View Full Version : Using old leather and other non-vegan products

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Mar 28th, 2006, 11:09 PM
Hi and welcome to the forums.

Wearing non vegan clothes until they are worn out is kind of standard practice after turning vegan. If it saves you buying another suit for a while then you are saving the environmental damage that making a new suit causes.


I know what you mean. I have to wear a suit for work quite a bit (my colleagues wear em all the time, but they sort of regard me as a hippy law-unto-himself, so I can get away with dressing down a bit). I still have two wool suits which i canít really afford to replace straight away, so will wear them for a bit. But I have been trying to find a good vegan alternative. Anyone got any suggestions? iíd love a hemp suit, but Iíve never seen any formal/business-type hemp clothes

Mar 28th, 2006, 11:27 PM
I've seen this discussed quite a few times and I'd say there's far from 100% consensus on it. I personally have only had one person ever even mention my wearing leather shoes and it was my nephew, who tries to "stir things up" and really didn't care. I do still wear my old leather shoes, but I plan to never buy any more leather/wool/silk/etc in the future. I'm not totally happy with my "compromise," but I feel it would be more wasteful to buy new shoes:confused:

Mar 29th, 2006, 01:58 PM
I guess im going to still wear my suit then if nessacary, although i did throw together a new suit that is 100% cotton, i just went to a few differnt shops and bought the Blazer and trousers seperate. It is however a little weird as the trousers are black and the blazer is a dark Cream, however i think it looks rather smart together.
But i would like to be able to get something nicer, i always wanted a black suit with some furry 'leopard-skin' lining on :P lol guess ill keep dreaming about that one :P


Mar 29th, 2006, 03:38 PM
There is fake "leopard-fur" clothing out there, so maybe you won't have to dream long;)

Mar 31st, 2006, 03:02 AM
I am a recent vegan, I am wondering what do you do with your leather and wool items that you bought before you became a vegan? Have you kept them, or have you given them away? Also is silk okay or is that bad too? Sorry for the questions, if they are dumb, I am still learning here!


Mar 31st, 2006, 03:12 AM
Hello, welcome! :)

Most vegans, it seems, still hold on to their old non-vegan products (like their leather) until they are worn out and need to be replaced. When they need to be replaced, they'll buy new vegan alternatives.

Silk is an animal product, so it's not vegan--was that the question?

Mar 31st, 2006, 03:23 AM
Thank you Tigerlily.
I guess my question about silk was more about if the silkworm is killed or harmed in the making of the fabric? Although I suppose this isn't the issue, if it is an animal product I am to avoid it. Sorry I didn't think about that until your posting!

Mar 31st, 2006, 03:24 AM
Yeah, they are killed. :(

Mar 31st, 2006, 05:34 AM
i have a bunch of leather shoes that i stopped wearing the day i became vegan ( with me it's all or nothing)
i plan on having a shoe "sale"- which means digging out all of my leather shoes and inviting my same shoe size pals over to see what they want... the rest will go to the salvation army.
i am rather sad about my suede red converse one stars and my new balance running shoes... not sad enough to wear them, though:)

Mar 31st, 2006, 08:31 AM
I guess my question about silk was more about if the silkworm is killed or harmed in the making of the fabric?

Silk is obtained from the silk-worm's cocoon (protective sheath). This is one of the stages in its life-cycle. In the next stage the cocoon breaks resulting in freeing the silk-moth.

Silk cannot be obtained after the cocoon breaks. The silk is obtained from the cocoon. In other words it needs to be extracted before the larva inside becomes a moth.

So the eggs are put into boiling water and silk is extracted from the cocoon. Hence the worm is harmed and killed in this process.

Mar 31st, 2006, 11:38 AM
I have an old leather seat, leather boots and an old whool covert...
I prefer to keep these things that to throw them away and also buying them new and without animal products make no sense to me because i'm trying to evitate to be consumist (and also because i don't have money to buy).. The important thing for me it's not to support animal suffering..

Apr 21st, 2006, 12:12 PM
I have a major boot fetish and I have made a lot of sacrifices by becoming vegan. I have sold all my boots except one pair (I have no other footwear at the moment) The thing is I don't think I can give up my last pair. I know no one probably understands but I love them so much, they make me so happy and Ive had them for 5 years. I havnt worn anything else on my feet for that long and theres no boots like them that are not leather. I don't think I should be made to feel guilty about wearing them, especially as I am bankrupt and theres no way I can afford any other boots. Its not like Im ever going to buy any leather now that I care about these things, but cant I keep them as a reminder that we all make mistakes?

If I go to vegan festivals, will people mention them or be offended? What do you think I should do?

Apr 21st, 2006, 12:54 PM
Hi Lydia.

I have given away some of my non-vegan stuff (candles, leather jacket, etc.), am still using my leather hiking boots until they wear out (I don't see the point of not, unless you find it too gross) and I have, in my loft, my original DMs with rainbow laces that I got when I was 14! I totally wore them out - half the leather has come off, there are holes in the soles, etc. (and I still wore them, I loved them so much) and have not used them for about 8 years, but I can't bring myself to throw them away (a reminder of some very happy times).

