Reader Request: Vegan Picks

Rebekahasked:

What about a post of fun vegan clothes and accessories? It’s not all hemp and caftans, I swear.

Indeed! I am not vegan myself, but have been consistently impressed by the vegan-friendly offerings on the market in recent years. My understanding is that truly vegan clothing and accessories include absolutely no animal products whatsoever: No wool, silk, down, leather, fur, feathers, nothing. So that means man-made materials, cotton, linen, rayon, and other plant-based fibers are all fair game. (Other materials I’m missing? Do tell!)

Here are some of my current faves, and I hope you vegan readers will chime in with more recommendations, too.

Anything by Prairie Underground

Prairie Underground Prairie Hoodie – $253

The photo of me up top shows the Long Cloak Hoodie, but I’m equally enamored of this Prairie Hoodie. And also EVERYTHING Prairie Underground makes. Prairie Underground is a company that creates clothing in small batches from materials that include organic cotton farmed sustainably and remnant/salvaged fabrics. Their garments are designed and ethically made in Seattle. So THAT’S a big boatload of awesome. And, of course, their designs are fun, flattering, comfortable, versatile, unique, and utterly gorgeous. I am perfectly comfortable with my raving fangirl status, thankyouverymuch.

And yes, $250 is a lot of money for a hoodie. Here’s how often I’ve worn mine. They’re investment pieces, but well worth the investment if you love them and will put them to good use during the cold months.

Chuck Taylors

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star – $45

Perhaps an obvious pick, but Chuck Taylors are SUCH a classic I just had to throw ’em in. Not a practical shoe for most workplaces and not renowned for arch support, but fabulous for casual, funky, dressed-down weekend looks. Love them in red, but they come in a marvelous rainbow of colors.

Ponte knits

 

Calvin Klein Five Pocket Ponte Pant – $69.50

I’ve sung the praises of ponte before, but allow me a reprise: Ponte is a double-knit interlock fabric that has stability and firmness in addition to flexibility and softness. This means it can be used in dresses, blazers, and more structured pieces and hold its shape but still maintain comfort and give. Best of both worlds, no? And most of the versions available now are cotton/synthetic blends, like the skinny pants shown above.

Karina Dresses

Karina Dresses Marisa – $160

You’ve seen me in my own Karina dresses – including the very one pictured above – and they are among the most comfortable, flattering, wrinkle-proof, adorable dresses I own. Plus, since they’re made from a stretchy microfiber, they’re 100% vegan!

Bella Brand Tees and Knits

Bella Stitched Long Sleeve Boatneck – $5.46 – $15.99

I consider Bella to be my personal American Apparel alternative, as the quality and cuts are similar but the brand is less smarmy/offensive overall. Sizing is a bit closer to the mall-store standard – I’m a size 8 dress, and take mediums – but still on the smaller side. Bella makes quality cottons in loads of colors and a mind-blowing number of styles. I own tons of their tanks and tees, and nabbed them all on Amazon for $3 to $5 apiece. BAHGAIN.

Ida Clark Bootie

John Fluevog Ida Clark Bootie – $228

 Fluevog typically stocks at least a few vegan options, but they seem to be running low at this time. The Ida Clark is from a few seasons ago, and the version shown is the only non-animal one: Canvas, chambray, and man-made soles. Aren’t you swooning over that darling heel? And the buttons? Ach. Love.

Matt & Nat Bags

Matt & Nat Plush Marvel – $124.99

There are tons of good-looking faux leather bags out there, but Matt & Nat consistently design edgy, colorful, fun bags that make the question of materials utterly irrelevant. Their wallets and satchels have been on my lust list for ages. I especially love their use of hardware and embellishment.

olsenHaus Shoes

olsenHaus Paris Pump– $80.38

This brand’s tagline says it all: PURE VEGAN. And they have some of the most gorgeously styled pumps, wedges, and flats I’ve seen this season in a gorgeous array of colors. olsenHaus also goes in for the sculptural, so there are some magnificent sandals in the mix, too, though woefully few boots.

I realize that most of these are on the spendy side, but I assume you know where to get cotton knickers, jeans, and basics. There are plenty of vegan-friendly options available at big box stores – PVC shoes and bags, knits and chinos, metal jewelry and belts – but since many aren’t designed for long-term use, they may show wear after short amount of time. A generalization with exceptions, of course, but one I’ve found to be true through personal experience. The brands and styles I’ve recommended are, to my knowledge, completely free of animal byproducts, made from high-quality materials, and beautifully designed. The only brand here I haven’t worn, handled, or personally dealt with is olsenHaus, but having read many reviews I feel comfortable vouching for that brand as a good one.

