There’s a lot of talk about ‘versions’ of veganism. Some people go so far as to say that the movement isn’t black and white and there are no strict parameters. However, to align with a fully vegan lifestyle one rule applies: no animal products.
When it comes to food, things can be simple, if a bit fiddly. You’ll read every packet to ensure no milk powder has snuck in, but avoiding animal-based ingredients is easy, once you get used to it. Complications arise in unexpected and easily ignored areas. The following are 8 things that strict vegans will need to replace, but can unwittingly overlook.
Not everyone can invest in a custom bicycle from a vegan framebuilder, but without guidance from a like-minded professional, animal products can sneak onto a bicycle in a number of places. Saddles are an obvious one, as is handlebar tape. Both are frequently made from leather. Some tyres will be made using animal glues as well.
It wasn’t all rayon and polyester back in the day, so watch what you’re buying when you dig up a retro bargain and check what you already have. We fully support the process of buying, re-wearing and upcycling vintage clothing, but be mindful. A lot of leather trims and suede detailing used to be in vogue. Wool jumpers can be hard to spot if old labels have been removed too.
Bone toggles and buttons
It might sound niche but toggles and buttons made from bone and horn are more common than you think. Even today they are still easy to find on duffle coats and outdoor clothing pieces. Replacing them with alternatives is simple and your local haberdashery will be able to help you source the most authentic-looking but cruelty-free options.
Reusable food wraps to furniture polish. So many things contain beeswax. It’s the milk powder of the non-edible products world. It trips up many a seasoned vegan when labelled as ‘cera alba’ and can be replaced with animal-free alternatives. For food wrap, making your own with melted soy wax is easy and cost-effective.
If you haven’t replaced your watch strap since before you turned vegan and like a classic look, you might have some leather to swap out. Everyday accessories that become more a habit than a personal addition are some of the easiest things to overlook, because you don’t actively engage with the process of putting them on anymore. It’s simply something you do automatically.
Most of your personal care items
Toiletries and cosmetics frequently contain animal-based ingredients or are tested on unwitting creatures. Though some 41 countries have finally banned animal testing there is a long way to go and the only way to ensure a global ban is to vote with your money. By slashing the demand for products that are tested cruelly, companies will have no option but to do away with archaic practices. Don’t throw away anything you already have, but when your shampoo runs out, try a certified vegan brand and make the switch gradually across everything. Home cleaning products can be added to this list as well.
We know it’s hard to give up those fabulous wool rugs that it took you years to find, but ethics and interior design can coexist beautifully. You don’t need to replace kilim rugs with synthetic pieces. Simply look for natural material alternatives, such as jute, sisal and seagrass. Cotton rugs come in all patterns and colours if you need something funkier.
Weird, right? A lot of socks are made using merino wool. It’s what keeps them soft, warm and able to wick moisture away from your feet. Sport socks in particular usually feature at least some merino. The problem is, it isn’t vegan. For performance socks, try replacing wool ones with bamboo alternatives. The same breathability and wicking capabilities have been observed, just without any sacrifice.
Swapping out a handful of little things will make a huge impact. Not only on your own veganism, but the planet as well. Small changes lead to big mindset shifts. And they change everything.