Here in Canada winter has arrived in full force, as it has in many other countries around the world. Braving the outdoors is not for the faint of heart.
Fortunately being vegan does not mean that we have to sacrifice our sense of fashion as we bundle up in sub-zero temperatures. There’s a wide variety of winter vegan clothing and accessories available, as more and more vegan companies are sprouting up. Even non-vegan brands are creating vegan-friendly outerwear, often by accident.
I like to support exclusively vegan companies because their philosophies promote compassionate and ethical attire. When a company goes the extra mile to create a product with the animals specifically in mind, I’m willing to pay the higher price tag that sometimes accompanies their noble endeavors.
Vaute Couture is at the top of my list for vegan winter coats. Elegant, warm, and eco-friendly, these coats come in a variety of hip styles that will keep you toasty all winter long. I bought mine two years ago; it’s still in excellent shape and I continue to receive compliments from friends and strangers alike whenever I wear it.
Earmuffs and knit hats
In addition to coats, Vaute Couture carries earmuffs in a tropical Skittles array of colors, and knit hats made from “soyknit”: yarn developed from soybean farming waste.
Neuaura is another exclusively vegan brand that carries a wide variety of chic shoes and boots. Check out their winter boot selection for some animal friendly, affordable styles. In addition to being a company that does not exploit animals, Neuaura donates five percent of their net annual sales to charities that are geared towards improving animal welfare and the environment.
Vegetarian Shoes has also got you covered winter boots wise. Check out their site for an awesome variety of cruelty free styles that are all “better than leather.”
If you’d like to peruse a variety of vegan shoe brands available, check out Nice Shoes. A Vancouver based company, they offer online shopping and have a nice assortment of products, all vegan of course. My favorite of their winter boots selection are the Big Buddha Grand.
Vegan boots are also a cinch to find if you know where to look. If you’re on a budget, drop by your local Payless and upon browsing their shoes you’ll find that the majority are vegan! Again, check the labels and if you’re not sure ask the staff.
Aldo is another brand that carries a few vegan items, and you’ll find a variety of stores in your local mall that carry boots made of synthetic leather – an option if you happen to have some spare time for mall perusing and a lot of patience. Just memorize the symbol for leather and steer clear.
Vegan Friendly Products
If online shopping is not your thing, or there are no vegan brands available in the area where you live, fear not: many non-vegan companies sell vegan-friendly items. Just be sure to read the labels before purchasing and ask the sells assistance if you are unsure whether the fashionable item contains non-vegan materials.
Hopefully this guide will save you from spending hours wandering around shops in hopes of finding that obscure wool/leather/fur free coat or pair of boots as I once did during my first winter as a vegan. For a comprehensive list of cruelty free clothing, check out Peta’s Shopping Guide to Compassionate Clothing. Happy shopping!