Many animal-lovers struggle with this issue. You're a vegetarian, or perhaps even a vegan, and choosing not to eat food products borne out of a cruel industry was not easy, but not impossible. But when it comes to clothes and shoes, it's a whole other ballpark. Leather is pretty much used by most high fashion companies. And like other industries that rely on the death and suffering of other sentient creatures, the leather industry is often cruel. Every year, millions of cows, sheep, pigs, goats, and even dogs are slaughtered for their skin and fur. Castrated, branded, and skinned, all without the use of anesthetics, these animals often suffer and bleed to death. All this suffering for a pair of leather shoes, or a luxury designer handbag. Is it really worth it? So, if you're asking how you can further eliminate the use of animal products in your life, here is a list of incredibly fashionable, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly companies you can buy your clothes and shoes from!
Treat yoself! Happy cruelty-free shopping ?
15 Stella McCartney
As one of the world’s first vegetarian luxury brands, Stella McCartney deserves to be right at the start of this list. You won’t find skin, leather, fur or feathers in any of her products, and fortunately, you never will. They’ve always stuck by and lived in alignment with their belief that no animal should give their life for fashion. Just because they don’t sell real leather shoes, doesn’t mean you can only expect cheap synthetic ones that fall apart days after wearing them. No, Stella McCartney’s clothing, shoes, and accessories are all lavishly luxurious and of the finest quality, proving that you don’t have to settle… ever. Her stuff is so good that you won’t be able to tell the difference between a real pair of leather shoes and Stella McCartney’s vegan counterparts. The only down side to McCartney’s line is its steep price tags. It’s not exactly what you’d call affordable.
14 Matt & Nat
Matt & Nat, founded in 1995, stands for material + nature. In other words, this vegan brand never uses animal products… full stop. As well as being vegan, they also use sustainable materials such as rubber and cork, which are constantly sourced to ensure their sustainability. Their motto is "Live Beautifully," and living beautifully means appreciating nature and humanity. Right from the start Matt & Nat refused to use any animal-based materials in their designs and it gets better. Since 2007, they’ve also made linings using only 100% recycled plastic bottles. You can find their fantastic collections in boutiques across the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia, Germany, and Japan. Their bags are cool, sophisticated and as far away from animal cruelty as you can get. If you’re a genuine animal lover, choose Matt & Nat. They are total animal loving heroes. If you want to support an ethical brand, support these guys!
Founded by Elizabeth Olsen in 2008, Olsenhaus is another leading vegan fashion brand. Their mission was to "merge passions for design, fashion, function and being a voice for animals, the environment, transparent business practices and unwavering values in ethical and social responsibilities." Today, you can find this line sold in 16 countries at select retailers including Barneys, Fred Segal, Nordstrom, Amazon, and Ron Herman. And it’s also a brand favored by stars like Anne Hathaway, Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Emily Deschanel (to name a few). Shoes are their forte, but they plan on expanding to design clothing as well. However, you are guaranteed to love their shoes – they are beautiful, luxurious, and above all, cruelty-free. If you’re a shoe lover, you will simply adore Olsenhaus. Elizabeth Olsen, the woman behind the brand, is a total animal lover who has a keen eye for elite vegan shoes. You will love her shoe range.
12 Free People
Since 2011, this boho-chic clothing line has had an entire collection of vegan leather. So if you love leather but don’t want to wear the real stuff which is just, well, plain cruel, then opt for Free People’s amazing vegan leather range – it’s amazing, honestly. Free People have been going for decades now and they really are a great company. Their line sells in over 1,400 specialty stores throughout the world including Bloomingdales and Nordstrom. You can, of course, also purchase their products online too. The great thing is, their vegan leather is so good, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the fake stuff and the real stuff. Isn’t that great? So you don’t have to compensate at all when you buy vegan leather. Free People really is the place to be free and clothe yourself freely, in a way that is totally liberating. Free People is everybody’s favorite.