But, clearly, this is merely the tip of the iceberg! So, vegan readers (and readers who know of vegan resources): Let’s hear from you! Favorite brands? Websites? Styles? Where do you shop for stylish, vegan-friendly pieces?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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  • Jamie

    Hi Sal,

    One site I’ve used before is http://www.mooshoes.com for shoes, bags, clothing, etc. I’ve never been to the physical store in NYC, but I do hope to get there one day!

  • I just bought a vegan winter coat from Vaute Couture. If you try to order now, a lot of her stuff is sold out and prices are high. If you order them in early fall the preorder prices are similar to what you’d pay for a nice wool coat at a department store, and my coat is very nice (and water resistant, and warm, and yet does not look like it came from Merv’s Outdoor Outfitters).

  • Becky

    Thanks for the vegan post, Sal!

    Doc Martens has a couple vegan options, including their classic boot in both black and a gorgeous cherry red. http://www.dmusastore.com/p-3753-vegan-1460.aspx

  • Thanks Sal – these are great sites you’re linking to, and some are brand-new-to-me. I am loving the olsenHaus shoes collection. I also like Big Buddha vegan bags a lot. I’m a vegetarian when it comes to food, but I do still wear leather shoes and bags, so I am working it out.

    • Tara

      Patti, I was a very strict vegan for over 15 years and didn’t wear ANY leather, wool, etc. In the last couple of years it occurred to me that much of my shoe/belt/bag collection was made of non-biodegradable PVC. Filling landfills is also no good for animals, so this made me rethink my stance, especially since after moving to MN with all of the salt used in the winter, my boots weren’t lasting longer than a season. Since mulling it over, I’ve decided that it’s better for animals/the planet in general to stick to biodegradable vegan options when possible of to buy used/recycled leather/wool items that will last longer and stay out of the landfill. Just an option I thought I would through out. It’s not perfect, but it’s where I’ve currently landed.

  • Tara

    Thanks for the great post, Sal! I have LOTS to say on this topic!

    Of your picks, my favorite are Matt and Nat bags. After owning several, I am an avid supporter! I also echo Patti’s recommendation for Big Buddha bags. Other vegan bag options I love: Susan Nichole (http://susannichole.com/) and Queen Bee (http://www.queenbee-creations.com/).

    Vegan shoes: I also love Chuck Taylors and Vans for casual wear. Here are some great sites/brands as well: Alternative Outfitters (http://www.alternativeoutfitters.com), Bourgeois Boheme (http://www.bboheme.com/), Moo Shoes (http://www.mooshoes.com/), Vegetarian Shoes (http://www.vegetarian-shoes.co.uk/), LuLu’s (http://www.lulus.com), Zappos (you can sort on vegetarian shoes) and Endless (you can also sort on vegetarian shoes) and for summertime: Mohops! (http://mohop.com/).

    Warm vegan coats can be tricky to find. North Face always makes a PrimaLoft (down alternative also great for comforters) coat that is cute and warm. I have one in magenta that I love from last year. Here are this year’s versions: http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/sc-gear/womens-redpoint-opus-jacket.html?parent_category_rn=&cm_vc=Search and http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/sc-gear/womens-makalu-insulated-jacket.html?parent_category_rn=&cm_vc&variationId=190. Patagonia has a really cute PrimaLoft coat this year too: http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/womens-nano-puff-jacket?p=84215-0-194&pcc=1128. Patagonia is also a great place to find organic cotton dresses, tops, pants, etc.

    I also have recommendations for vegan hair care, make-up, make-up brushes, cleaning products, facial products and pretty much anything else under the sun.

  • Love, love, love the long cloak hoodie! Good color for you 🙂

  • Jennifer

    I second Queen Bee – they have such cute stuff and I always get compliments on the ones I own. I generally make an exception for the occasional, well-made leather shoes and boots, but I don’t see the need for leather handbags when such great options exist.

  • pope suburban

    ModCloth routinely gets adorable vegan heels and boots in. You can’t sort by that, but they are really good about putting “vegan” in the description. It’s fun vegan fashion on a budget, which I’m sure everyone can dig.

