How we found cool vegan shirts
Just because they’ve decided to only use products that don’t employ animal parts doesn’t mean vegans should be forced go around like the Russian president. Modern technology more than allows for a great variety of clothing to be made only from synthetic fiber or plant material.
Finding certain items, such as shoes or suits might prove sometimes tough, requiring hours of research from the shopper and fully justifying the notion of “lifestyle” being associated to veganism.
Luckily, this isn’t the case for shirts, since all varieties from formal wear to the T are often manufactured from cotton or synthetic fiber. That’s why they make such good vegan gifts for a nature-minding friend in need of clothing — there’s little chance that the giver will happen to pick a T-shirt made from the skin of tortured lambs.
Things are really not this simple, of course, because animals can be hurt at any stage throughout the process of production and to know that this wasn’t the case you need reassurance from the manufacturer.
The companies that do give this reassurance can be researched online and offer as wide a selection of shirts for sale as any other. With that out of the way, what else is there to consider when buying a vegan shirt?
How we chose the coolest vegan clothes
As we’ve mentioned above, the material can barely be considered a limiting factor, since most shirts of any kind are made from 100% cotton or synthetic fabrics anyway. Thorough shoppers might want to check that the dyes are either plant or mineral made, however, since it’s a well-known fact that the bodies of certain insects are used to make some bright colors.
Cotton is probably the most widely used shirt material thanks to its low price and good overall properties. It’s easy to wash, doesn’t retain smells, doesn’t stretch, it breathes fairly well and has an eye pleasing grainy texture to it.
Synthetic materials are generally a lot shinier, which can be preferable for some. Lycra and its chemical proxies make for the widest used fibers. These tend to have a better tensile resistance than cotton and don’t tear as easily. However, they can easily melt from cigarette embers (which isn’t really an issue in this case) making for some very unsightly holes.
Synthetics also retain smells easier than cotton and don’t breathe equally well but are slightly more wash-resistant since their colors don’t run to the same extent as with cotton.
The style is ultimately a matter of personal preference so we won’t dwell on it for too long. An important thing to note is to always take into consideration the personal style of the friend or offspring you are shopping for.
A grunger or a metalhead, for example, won’t really appreciate a T-shirt with a V shaped neckline or made from synthetic materials with a shiny texture. Washing resistance won’t really be an issue for them since they should only seldom clean their clothes.
As a side-note, washing can be said to have a discernible environmental impact, since it consumes fresh water, so it is advisable to orient yourself toward materials that don’t retain smells easily hence won’t require as many trips to the washing machine.
When buying vegan clothing the aim is not only to cover your body in a certain way, but also to make a statement. Vegans are very concerned with the positions their favorite brands take on certain issues, since buying a product could be seen as an act of sponsorship or approval.
While all vegan brands ensure that no animal has been harmed in the process of manufacturing their goods, not all of them take the same actions towards making the world a better place. For example, one company might donate 10% of its profits to help the orphans in Patagonia, while another could take the concept of cruelty-free to new depths.
After all, truly cruelty-free shirts should have no sensing being seriously inconvenienced as a result of their manufacturing and this includes the human workers. The best vegan clothing reviews often care to mention that forced or underage labor wasn’t employed in the making of the products under scrutiny.
To ensure that your money goes to the right place it is often necessary to do some research of the manufacturing company beforehand, find out about other things they are involved with and ensure that their values match your own.
The very act of buying vegan clothing sends a message, but this might be hard for others to receive at first sight without any outward indication of the wholesome origin of your attire.
This is the reason why most cruelty-free shirts have a literal message, one inscribed in text and/or images, on the front. These can range from outright calls to stop animal cruelty of any kind to witty one liners that need a few seconds to be understood.
Common slogans include “Friends not food”; “Animal lover”; “Animals are not fabric”, “Eat Veggies Not Animals” and the reassuring “no animals were harmed in the making of”. These are all well and good and drive their point across but if you or your vegan friend want to go for subtlety you might try something along the lines of “all my other shirts were covered in dog hair”.
Of course, the above is not possible when dress shirts are concerned. What is there to say about dress shirts other than that vegan brands also make them?
The first thing that comes to mind is that they make good gifts, if somewhat drab and uninspiring. We all need a dress shirt at one point in our lives and they also tend to show signs of wear pretty easily, so there is a constant demand for them.
Buying a dress shirt is like buying cigarettes for a smoker, even if he is all set at the moment, he is sure to need more in the future.
Our friend’s necklines (the measure used for assigning sizes to formal shirts) are easy to discern, even from photographs, so we should have little problem in finding the right fit.