Veganism is a lifestyle that strays away from all animal products, it’s not just a diet choice. This means that sometimes you have to reconsider everyday objects, and research if they are appropriate gifts for a vegan friend. We know it’s hard to be on top of everything, so here are a few things that you might want to avoid when you’re buying presents for your vegan loved ones:
Clothing & jewelry
This one should be obvious, but it’s important to remember that leather isn’t just used in jackets and bags – it can also be found in shoes, wallets, belts, and basically anywhere else you would expect to see fabric. So before getting that fancy jacket for your vegan friend this holiday season, check the material!
TIP: If you’re buying jeans or pants, always check that they don’t have a leather patch on the back with their brand name. It’s really unfortunate that some manufacturers like Levi’s or Wrangler decide to make jeans —a fully vegan piece of clothing, made of cotton— unavailable for vegans because of the patches they add.
It’s no secret that silk comes from silkworm larvae. However, what most people don’t know is that the worms die after they have finished making your favorite piece of clothing. Their cocoons are removed, boiled, and used to create silk fibers.
One of the biggest misconceptions about wool is that it can actually be harvested without harming sheep. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as sheep are some of the most abused animals in food production (second only to chickens). Because they are typically bred for their wool, they are often subjected to mutilation and fleece-pulling.
TIP: Cashmere also comes from animals (goats instead of sheep), so it is not a vegan alternative. Try to find options made of cotton!
Did you know that pearls are not vegan? It’s true! Natural and cultured pearls are both taken from oyster shells.
Shoes are a little bit of a gray area because, aside from knowing if they’re made of leather or not, it’s a little hard to know if they are vegan. The main problem with shoes is… glue. Believe it or not, the glue used to stick shoe soles is many times derived from animals.
TIP: World of Vegan has a whole guide on shoes and where to get them.
Giving a vegan friend down pillows and comforters can seem like a great idea, but
it’s not. Sure, geese aren’t actually killed in the process of obtaining their feathers, but it is never cruelty-free. In order to get the best quality down you can imagine, they are plucked and suffer through the entire process.
TIP: Synthetic bedding can be even more comfortable than down bedding, and in most cases, it’s cheaper! Many companies have eco-friendly options that don’t harm the environment.
Many types of beauty products contain animal products. If you’re buying makeup or skincare for a vegan friend, make sure you check the label and look for both “vegan” and “cruelty-free”, or search for the brand name on PETA’s database.
TIP: Brands can sometimes sneak animal products into their formulas! You can use this handy list that we compiled to double-check the ingredients on the back of the packaging.
You might think that wines are a safe gift, especially if you’re going over for dinner or drinks. However, some wines and beers are clarified with fish bladders, bone marrow, casein, and gelatin!
TIP: You can search this database to check if the wine you want to buy is vegan-friendly.
Remember, this is by no means an exhaustive list of vegan-unfriendly clothing products. Rather, this is meant as a guide to help you be a responsible and compassionate gift-giver. The good thing is that at Ntdf.* we offer curated products that are all ethical and vegan! You can shop for your vegan friends with peace of mind 🌿