  • As an engineer, Converse are totally appropriate! My favorite pair are navy so it’s got this whole you-can’t-tell-where-my-jeans-end-and-shoes-start leg lengthening things going on.

    But probably the same cannot be said if you’re a lawyer or something that’s just not as much fun…

  • Lovely! I am so glad to read this. I often find that when shopping vegan it’s waaay expensive to look as good as nonvegan.

    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge I’m having a giveaway…

  • Hannah

    Saucony makes great classic sneakers in vegan versions! I can’t wear Converse because of the lack of arch support, but the Sauconys fix that problem. You can find them on Amazon, my favorite is the Bullet.

  • Wait, there’s vegan clothing? I had no idea… Wow. That’s kind of cool!

  • Latha

    Other vegan fabric options are jute (more contemporary jute bags, vests, and jewelry are fab and not drab) and bamboo.

  • Lanie

    This is a good review! I am veg, but not vegan. I have never been able to reliably find vegan shoes in large sizes (I wear an 11) besides cheap, plasticky box-stores ones, which I buy if I want a trendy style. I buy some secondhand shoes, when I can find them, and otherwise only buy leather shoes that I know I will keep for years and years (I know vegans don’t consider this an option). If anyone has sources for size 11+ ethically-produced vegan shoes, I would love to know!

    • Tara

      My best friend is vegan has has size 11 shoes and she gets most of her footwear via Moo Shoes. They always have high quality shoes and most if not all of their women’s shoes go to size 11.

  • Thanks for the post! 😀

    I’ve found that Simple Shoes and Toms have some cute casual shoe options… Formal shoes are a little harder, though. There’s a lot of fake leather out there, but I don’t know about the glue they use and such…

  • Whoooooooooooooooooo! Thank you, Sal!

    Another non-stodgy vegan option: Melissa shoes!

    I’ve got a couple of faux leather Steve Madden belts that look good and have held up beautifully.

  • I adore Matt & Nat bags! I have 3 of them, all second-hand (including a rubber ampersand bucket bag that I thrifted for $4.00).

    Fluevog usually does about 4 vegan styles a season.

  • I live in my Tom’s shoes, have jute, cotton black and Navy and a cotton stripe. I love the concept that buying these shoes also gives a pair to a needy child.

    ps. I also have the red chucks…gotta love them!

  • Sally – thank you so much for doing this feature. As someone who eats a vegan diet and aspires to take veganism to other parts of my lifestyle, this was super helpful. As for additional brands – I have been really happy with bamboo clothing (some favorites: TranquiliT, Even Keel and Five Bamboo) but to be honest, have also deferred making purchases until I can find better vegan options for things like coats. I missed the pre-order window at Vaute so am holding off until next year for a coat, and, in the meantime, replaced my long down coat (which was too big on account of me losing weight and had also worn out) with a Lululemon mid length coat/jacket that is all polyester and Primaloft.

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  • Jenny

    Another thank you for doing this post! It’s so cool of you to think of us vegans!
    I have trouble because I can’t usually afford the better-made brands, except when I save up (which I did for a clearance Matt and Nat purse that I love). So I just keep wearing old pieces (vegan or “pre-gan”), buy the cheap stuff (Target shoes and the like), which I don’t feel great about, or buy non-vegan stuff from the thrift store. I have also inherited some leather shoes from friends and family who don’t wear them anymore. I figure that it’s better to extend the life of animal materials already circulating than to endanger my budget… But it’s a very tricky dance and does turn every purchase into an ethical dilemma, which can get a bit exhausting. So lists like this help for when I do have the occasion to buy something new. Thanks again!

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  • Vic

    great post. Found you through the Jaunty Dame… i didn’t know about some of these vegan brands. i need to look into these in more detail! If anyone might be looking for a more in depth look at vegan shoes and non leather bags, I have an article on my vegan blog called “where to buy vegan shoes online” you can check out. http://marthaflatley.wordpress.com/the-best-sources-on-the-web-for-vegan-shoes/

  • bethany

    http://www.keepcompany.com has the best vegan shoes ever. They have lots of sales, which is how I can afford them. Whenever I wear their sneakers I get tons of compliments.

  • Charlotte

    Check out the Twin Cities’ own vegan boutique, Ethique Nouveau, at 317 W 48th St. in Minneapolis for handbags, selected shoes and boots, scarves, hoodies and tees, jewelry from local artists, bath and body products, and many, many other animal-friendly items. http://www.ethiquenouveau.com