic fabrics to reduce plastic consumption. I was asking myself what to buy then? Removing these two categories does not leave me many options.
Many times ethical people advise me to buy second-hand clothes. By doing so I won’t be paying for the creation of new plastic in the market. However, that solves only one part of plastic’s environmental issue. Every time one washes plastic fabrics, they release 700,000 microplastics in the ocean. So for plastic fabrics which you would need to wash regularly, buying second hand is not a great idea, in my opinion. However, for plastic-free vegan fabrics, it’s a great idea, if you don’t mind wearing clothes worn by a stranger. In my case, my use of second-hand clothes is limited to wearing my boyfriend’s old clothes. He was about to get rid of them away because of size. I wouldn’t wear something which was owned and worn by a stranger. That’s something in my head and has nothing to do with environmental issues.
Sustainable vegan fashion brands
I would love to support sustainable vegan fashion brands. However, I have two problems. First is that they are expensive for my budget. Since I am trying to find polyester-free bras, I was considering the option to look for one from a sustainable brand. As soon as the price caught my eye I had a shock. It was over €40. I would need to work at least 8hrs to afford it. The second problem is that till now I haven’t found a sustainable vegan fashion brand that offers my style of clothes. So I decided to just look for plastic-free vegan fabrics until I can afford it and until they start experimenting with more styles.
Plastic-free vegan fabrics (always check labels)
Since my primary school days, I had learned that cotton is a plant-based fabric. When the Arabs occupied Malta, they thought the Maltese how to grow this plant for clothes. I don’t know why and when did we Maltese stopped producing it. Cotton was the first material that I was considering as you find it more often than hemp, bamboo or any other material.
In Germany, big fashion brands such as C&A have started offering clothes made out of organic cotton. This made me happy as I can buy sustainable clothes from a popular fashion brand. However, whenever I check the label I get a bit disappointed. The reason is that although it is promoted as containing organic cotton, it does not mean that it’s 100% cotton. It could contain polyester and other plastic materials. What I also noticed is that C&A’s organic cotton items don’t write the “organic” or “bio” word on the label. They only write it in the packaging but on the product’s label is just percentage and “cotton” nothing else. So this trend did not save me from checking the labels.
Another plant-based fabric is linen. Linen is great for hot and humid weather. Maybe Malta could consider importing clothes made from such materials. You find linen a lot in fabrics for the home. I am currently considering buying linen napkins instead of paper napkins for when I have guests. Maybe dark coloured ones so that strong stains that don’t go, get hidden.
I was avoiding viscose for a while cause I have read that it’s chemically treated wood pulp. Since it’s partly synthetic, I was not going to accept it as environmentally-friendly. I am noticing that bamboo fabric falls under viscose and also viscose seems to be the artificial version of silk and velvet. So I added this to my list until I find a fully natural material as an alternative.
When to buy plastic-fabrics?
Although I am avoiding plastic fabrics, there is a rare case when I would allow myself to buy them. This is in the case I buy something that I am not intending to throw in the washing machine and that lasts years. For example my everyday handbag. It is a nylon Kipling Earthbeat S bag. It was above my budget for a handbag. However, I bought it to see if they were telling the truth about it lasting for many years. My previous cheap bags lasted from a month to a year. Also, I believe that a high price doesn’t always mean high quality. However, this bag did not disappoint as it will soon pass its second year. Whenever I stain my bag I just use a damp cloth to clean it and it goes away. It’s very surprising to me that it’s that simple to clean it. So yes in cases like my bag where it is made out of plastic material, lasts years and doesn’t need to go inside the washing machine, I would consider plastic materials. However, its by trial and error as you would not know who sells quality and who is just robbing us.
These are the sustainable vegan fashion tips I am following to try to live eco-friendly while moving forward with my vegan lifestyle.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored, pr or affiliate post. Although a brand is mentioned in the post I did not receive any form of payment for it.