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Fur and Leather: Animal Issues in Clothes Buying

Some people refuse to wear clothes made from animal products — including leather, fur, reptile skins, and even wool — citing environmental and ethical concerns including the following:

  • The global demand for some animal-based products is greater than supply, so animal populations can be threatened with disappearance in certain cases.

  • Modern methods of manufacturing leather goods in factories use high levels of energy similar to other mass-produced products rather than the traditional methods that incorporate natural dyes and skins dried in the sun.

  • Animal-based products involve the premature death or injury of an animal and therefore are inherently cruel.

If your green lifestyle decrees that you not buy leather or fur, you’re in for a bit of a challenge in finding alternatives. Cruelty-free and vegetarian clothing stores sell alternative products, but they’re often made of vinyl, PVC, and other chemically produced materials that have major negative impacts on the environment, including using significant quantities of oil, water, and energy and producing high greenhouse gas emissions.

However, the following companies offer clothing and footwear products made from both environment- and animal-friendly materials such as hemp, canvas, and microfiber synthetic leathers:

  • Moo Shoes

  • Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique

  • PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) Mall

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