Today we are talking about important topic closely related to cruelty free fashion: cruelty free (or vegan) accessories. We will answer the most frequently asked questions, but if after reading the article you still have questions, please contact us, and we will be happy to answer your questions.
Let's start with the basics - by accessories we mean: gloves, hats, belts, scarves, sunglasses, socks and ties. Then we also have jewellery, watches and other little things that aren't important here.
Cruelty free accessories do not use animal-based materials and this is as clear as it is trivial. What not everyone knows is that in order to define an accessory as "really" cruelty free it must comply with further conditions, which are often underestimated even by those who follow a vegan lifestyle.
Using alternative animal-based materials is without any doubt the first step for a fashion brand that wants to produce without harming animals of any kind. But this is not enough, not today. A cruelty free product must also respect the environment during all stages of production because it would make no sense to replace animal-based materials with others that pollute the planet.
Polluting materials cause damage to the ecosystem, including animals. That is why the choice of materials to be used/purchased must not be based only on their origin (plant, animal, synthetic), but must go further by assessing the environmental impact caused by the material itself and its various phases of processing.
Buying cruelty free accessories is a choice that can make a difference in the animal world. In fact, in fashion the use of animal-based materials is still widespread, although it is has been decreasing in recent years thanks to the many awareness campaigns launched by animal welfare associations on an international level.
As it is particularly difficult to recognize a cruelty free accessory that is at the same time eco-friendly. We at Slow Nature are here to help you understand the various labels (certifications). We also want to teach you how to recognize eco-friendly textiles: a key aspect when it comes to vegan clothing.
It's important to understand it's no longer enough to give up buying leather, wool, silk, feathers or fur accessories to consider yourself a supporter of cruelty free fashion.
Cruelty free accessories can be defined as such when they have textile certifications guaranteeing there are no animal-based materials in the product, as well as any form of animal exploitation during production. The 4 most famous international labels (certifications) are:
We said that in order to define an accessory as cruelty free there needs to be at least one of these certifications, as these are also guarantees - though only in part - that eco-friendly materials have been used.
Ideally you would be able to buy these accessories made with bio materials (biodegradable or compostable). Or made with natural fabrics, such as organic cotton and hemp. Even with synthetic materials, yes - but created by recycled plastic, for example. Even the latest-generation leather imitations use natural raw materials - usually by-products/shavings from other industries - to create substitute materials for leather with similar characteristics but with a much lower environmental impact.
Of the various materials on the market, the following ones are among the most sustainable to make cruelty free accessories. Bio materials (biodegradable or compostable), such as pineapple, wine, apple, wood and mango skin imitations. Others are biodegradable because they are 100% natural, such as organic cotton, hemp and cork. Other synthetic materials are not bio-based, but we can call them eco-friendly because they are derived from recycled raw materials, Econyl and Newlife.
We know they are all cruelty free, but it is also true that some pollute more and others less. Often they have certifications that attest to being produced with a low carbon footprint, and it is good to choose these over others.
Certainly you would need to know each of them to understand which one is better than the other but broadly speaking, since there are no studies in the field that can compare them, they can be good enough to make a sustainable choice.
Unfortunately certified cruelty free accessories are not very popular compared to cruelty free clothing, bags and shoes. Usually fashion brands that feature bags or cruelty free shoes in their collections always add in some small accessories made with the same material.
Because it is not a very attractive "niche market" for big brands there are many handmade accessories on the market at the moment. We believe there is only a very small number of industrially produced cruelty free accessories. On the one hand it is better this way. Usually when you increase the numbers too high you lose many of the fundamental values on which the brand itself was founded.
We believe that the answer to this question can be found in every line of this article: cruelty free accessories are important to protect the animal kingdom.
In recent years we have killed most of the animals in the wild, not to mention those on intensive farms. The textile industry is largely responsible for these tragic events but unlike the livestock industry, fashion could well do without them. Killing for clothes was fine centuries ago but today it makes no sense at all.
We are all growing more aware today, but not all of us are able to change our shopping habits.
Would you like to buy cruelty free products? Slow Nature is the right place to come as we offer an exclusive cruelty free accessories selection on our website.
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