Why You Should Shop Cruelty&Guilt Free

December 22, 2010
In this age of wild consumerism it might sound strange talking about conscience. We clearly don’t have one, by the look of things.
We can do a little something, though. We can help things shift and stop exploiting other creatures for our selfish needs.
I know we grew up with the idea that all things real leather are better quality, that wool is the best when it’s cold, that real fur is something amazing that faux fur will never replace.
Well, yes. Faux fur will never look like real fur, thank God! Real fur is something amazing, the soft feeling it has to it: just as soft as our conditioned hair. Does it mean it’s ok to make hats out of other people scalps?
We don’t need fur to keep us warm: we’ve come a long way since the Paleolithic.
If you want that soft feeling when you stroke fur, go rescue a stray cat. It’s amazing therapy, I promise.
Faux fur it’s a very good alternative to real fur and it doesn’t hurt anyone. I remember my teacher in fashion school telling us: “Animal activists are just dumb because you’re not making the world better by not using real fur. You use many chemicals to create faux fur. You’re not killing animals but you are poisoning the environment.”
I obviously don’t agree because a lot of things we do are detrimental to the environment, but I prefer avoiding skinning sentient beings alive in the process.
Every little thing we do becomes big, because it adds up to all the other little things other people do.
Shee was also always telling us that all animals used for fur are farmed, and that they are treated very well because if an animal is not happy, its fur won’t be beautiful. Sorry teacher, is this supposed to make me feel better? We raise a foxes, we feed her so it’s happy, and then we rip off its skin. Awesome, now I feel better about wearing a corpse!
Of course, there’s a thing about leather that in my opinion cannot be replaced: it’s durability and toughness.
I’ve had a pair of boots by Cult for something like 10 years now, and they’re perfectly genuine, almost like new.
I usually destroy shoes, so if they’re alive it means they’re great quality. I have yet to find a pair of faux leather shoes that last so long (provided that I’ve tried a lot, since I don’t buy leather anymore and haven’t bought in quite a long time).

Edit: I wrote this post in 2010, it’s now 2017. Fake leather has come a long way. It’s way more durable now, more sustainable and there are a lot of eco-friendly alternatives that are being tested right now.

Brands who took the cruelty-free pledge

Faux leather (also called pleather, leatherette, fake leather)

– Stella McCartney is not using any fur, leather or animal parts in her shoes, because she’s a vegetarian. Look at these boots! (she does use wool though, so vegans be careful!)
– Marc Bouwer took the pledge of not using leather, fur or wool, too.
– Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren don’t use fur in their products.
Matt&Natt: Good quality faux leather to satisfy every fashionista’s need without murder involved.
– Etsy
Etsy is a good place to find faux leather items:
– Asos
You can select “Non leather” when searching for shoes: here!


There are several brands who are going cruelty-free, one of those is Urban Decay with its vegan range of products. UD is pretty famous these days as it’s sold by Sephora and carries a wide range of fantabulous makeup products.
– Mineral make-up
I personally buy mine from Neve Cosmetics, which I love so much, but many brands are now carrying these products in their shops. Just be careful and read the ingredients because there are brands that just slap a “natural” or “bio” label on it and then stuff their products with chemicals.

Upcycle, recycle, organic

This is always a good habit to help our environment. Buying second-hand means no new material is produced, no extra waste fills the landfills and you’re most likely buying a unique item. Buying clothes and accessories made with recycled material it’s a good idea too.
Here’s what I do to less harm to the planet and animals:
  1. I do not buy new leather items but if I didn’t hate the smell, I would buy second-hand leather. If you find the perfect item in a thrift store it would be pointless not buying it: no money will go to the producer anyway. If you’re worried about sending the wrong message, worry no more. Vegan leather looks exactly like leather so anyone could think you’re wearing leather at any time even when you’re not.
  2. I don’t buy fur: that goes for second hand too because it feels gross to me.
  3. I try to buy as much organic cotton as I can. No chemicals for my skin, no chemicals for the land. Win-win!
  4. I don’t buy new wool stuff. As I said before, wool itches so it’s very rare I buy any used wool either.
  5. Because of all the points above, I don’t buy designer clothes. Let’s make a petition: why don’t you, oh dear designers, all produce a side line with organic and vegan alternatives? Your customers would be free to choose to dress cruelty-free, and more people could go for cruelty-free if they were given the choice.
Do you have some brands you’d like to suggest? What do you do to keep cruelty and exploitation out of your wardrobe? Let us know in a comment below.

About the Author


Hey, it's Elisa, the woman who founded styleonvega.com in 2010, when it was called styleBizarre. I gave this blog to another awesome woman and she's now running the whole thing: Cynthia. If you want to follow me on my website or social media please click on the icons that are probably showing somewhere around this text box :D

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Laura Connell

Terrific post for this time of year. If we are buying we may as well do our best to make it somewhat pleasing for the environment. I love your frankness, ie., everything we fucking do is bad for the environment but don't want to kill anyone in the process. Hilarious and true!


personally i'm not against people who wear fur or leather although i don't wear it anyway. but one thing really did amaze me in last 2 years – the crazy phenomenon called uggs. because i thought that most of the fashion conscious women were also the eternal lovers of animals (if i'm being a bit sarcastic) which includes not wearing fur. you see uggs in ljubljana everywere. <.< but trends were never rational, so why am i surprised? 😀


These Ugg are the ugliest thing in the world, it looks like your feet are cut off! But I like some knitted ones I saw at a street vendor stand! But they were not original Uggs, the original ones are way too clumsy for me!
And the knitted ones didn't have any fur inside! (oh well and even if they did, the price was so low that that fur would sure have been pure plastic ahaha)
You're right saying that trends are not rational, but you know, they always have a reason.
This ugg mania probably has to do with the need of protection of this era: wearing those kind of boots makes you stronger, warmer, ready to fight and go everywhere!
Ahaha ops forgive me, I tend to over analyze everything! 😀


yes, they are really Uggly. 😛 ok I know, tastes are tastes, it is better not to talk about them but it does remind me how much taste is connected to personal status and capital. so I wonder how much is taste really "personal". maybe I reject the look of those boots because I cannot afford them but I just don't know it? however I agree about knitted ones, I like them too. I like your explanation about protection of this era. I've decided to make a little research project about Uggs phenomenon because I want to understand it better (and I have to write something for college anyway).

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