Vegan crafting is sort of a tricky subject. While a lot of folks equate veganism with environmentalism, the two don’t necessarily go hand in hand. I do believe, though, that the mindset that goes along with veganism can help you make greener choices in your crafting.
What Does Vegan Mean Anyway?
Veganism is about more than diet. It’s about making compassionate lifestyle choices and saying no to animal cruelty. That means cutting the animal products out of your day to day, not just getting them off of your dinner plate.
It’s that mindfulness that I think makes many vegan crafters also think a lot about the environment. If you care about animals enough to change your diet and lifestyle, chances are you’re taking a look at other ways your choices impact the planet.
Not everyone goes vegan for environmental reasons, and not all vegan options are necessarily eco-friendly. For the vegan green crafter, it’s important that we choose not only cruelty-free supplies but ones with a lower impact on the planet.
Vegan Craft Supplies
Fabric is a great example of the vegan green crafty dilemma. Some products, like felt, are a no-brainer. Wool felt is a no-no, but recycled felt is a great eco-friendly vegan option. When it comes to something like leather, though, things get more complicated.
Leather is not vegan, but vinyl is a petroleum product. What’s a green crafter to do? In my case, I just skip both and opt for designs that don’t call for leather or plastic leather substitutes. Notions can be tricky, as well. You might not think twice about something like shell buttons, but real shell is an animal product.
Along with animal products, vegans don’t use products that contain animal by-products or those that were tested on animals. Paints, clay, and glue for example, can contain animal by-products, and it takes a bit of digging to find brands that are vegan friendly. Over at All Those Things, Hazel has a nice, ongoing roundup of some vegan art and craft supplies.
I think the key to finding vegan supplies that are also eco-friendly is careful label-reading and also a bit of research. If you’re not sure what’s in a product, it’s worth reaching out to the company to ask. Not only will that help you make an informed purchase, it lets the company know that its customers value eco-friendly, vegan products!
Vegan Crafting Made Easy
Since publishing this article in March 2011, we’ve added some vegan crafting resources to our archives. They felt so relevant to this piece, that I wanted to list them here:
- Vegan Sewing Supplies
- Vegan Soap-Making
- Making Vegan Jewelry
- Knit and Crochet
- A Vegan Beeswax Alternative
- Reader Question: Vegan Wood Waxes?
I’ve love to hear from some of the other vegan crafters out there! How do you keep it green while making sure your crafts are cruelty free?
[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Melanie Hughes]