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If you love animals then you shouldn’t be wearing them. We generally associate animal hides making their way into our closets in the form of our Canada Goose fur-trimmed coats or infamous sheepskin UGG boots.
But fur isn’t the only animal skin we’re needlessly taking from and killing animals for our clothes, shoes, and fashion accessories.
To help you identify what animal fibers have unknowingly made its way into your closet, here is a quick guide to some of the most common animal fibers still used today.
If you love animals, I advise you to start reading the labels before you buy and make sure you aren’t contributing to any more unnecessary suffering and killing of animals for a mere fashion accessory.
Types of Animal Fibers Used in Fashion
Animal hides, fur, and feathers used for human clothing, shoes, and fashion accessories are derived from one of the following ways:
- animals are killed for their skin or hide (leather, fur, shearling, sheepskin)
- animals are bred to produce fibers that we take from them (wool, down, silk)
In the second option, just because animals aren’t killed immediately, doesn’t make it OK for humans to take it from animals. Animals are often killed when their production declines and they live in inhumane and filthy conditions while in captivity.
List of Animal Fibers
Not Vegan – Animal Skin derived from cows, goats, pigs, cats, and dogs. Origin of animal hide is typically unknown. Also goes by genuine leather, calfskin, calf leather, cowhide leather, lambskin, animal hide.
Not Vegan – Suede is a type of leather so animals are killed the same way for their skin/hide.
Not Vegan – derived from the skin of (usually still alive) alligators or other exotic reptiles. Also known as alligator skin, crocodile skin, snake skin, exotic skin, or just simply leather.
Not Vegan – Animal skin and fur derived from killing fur-bearing animals.
Not Vegan – Wool is derived from shearing or cutting the hair of animals, typically a lamb or sheep.
Not Vegan – The skin of lambs or sheep with the fleece still attached.
Not Vegan – The hide of a sheep or lamb with their wool still intact. Also known as lambskin.
Not Vegan – Derived from the coat and wool of goats.
Not Vegan – Derived from the process of painfully plucking feathers of geese and ducks.
Not Vegan – Silk is obtained by boiling silkworms alive in their cocoons.
If you love animals, avoid buying clothes, shoes, handbags, or other accessories made with animal fibers. There are plenty of cruelty-free and animal-free textiles available now, so there’s no reason we should continue wearing animal skins in 2020!