As gift-giving season approaches, many of us will find at least one or a couple of vegans among the people you’re planning to buy gifts for. New figures show that the number of vegans in Australia alone has risen to 2.5 million people, meaning that more and more people are interested not only in vegan food, but also fashion, beauty and lifestyle products made without the use of animals. The vegan leather market is set to be worth $45 billion by 2025, so it’s safe to say that cruelty-free living is here to stay.
If you’re clueless about what to buy – and more specifically, what to avoid – for the vegan on your list, here are a few pointers.
First of all, vegans don’t wear, eat or use anything that comes from animals. When shopping for fashion, that means checking that the item doesn’t have any animal fur or leather. Any knitwear should be checked to make sure it’s free from wool and any other animal-derived knitwear materials like mohair, alpaca, angora or cashmere. Silk is another no-no, as are feathers of any kind, whether it’s down or marabou. Finally, make sure no exotic skins (meaning the skins of reptiles such as crocodiles, alligators and lizards, and animals like snakes and ostriches), are used.
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Sounds like a lot? Luckily, there are lots of brands offering animal-free options that will make amazing holiday gifts. Here are our fifteen favourites for this season:
Hetty + Sam is a quirky British accessory brand championing vegan fashion and independent artists. Each print on their faux-leather accessories is designed by an emerging artist (in this case, Marieke Böhmer), and a proportion of sales goes to support their work.
Price £24.99. Buy here.
This Canadian brand has made an iconic name for themselves in the world of vegan fashion thanks to their sleek, minimalist designs and their elegant, muted colour palette. And this set of complementing toiletry cases is no exception. The perfect gift for a couple, each of the cases is lined with 100% recycled nylon. Comes in a variety of colours.
Price US$90. Purchase from Matt & Nat website here.
An essential, goes-with-everything belt that is handmade in Portugal from Italian plant-based vegan leather created with bio-oil sourced from organic cereal crops grown in Northern Europe. This design is also carbon-neutral, and all Will’s styles are free from plastic packaging.
Priced at £37. Purchase here.
Ethical fashion brand People Tree – a pioneer in the sustainable fashion industry – has teamed up with BBC Earth on a range of designs focusing on the vulnerable species on this planet. One of the designs is this cheetah t-shirt, made from 100% organic cotton by Fusion Clothing Company, an Indian maker with an ethos that aims to provide safe working conditions and give back to the community.
Priced at US$55. Buy it here.
Apple leather is one of the most exciting and innovative materials in vegan fashion, and with good reason – this non-toxic, biodegradable fabric is a brilliant leather replacement. Alexandra K’s apple leather range includes bags, jackets, and statement-making wallets like this one.
Price €109. Shop here.
This colourful wool- and silk-free scarf made from viscose derived from bamboo will be a hit with your vegan friend. Thought prioritises naturally grown fabrics such as bamboo, cotton and hemp, and every vegan product in their online shop is certified by PETA.
Price £18. Buy now.
Cork isn’t a new or innovative fabric; it’s been used for decades, especially in areas where cork trees are abundant. Cork is a truly renewable material, as it’s taken off the tree without having to cut the tree down – and the cork grows back! This card holder is waterproof, lightweight and ethically produced in Sydney.
Price AUD$35. Purchase here.
The perfect accessory for an evening out (New Year’s Eve, perhaps?), this design from GUNAS is a conversation-starter. This gorgeous clutch is crafted with MULBTEX, a material made from compressed paper laminated with glass, lined with cotton and faux suede.
Priced at US$499. To buy, click here.
Viva La Vegan is a brand known for their statement apparel and slogan-embellished styles. This intricately painted mirror and its dreamy design will be a beautiful addition to any makeup bag.
Price £3.00. Purchase here.
One of the first in the latest wave of innovative, natural vegan leathers to reach the market, Pinatex is made from pineapple leaves. Transforming pineapple leaves into leather not only minimises waste, but also provides pineapple farmers with an additional stream of income. This Pinatex crossbody bag from HFS Collective makes a great gift for the stylish vegan.
Priced at US$233. Buy here.
Pioneering vegan menswear brand Brave GentleMan has a stylish range of ties in fabrics like organic cotton and linen. This design uses waterless digital printing and is responsibly made in New York City.
Price US$85. Purchase here.
For vegans who want to make a bold statement while staying warm. This wool-free beanie will look good and do good. Part of Vegan Outfitters’ proceeds go to feeding rescued farm animals through donations to a variety of sanctuaries.
Priced at US$39. Buy here.
Votch specialises in vegan watches, offering clean, classic designs featuring straps in vegan leather, Pinatex or metal mesh, like this elegant accessory that will add sophistication to any outfit.
Priced at £130. Buy here.
Your vegan friend will be thrilled to stay warm in these cosy and chic organic cotton gloves from wool-free vegan apparel brand Bleed.
Price £33.00. Buy here.
A must-read for anyone who wants to learn more about vegan fashion, this book discusses material innovation, vegan shopping, cruelty-free beauty, decorating your home as a vegan, and much more.
Price $13-29 used/new. Buy now.
Disclosure: This curated list does not fully take into account all the ethical considerations that are unique to each individual. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to do your own research paying particular attention to the supply chain and your own particular set of ethics. You can also check out online tools and apps that provide product reviews and brand ratings here. This list also includes affiliate links. Click here to read more about our policies.
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Feature image by Vegan Outfitters.