Cruelty Free Fashion, What It Is And Why It Matters

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What is cruelty free fashion?

La cruelty free fashion it is an integral part of what we define sustainable fashion or responsible, a segment of products / brands that has chosen to exclude the use of materials of animal origin in favor of alternative and, often, more ecological materials.

We can find brands that sell individual cruelty free products, some collections, or the entire production. As far as individual products are concerned, it is much easier to identify them in the cosmetic sector, a sector where the term "cruelty free" has much more relevance (due to the testing of cosmetic products on animals).

In fashion we have some brands that create traditional leather collections, and at the same time collections that define cruelty free (or vegan). We don't like this combination very much and we prefer i 100% cruelty free fashion brands.

But we don't define the cruelty free fashion, you just need to buy a polyester garment to define it as such, but you need the certifications guaranteeing this name.

When is fashion sustainable?

How to recognize it?

Where to buy it?

Start your journey!


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When is fashion cruelty free?

Fashion is cruelty free when it has textile certifications guarantors of this statement.

If on the one hand it is true that we can buy cotton products with the awareness that these are not made of wool, leather, or other materials of animal origin, on the other hand it is equally true that that proprietary brand of the product could create lines in leather. of crocodile, or of fur coats in mink.

This implies knowing the fashion brand before purchasing its product, even if this specific product is not made from materials of animal origin. But sometimes, even this knowledge is not enough.

That is why we are strong supporters of cruelty free certifications, since these involve commitments for companies. Even the mere fact of having requested it (remember that the certifications are voluntary, therefore they are requested by the fashion brands to the bodies in charge) implies a concrete commitment, or at least an interest in the subject.

What are the certifications of cruelty free fashion?

  • Animal Free Fashion
  • PETA
  • VeganOK
  • Fur Free

By finding any of these labels in the product you want to buy, you can be sure it is cruelty free fashion.

Logo Animal Free Fashion by Lav - cruelty free
Animal Free Fashion is the cruelty free certification of the Anti-Vivisection League (LAV). This model is the most interesting, since in addition to certifying a brand / product, it evaluates its commitment by giving it a grade from 1 to 4. Whoever gets the highest grade has renounced all materials of animal origin. Learn more about Animal Free Fashion.
Logo PETA - cruelty-free
PETA is the most famous and used worldwide, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is an international association for the protection of animals. He has been fighting for years for a world without cruelty, and tackles various themes, from cosmetics to the textile sector, passing through the livestock and entertainment industries. Learn more about PETA.
Logo VeganOK - cruelty-free
VeganOK it is seen very often in the food sector and little in the fashion one, but this certification is also gaining ground in the sector. VeganOK it is an Italian brand, but in any case very widespread also in Europe. Learn more about VeganOK.
Logo Fur Free - cruelty-free
Fur Free it is another LAV certification, but its range of action is limited to the use of furs. We can consider it as an awareness campaign against the use of animal fur in fashion. Learn more about Fur Free.

Why buy cruelty free fashion?

All those who follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle they pay attention to their purchases, avoiding materials of animal origin such as wool, leather, silk, furs and feathers, but as we have said it is often not enough to avoid these materials, we must necessarily know the brand to be sure that it is not making other products with materials of animal origin.

Vegan clothing, a girl takes a selfie with a goat

This is a good reason to buy certified cruelty free fashion, but even if we don't follow a vegan lifestyle and therefore eat meat, why should we buy mink fur? a crocodile leather belt? a silk dress?

Today we can do without it, especially thanks to bio-based materials. There are many fabrics and alternatives to leather on the market that perfectly simulate materials of animal origin, without creating suffering and death.

We also want to point out that most of the brands that are embracing the philosophy of cruelty free fashion they are equally attentive to the environmental aspect of their production. It would in fact be useless to obtain a “cruelty free” label for a product, if synthetic microfibers are then used, or industrial residues dumped in the water to produce it.

This is why we affirm that "vegan" and "sustainability" go hand in hand, following a common direction.

The live plucking of geese and ducks

The fashion industry continues to exploit animals for its own gain. Among these animals are also geese, ducks, and other feathered birds.

Many of them are bred for food purposes and the feathers are collected only after the death of the animal, but in other cases the feathers are taken alive, in a practice called "live plucking".

Watching this video, or this, we look for words to express disgust, but we don't find any.

It is just one example that showcases the cruelty of fashion, and it is enough to know the real fur market to realize that the problem is wider than we can imagine.

It has been estimated that to satisfy the demand for feathers for padding, in these companies that deal with live plucking, each worker has to pluck 1 goose every 3/4 minutes.

The surviving geese are thrown back into the pen and plucked nuoafter 2 months (the time it takes for the feathers to grow back).

According to the sources, this treatment starts from 2 months of age and lasts about 8 months, after which the geese will be killed: due to the plucking suffered, the feathers lose quality over time.

When you read VERA PIUMA do not buy it, or at least document "how" they are collected.

It is good to know that in Italy the Legislative Decree March 26, 2001, n. 146 prohibits this and other torture on live animals, but unfortunately does not prohibit their importation.

Alternative to feathers, GRAPHENE

It is possible to find on the market cruelty free alternative materials to feathers, ranging from natural to synthetic. Current technology can and must continue to make a difference in developing sustainable alternative materials to those of animal origin.

Feathers are basically used for padding on jackets, but also for beds and pillows.

We are therefore talking about materials hidden from the human eye, for which the proposed alternatives must only guarantee the same values ​​of breathability and thermoregulation.

From the laboratory tests carried out from the Anti-Vivisection Alloy there is a more or less comparable comfort between synthetic materials and feathers for padding:

  • Sample 1 (real down) has better thermal resistance (therefore for this parameter, it offers greater comfort), but at the same time it has the worst evaporative resistance performance (therefore for this parameter, it offers less comfort);
  • Samples 2 and 3 (synthetic materials) offer better breathability than real down, and a comparable warmth effect.

Where to buy cruelty free fashion?

We have created a search engine for the cruelty free fashion, it's called ecoFashion and lets you find it too sustainable fashion brands in addition to cruelty free fashion brands.

You will also find shops, artisans and marketplaces that sell cruelty free fashion, very often certified with low environmental impact.

ecoFashion is available both via the web and via the app.

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We are a non-profit association engaged since 2016 in the promoting a more ethical and sustainable fashion.

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