Cold Weather Clothing - What's a Vegan to Wear?
With ice storms already hitting some parts of the US and Europe, those
shopping for warm vegan winter wear are seeking out the warmest, most
comfortable, animal friendly garments they can find. Are the options
far and few between? Not at all. Here's a mini primer on vegan
outerwear to help you shop consciously this winter.
by Cynthia Mosher
The Vegan Pea Coat
What, you ask, is a pea coat? Traditionally, it is a heavy wool outer
coat worn by sailors of European navies. The term "pea coat"
originated from the Dutch or West Frisian word pijjekker, in which pij
referred to the type of cloth used, which was called "Pilot cloth"
(P-cloth), a coarse kind of twilled blue cloth with a nap on one side.
Pea coats usually have broad lapels and are double-breasted with large
buttons and vertical pocket openings. Vegan pea coats are made of
velvet, corduroy, cotton sateen, polartec, or faux suede. Once
considered a luxury garment, it is now very popular among the college
The Hemp Hoodlam
Hemp is the strongest vegetable fiber on the planet. Not only are
there some gorgeous and very warm hemp fabrics that are soft, durable
and machine washable, hemp requires no pesticides or herbicides to
grow. Listen to this
interview with Hempest co-founder Jon Napoli who explains the
history of hemp and hemp fabric. Hemp Hoodlam jackets and coats are
mostly casual outergarments with front zippers. Nicely lined, they can
be a perfect cold winter coat. The long coats are quite attractive .
Other Coats - Faux Fur, Faux Suede, Faux Wool, Faux Leather
Many faux garments are machine washable and feel remarkably like the
genuine thing. Hats, gloves, jackets, and socks all carry over well
using faux materials and are a warming necessity for anyone living in
Faux fur can be gorgeous! There are garments made for women, men and
children now including faux fur leg warmers, muffs, and ear muffs.
Faux leather done really well is as attractive as it is ethical and
may have your vegan friends and family wondering if you've abandoned
their ranks! Look for faux leather jackets and coats with a high
quality lining that will keep you warm in the icy winter months.
Otherwise, plan on layering to keep yourself as warm as you need.
Practically a snowy weather necessity, vegan boots are so easy to find
and are being embraced by non-vegans as well for their quality and
comfort. If you're shopping at a store not devoted to vegan wear, be
sure you ask about the material used for the soles.
Gloves, Hats, and Caps
Non-leather gloves are fairly easy to find and reasonable in price.
Faux suede gloves are luscious all alone but they make a great insert
glove to wear as a lining to a non-leather vegan outer glove for
protection from bitter cold. Get yourself a pair of outergloves a size
larger if you'll be wearing a liner glove. You can also find some
wonderfully warm chenille gloves
Vegan knitters have a multitude of natural textile choices for warm
yarns - cotton, corn fiber, hemp, bamboo, and soy silk are all nice,
animal friendly fibers. Faux cashmere is luxurious - Felt Studio UK
has some gorgeous faux cashmere yarn. Bamboo Feather is a bulky bamboo
and nylon yarn that makes beautiful and cuddly warm tops, scarves,
hats. It would make a cool paid of socks too! And just for fun - knit
yourself a vegan fox wrap.
Where to Find:
These companies carry vegan friendly outerwear. Some sell only vegan
products while others offer non-vegan items as well so shop carefully.
Lands' End http://www.landsend.com/
Vegetarian Shoes and Bags http://www.vegetarianshoesandbags.com/
Alternative Outfitters http://www.alternativeoutfitters.com
American Eagle http://www.ae.com
Burlington Coat Factory http://www.burlingtoncoatfactory.com
Fabulous Furs http://fabulousfurs.com/
Charly Calder http://www.charlycalder.cc
One Fine Yarn http://www.onefineyarn.com
Felt Studio UK http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=sr_gallery_1&listing_id=15954785
The Black Stitch http://theblackstitch.com/yarrn/cottonsock.htm
Soy silk yarn - http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=5533337