December is a big month for gift-giving here in North America, so this seemed like a great time to do a Vegan Gift Guide. Still, this list is intended to be useful year round, whenever you find yourself buying for a vegan friend or family member. And although this list is geared towards vegans and vegetarians, most of these gifts could be suitable for anyone (perhaps not the sweater that literally reads “I am Vegan”, but the other things). I’ve also tried to balance options for men and women pretty evenly throughout.
This is the first part in a series of Gift Guide posts, each of which will contain gift suggestions of a different category. Today’s category is Clothing and Accessories!
Keep in mind that many clothes are accidentally vegan (that is, not specifically made to be vegan or made by a vegan company) and most clothes don’t contain animal products. But many do, with the main offenders being leather and wool (and for some vegans, silk).
Although less pervasive than it once was, there remains a stereotype that all vegans are of the “granola” variety, and like to wear hemp and smell like patchouli all the time. And this is true of some. But not all. I am vegan, but I also work as a lawyer, in an office building, and my daily life involves wearing business attire and clothing that is not made of hemp or organic cotton.
Like me, many vegans want to replicate fashion that is based on non-vegan products like leather and wool, just without actually using any animal products. I love fashion. And I am so excited that there is a growing number of companies out there creating high fashion, high quality, stylish products out of non-animal materials. Doubly exciting is that many of these companies have social consciousness at their very core and focus not only on avoiding animal products, but also on ethically and sustainably sourced materials and fair labour practices.
This list includes some of my favourite vegan companies, a few items that contain vegan messaging, as well as a few accidentally vegan items that I thought you and the people you give presents to might love.
A couple of notes before we get started. First, the prices quoted below are estimates, based on prices I have found on various online shops. Prices will, of course, vary from store to store, and may be a little off here because some sites automatically convert to Canadian dollars when they see I’m in Canada while others do not. Second, this clothing and accessories list contains in general a greater ratio of pricey to non-pricey items than other lists in my Gift Guide series. So if you find yourself gawking at some of the prices (because you’re clearly not about to buy your vegan co-worker a $250 pair of shoes for secret Santa), don’t worry: there are a few pretty affordable options here and many more to come in the remaining Gift Guide posts.
Lastly, none of the companies below are sponsoring me or have given me anything in return for including them on this list and saying nice things about them (to be clear, I wish they were, but they are not). I have no connection to any of these companies, other than that I either own or covet their products. But companies, if you see your stuff on this list and want to thank me for the unsolicited shout out, please feel free to send me free things!
1. Anything from Matt & Nat
Does the vegan you are buying for carry things ever? (Hint: the answer to this question is “yes”). Then I suggest you check out one of my all time favourite companies, Matt & Nat.
Matt & Nat’s motto is “live beautifully” and they are doing a brilliant job of this. Committed to using sustainable and eco-friendly materials that are not animal based, Matt & Nat has created simple yet sophisticated wallets, purses, handbags and backpacks for both men and women. These beautiful products are also incredibly high quality and last a lifetime. Pro tip: Beyond the Rack often has sales on Matt & Nat, so a little patience can get you some pretty great deals.
Pictured below, clockwise from the top left: Soren Black Briefcase ($185), Daisy Macaroon Clutch ($80), Bane Black Wallet ($35) and Fabi Chili Backpack ($165). Check out the site for many more styles.
2. Nicora Shoes
Nicora Shoes makes absolutely gorgeous footwear and promotes ethical, sustainable, vegan shoemaking. Nicora focuses on fashion that is “cruelty-free, earth friendly & human friendly”. The price point is a little higher than some may be used to, especially for vegan shoes (which are often cheaper than their leather counterparts), but this higher price is reflective of their commitment to manufacturing without exploitation (of humans, animals or the environment) along the supply chain. If you are able to afford them, these ethically produced beauties are well worth it. The solid gold Sallys ($197) are my current favourite, but the Sinclair red canvas boots ($249) are a close second. For men’s footwear, check out the waxed brown or black canvas Sinclair boots ($249).
3. A Free People Tote
Free People makes a collection of beautiful vegan handbags, purses and totes for women. I especially like the reversible Slouchy Vegan Tote ($90) in tan/indigo or emerald/black.
4. An Awesome Vegan Shirt
The Vegan Police Shop on Etsy is one of my very favourites. The shop features super affordable clothing and accessories (from pins for $1.50 to hoodies for $48) for men, women and children, sporting vegan messages and adorable animals. I love the Ferocious Vegan bunny tank that I got from here. I’m currently coveting the highland bull tank as well. And the Vegan lamb undies.
The Lettuce Turnip the Beet apparel from Coup on Etsy is also just fantastic. And check out Little Atoms charcoal grey I am Vegan sweatshirt. Little Atoms has some other beauties as well, like the I’m Really a Unicorn sweater. Not really a vegan message, but still awesome.
Here I am in my Ferocious Vegan shirt. Look how happy it makes me!
5. Vaute Couture Clothing
Vaute Couture is another fantastic vegan clothing designer and manufacturer. This New York-based company started off with outerwear, and the goal of creating “the best outerwear – beautiful, weatherproof, with love for the Earth, the Animals, and workers”. They still produce gorgeous vegan outerwear for both men and women from a variety of innovative textiles, but they have now expanded to include some other apparel as well, including tanks and tees, sweatshirts, accessories and now gowns.
Pictured below, clockwise from the top left: the Nicole Waxed Insulated Winter Bomber ($373), the Aidan in Organic Moleskin ($427), the Mark Mountain Coat in Primaloft Insulated Organic Moleskin ($522), the James in Grey Waxed Canvas ($358), I Do Win Friends With Salad Sweatshirt ($64), Piglet Tank ($32) and No Animals Harmed in the Making of this Boy Tee ($32).
Also, this “V” necklace ($21) is beautiful.
And here I am, in my Vaute winter jacket, purchased a few years ago in the early days of the company.
6. A Carrot Charm Necklace
I was gifted a carrot charm necklace for my birthday a few years ago, and it has been one of my favourite casual pieces of jewelry ever since. In addition to just being a simple little necklace, it is fun and unique, and allows me to quietly portray my love of vegetables while simultaneously allowing me to laugh at myself and play with vegan stereotypes (like that we eat nothing but rabbit food).
This one for $20 from Minivan Revolts on Etsy looks cute.
7. A (Vegan) Watch
These days you can find lots of stylish watches that don’t have leather straps. For instance, check out WeWOOD, an eco-conscious company that creates wooden timepieces for men and women. They even plant a tree for every watch purchased!
Pictured below, clockwise from the top left: Arrow Nut ($140), Dehna Beige Cyan ($140), Beta Chocolate ($140) and Bella Beige with a cloth band ($120).
8. Something from Brave Gentleman
At Brave Gentleman “ethical fashion is not an aesthetic, it is a methodology”. Brave Gentleman offers incredible high-end men’s fashion while focusing on sustainable innovation, superior vegan materials, ethical labor & classic styles made with quality. The price point is high, but the clothing is sophisticated, high quality and boardroom ready.
Pictured below, clockwise from the top left: Future-Suede Moto Jacket, Sequoia ($870), Visionary Boot, Camel ($312), Executive ($285), New York Belt ($90), Italian Cotton Tweed Suit Jacket ($570) and Burgundy Tweed Suit Pants ($350).
Hope you found this helpful! Happy shopping!