It should be up to you what you do, but I don't really see how getting rid of them now (unless they were sold and so prevented someone else buying a new pair - which is still a bit tenuous) will really make much of a difference, so I say keep 'em if you love 'em :) .

But no, I wouldn't wear leather boots to a vegan 'do' or when I was trying to impress upon others the importance of being vegan - it could make you look hypocritical and you finish up having to defend/explain yourself.


Apr 21st, 2006, 01:45 PM
Although i wouldn't wear leather or anyother animal product, i think what you are doing by becoming vegan is fantastic.

Don't underestimate what you are doing because you do not want to give away one pair of boots!

I'm sure there will be loads of people who will post links and stuff to show you where you can get cheap vegan shoes etc and i would encourage you to do so also. But don't beat yourself up about not getting rid of one pair of shoes!! You are already making a big difference with the other changes you have made! :D

Oh, and although sometimes you find the pedantic 'i'm so much more of a vegan than you are' types, many of them would see your achievements for what they are and commend you for them!! Vegans who judge you or critcise you for wearing the odd piece of leather or eating the one bar of chocolate, i think, are wrong. They should be aware by now that that is not how to change peoples opinions but to encourage them!

Apr 21st, 2006, 04:13 PM
Thanks Plums and RedStar. I dont feels as bad now. I wont wear them to Vegan meets then, I will have to find some other shoes, Thanks a lot.

Aug 30th, 2006, 12:19 AM
well i own a few clothing items that an animal was involved in somehow, like wool, leather, suede, silk and so forth. I got them before my lifestyle change and to be honest this sentence sums up my feelings.

'well throwing it all away won't undo the damage will it, may as well make the death and suffering worth the animals while'

is that right?

Aug 30th, 2006, 09:41 AM

Sep 17th, 2006, 05:29 PM
I had a pair of beautiful Doctor Martens that were only a year old when I turned vegan, and faced the dilemma of either giving them away or wearing them out. I thought, wouldn't it be doing a greater disrespect to the animal to not even use the things it has had to sacrifice?
If it's things like shampoo, if I was in that situation, I would try and use it up and then be committed to not buying products with animal.
Shoes-wise, only you can decide. Most people you meet would not hear your explanation for wearing out your shoes, they would only see a hypocrite.
By presenting a consistent picture, i.e. no hypocritical stuff, you may actually be able to spread veganism faster.

I ended up giving my DMs away.

Sep 18th, 2006, 04:51 PM
I did the same with mine. It was actually quite hard for me. I saw my Doc's as a profession of my independence and wealth; which is interesting because when I was looking up what other vegans thought I saw mention that in America leather means wealth. I don't know that I totally believe that it is bad for the animals to wear leather, because I don't believe that they are killed for them. My veganism is partly about integrity and I reminded myself that I would never take the skin of a cow and make shoes from it, so why would I let someone else do it for me? In any event it is disrespectful.
One argument for giving your non-vegan wares away: In the case of my Doc's, some of my friends were jealous of them, and I assume they planned to buy some when they had the cash. I couldn't be responsible for more people buying leather, especially since I am not sure that it is non-harmful.

Sep 21st, 2006, 10:28 PM
my mum gave me her old walking boots (leather) in about march, i became vegan end of jan/beginning of feb time
i am not too bad wearing them, as i only go walking with my family, who more than understand and persuaded me to take them, my partner, who doesnt think im a hypocrite and a group of people in my mental health drop in, who, bless, don't really know what a vegan is. i dont think i could wear them with people who i know would be difficult but most times i only wear them for proper walking so never really talk to anyone anyway (too short of breath )
it's up to how you set your standard i think. although i have given all my wool scarves away, even though they were gifts

Oct 27th, 2006, 04:16 PM
I don't think this was mentioned here before.

What's your opinion on secondhand bone china? I really want to start a vintage teacup collection and a lot are made with bone china.

Dec 8th, 2006, 06:37 PM
if you throw away all of your products that originally came from an animal source (wool hats, cosmetics, etc.), you aren't exploiting animals or supporting agribusiness any less, and if your true motivation for being a vegan is to minimize harm to animals, you will, in fact, use the products. if you throw away a wool hat and buy a new one made of cotton, the sheep doesn't get its wool back-- all that happens is more cotton is taken out of the environment, processed in unhealthy factories and sold to you.

Dec 9th, 2006, 02:37 AM
I still own several pairs of shoes that I can only assume are non-vegan, although I don't know. I'd very much like to be able to replace them, but in this case it's a simple question of money, I don't have it. I suppose I technically won't actually be 'vegan' until I do, but as others have said, it's not like I will ever buy a non-vegan product knowingly again. Perhaps the avoiding animal products 'as much as possible' clause can apply in the case of not having the finances to replace your old non-vegan stuff.

Dec 9th, 2006, 02:42 AM
I don't think this was mentioned here before.

What's your opinion on secondhand bone china? I really want to start a vintage teacup collection and a lot are made with bone china.

Just my personal opinion, but to me that would be glorifying animal products and I don't like that idea.

Dec 9th, 2006, 03:58 AM
Thanks for your opinion. :)