If you're not eating animals because you care, then you certainly wont want to be wearing them! Leather is the skin of animals and can be made from cows, pigs, goats and sheep! Buying faux (fake) leather might not always be the cheapest purchase, but it is always the kindest!
Wearing fur has become some sort of fashion statement but if you knew how the fur got onto the garments you would think it is far from luxurious! The animals are often hunted, trapped and shot, bred and enslaved, all for a fur trim? Faux fur looks just as stylish and causes no harm to animals!
Most think that wool must be ok, since we are helping the sheep keep cool - wrong! The sheep's fleece provides insulation against both the cold and the heat, so no need for us to take it away. The amount of sheep bred for wool means many die due to not being looked after properly. Sheep shed their own wool after the winter months naturally and are often hurt during shearing. Many shearing sheds have been investigated and the process has shown the sheep to be cut, hurt and even violently abused by the workers. Faux wool is just as snuggley and warm. The sheep's is theirs to keep!
Silk comes from silk worms, these clever little Caterpillars make a cocoon so they can transform into a pretty little moth, but the cocoon is the silk thread that some people want to make garments from. So instead of letting them break out and fly, they are dropped into boiling water, killing the silk worm and saving the silk thread. I love my faux silk P.J`s and sleep well at night knowing they haven't taken life away!
Down feathers are those soft fluffy ones that are used in clothing and comforters like pillows and cushions. They are most commonly taken from ducks and geese and it isn't a pleasant experience! Plucking causes the birds distress and pain, having the feathers ripped right out of their skin. They are often plucked so forcefully that the skin of the bird is torn and workers have to sew up the wound so they can be plucked again with no painkillers. The birds are then finally plucked when they have been killed for meat. I just imagine having my hair pulled out in clumps whenever I think of this!
Making the change
If you are new to veganism, don't beat yourself up about having any of these 'materials' already. You have two options:
1.Get rid of them
2.Keep them and never re-buy
When some learn of the pain and death behind their clothes, they want to get rid immediately and choose to either donate or throw them away. I understand this isn't always practical as you may not be able to afford to replace them so quickly. In that case, you have already made the purchase, the damage is already done as such, maybe making use of the items until they are worn is best for both you and your bank balance! Just commit to never re-buying the items or supporting the animal clothing trade again!