11 Beyond Skin
Born in 2001, Beyond Skin’s main philosophy is that no humans, animals, or children and harmed during the making of their vegan shoes. They make their shoes with heart and they believe fashion and ethics should go hand in hand. Well, we can’t say we don’t agree – we sure do! Not only are their fabrics cruelty-free, they are also eco-friendly, and sourced from reputable, ethical suppliers. And to make it even better, they give 1 percent of their profits to grass-roots social and environmental projects. If that’s not a good enough reason to go buy their shoes, we don’t know what will be. All of their shoes are made in sunny Spain, but they are based in Brighton, UK, and if you order a pair of shoes online, you get free delivery worldwide. Beyond Skin is Beyond Brilliant (see what I did there? I'll just see myself out now...) and once you get a hold of their gorgeous shoes, you will see why.
Most of us have heard of H&M but did you know that they are also committed to making sustainable, cruelty-free clothing? Yep, that’s right. We’re over the moon about it too! Animal welfare and sustainability are important to H&M, which is why they only source the best suppliers for their stores. However, there is a loophole. While they don’t sell real fur, they do sell leather from goats, pigs, and sheep that have been bred for meat consumption. So steer clear of their leather! As for their wool policy, they only sell mulesing-free merino wool. So, ok, sadly, H&M aren’t that perfect but they are getting there, and hopefully soon, they’ll scrap real leather from their line too. In the meantime, don’t buy their leather. The good news, however, is that a high street brand is going vegan and getting more ethical by the time minute. Fingers crossed they’ll go completely vegan on us soon!
9 Nicora Johns
Nicora Johns believe that the most remarkable women are those who want to change the world and that starts by wearing the kind of shoes that don’t cause the deaths of animals, or the destruction of the environment. Vegan shoes, in other words. And that’s exactly what Nicora offers: high quality vegan shoes. Made with eco-friendly, luxury fabrics that are recycled, durable, and breathable. Neither animals, or the environment are exploited to make these shoes. Shoe lovers, shop your heart out, because Nicora Johns shoes are some of the best luxury vegan shoes you will ever find and perfectly affordable, too. This is yet another fashion designer who proves that you don’t have to compensate on quality with vegan leather. You are guaranteed to love these shoes. Everybody always worries that they’ll never get good quality vegan leather, but with Nicora Johns there’s no doubt about it, you’ll get the best.
8 Animal Behavior
The clothing brand Animal Behavior combines eco-fashion and conservation. "Inspired by nature to protect nature," the designers at Animal Behavior chooses an endangered species, like the Amur Leopard, creates a collection that uses that animal as its main theme, and donates 5 percent of every sale to panthera.org. All of their clothing is natural and eco-friendly to ensure the conservation of animal habitats too. Their clothes are absolutely beautiful and all inspired by wildlife, so if you love animals, you will absolutely adore their clothing. It’s stunning. It’s also great to know that with every product you buy, 5 percent of it will go to charity, in a bid to help wildlife. Now… it sounds, like it’s time to start shopping. At least you are doing it for a good cause this time. So if you want to do your bit for the planet and its inhabitants, feel free to have a splurge. Hey, you’re doing it for a good cause, after all.
If you’re looking for high fashion with zero cruelty, Gunas is the brand to choose. Started in 2009, Gunas is an independent fashion label founded by designer and animal lover, Sugandh G. Agrawal. This 100 percent vegan handbag brand is America’s first and it should be your first choice when you’re looking for cruelty-free handbags. From totes, to satchels, from backpacks, to wallets, Gunas offers bags to suit your mood and style. So you can look and feel good without animals having to be harmed. For many people, a designer leather handbag is pure luxury. But in order to make that handbag, an animal – or more – has had to suffer and die in a horrific way. Is a handbag really worth it? Shouldn’t fashion be fun and ethical and friendly? That’s what Gunas believes. So if you love handbags opt for Gunas and get animal-friendly. Nobody has to die for these handbags.
6 Dr. Martens
Did you know Dr. Martens offer one hundred percent vegan footwear? Yep, that’s right. Earth-friendly and animal-friendly, Dr. Martens offers stylish yet ethical footwear that is fabulous quality. So if you are seeking high quality footwear, Dr. Martens offers some great vegan options. Two of the most definitive styles are the 8-eye boot and 3-eye shoe. Made with vegan-friendly, synthetic materials, these shoes are high quality, stylish and cruelty-free. In other words, they are more than ideal for the animal and earth lover. So you can kiss goodbye to real leather. When you have these Dr. Martens vegan shoes, you will hardly be able to tell the difference. They are THAT good. Even better, they aren’t too far out of your price range so you won’t have to get yourself in debt to buy a pair. So if you are feeling wild, get yourself a pair of vegan Dr. Martens.
