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Shopping Practices That Help Animals and the Planet

by Vegan Me on August 10, 2021

In this blog post we will talk about how you can help animals by making sure your new purchases are animal and environmentally friendly and how to make the most of shopping second-hand. We'll discuss the impact of fashion on animal welfare and what you can do to make a difference. You don't have to give up your style or spend less money! There are many ways that you can make a difference just by changing your shopping habits. If you're vegan like me, chances are you want to make a positive change in the world as well as what's just on your plate. I only ever purchase vegan, ethically-sourced, zero-waste, statement apparel from sites like my own (www.veganme.uk) or I stick to buying second hand clothes. Second-hand clothing requires a fraction of the resources of new clothes. Typically, we fail to consume clothes in an environmentally friendly way.Business Insider has reported that we dump the equivalent of one lorry-load of clothes in landfill or is burnt every second. Not only is this shocking, it is certain to harm the natural habitats of many animals so vegans need to be mindful of how clothes ended up in their wardrobes.

One of the most important steps we can take to tackle the environmental damage done by our wardrobes if to consider the production process of new items. Check out our policies on this and make sure you do the same for other brands. A staggering 150 billion new items of clothing are produced every day and the every person only wears something for a total of 5 times so another way we can make a difference is consider how long we wear clothing for. Being mindful of the way we consume can make a real difference. Consider how your consumption habits may perpetuate the problem by encouraging a culture of wastefulness and overconsumption. This typical mindset by the less conscious consumer means that a huge amount of newly-new items often up in the local charity shop, eBay, Depop or Vinted. You can also find some great bargains on Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace. Be sure to check the label to make sure the item is vegan or if it's online I often drop the seller an email to ask them to confirm what it's made of. The other great tip is to look for items that are made from more sustainable materials...hemp, linen, cotton, bamboo and even cork!

Make sure to check the label of second-hand clothing, shoes or accessories before you buy them. If they're not vegan and it's an online purchase drop the seller an email to ask what it is made from."

Some people worry about the effects on their health of second-hand clothing as they might contain hidden vices such as cigarette smoke, sweat or bacteria. But with good hygiene practices and a little care, you can make sure your wardrobe is safe to wear. I found that the best way to care for second-hand clothes is to give them a good wash before you wear them. You don't want any dust or dirt in your clean clothes, so make sure they're washed as well (though this isn't necessary if they are already fresh). (See my micro-blog post on Smol Things Really Do Make a Difference for vegan tips on washing clothes.)

Don't forget to check labels for the correct size. Just because an item of clothing is your favorite style doesn't mean it will fit! Get to know your size! Grab a tape measure and measure yourself so that you know they'll fit and look great.

The great thing about shopping second hand or at animal and environmentally friendly boutique stores is that it's a great way to get your hands on unique items and be more creative with your styling. Not to mention the fact that you can be more experimental with your style and try new trends, without breaking the bank, hurting animals or harming the planet.

The other great thing about shopping second hand is that you're reducing waste. You don't have to worry about things ending up in landfill because of fast fashion; when you shop vintage or at an animal friendly store, there's no need for disposing clothes when you're done with them.

If Charity Shops are really your thing why not try swapping clothes or accessories in a Facebook group? Search for your local group with a search like "Second Hand Swap." You can also find swaps on lots of websites and forums on the internet. I'm also a big fan of a good old carboot sale! There's endless fun to be had and you truly never, ever know what you're going to find!

You could even power up a level further and donate the money you save by shopping second-hand to an animal charity or shelter! You'll have your favourites like me I'm sure but I really do love Miracle's Mission if you'd like to take a look or even make room for a new friend! 

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to help animals and the environment while shopping. With the power of the internet and a little creativity, you too can be more eco-friendly and make the world a better place for animals!

What are some ways that you have been able to make your shopping practices more animal and environmentally friendly? Drop us a note on Facebook or Twitter, we'd love to hear from you! x