5 Sydney Brown
Sydney Brown is a luxury footwear label that offers the benefit of ethical and sustainable production. Founded by Sydney Brown, an American designer, the label was created with the intention of providing luxury that would be produced in an ethical, environmentally-friendly way. This designer believes that you don’t have to compromise style for the sake of the environment. Instead, work with it. And that is exactly what this brand does. Sydney Brown shoes are all made using eco-friendly materials such as recycled uppers, coconut insoles and reclaimed wooden soles. You won’t find any animal skins used in this label. Everything is cruelty-free and 100% ethical. Contrary to popular belief, real leather doesn’t necessarily mean quality. You can get quality footwear without using animal skins and Sydney Brown proves it. Their footwear is luxurious, high quality and absolutely beautiful. You’ll feel like a million dollars wearing their shoes and a lot more compassionate too.
4 Vaute Couture
Forget Haute Couture, Vaute Couture is the more desirable. Known as the world’s first all-vegan fashion brand, Vaute Couture is a totally ethical, cruelty-free brand, ideal for animal lovers. Founded by Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, in 2009, Vaute Couture is a luxury fashion brand with celebrity fans such as Alicia Silverstone, Emily Deschanel, and Angela Kinsey. You can get a beautiful fur coat from Vaute Couture, only without any animal fibers. This brand is all about innovation. They create fantastic, luxurious pieces without using any animal products at all. This means no animal has to suffer or die to create a Vaute Couture coat or handbag. You get quality, without cruelty, with this incredible brand. Fashion and animal lovers: eat your heart out. This is the number one destination for clothes shopping. If you love animals as much as you say you do, don’t look elsewhere. Look at Vaute Couture – they are the best.
3 Melissa McCarthy Seven7
Actress Melissa McCarthy set up a clothing line last year called Melissa McCarthy Seven7. And guess what? The entire line is vegan, animal-friendly and PETA-approved. Wahoo! So this is yet another beautiful brand to add to your compassionate clothing list. Even better news, this line is perfect for any woman of any size. So you do not have to be a certain size to look good in any of their clothing. It’s definitely worth a look. They have some seriously cool-looking clothes on their website which is worth a browse, don’t you think? Plus, you can order online (and if you're a hermit like me, or hate visiting stores because you hate the pressure and the crowds, that's a huuuge bonus). So shop away straight from your computer chair and don’t feel guilty because the whole line is cruelty-free. Thank you, Melissa McCarthy for being such a good sport for animals. We sincerely appreciate it – and so do the animals! You will love this range!
2 Love is Mighty
Love is Mighty is an Indian brand offering the most amazing handmade vegan shoes. Founded by Monisha Raja, Love is Mighty’s vegan shoe line fuses old world textiles with a modern twist. Raja tells Ecouterre, "Love Is Mighty exists from a desire to create beauty and a harmonious world without harming any living beings, bridging the world of ancient mastery and modern design." In other words, no animals were harmed in the making of her beautiful shoes. The shoes are also produced in a vegan factory in India, which is something she’s incredibly proud of. Her shoes also happen to be pretty eco-friendly too – another major bonus. Take the Heera pump, for instance. It’s constructed from recycled biscuit wrappers. So as you can see, all her work is carried out with the intention of being in harmony with animals and nature. Her designs are also very unusual, so if you're looking for some eclecticism and originality, then this is perfect for you!
1 Delikate Rayne
We cannot possibly forget Delikate Rayne in this list of cruelty-free brands. Cruelty-free, ethical, sustainable and luxurious, Delikate Rayne should be the first choice for animal lovers. Started by sisters Komie and Meg, this brand has East Indian Roots. Combining their love of animals with their love of style, the sisters created Delikate Rayne, an animal friendly fashion brand that inspires its wearers to think and live compassionately. You will find some beautiful clothing on their website which is so luxurious and lovely. Typically, luxury is pretty much synonymous with leather but now, with brands like Delikate Rayne emerging on the market, you can easily obtain luxury without the cruelty. And with Delikate Rayne, absolutely no animal skins or products are used in their line. They build their brand based on those values of compassion. So check out their gorgeous, stylish clothing right now… yep, we’re giving you permission to shop.