Vegan Crafting Made Easy: Vegan Sewing Supplies

One of the main things I hear from non-vegans about the vegan lifestyle is that it seems difficult. While I agree that any lifestyle change is tough, I don’t think going vegan is any harder than any other big life change. It takes a little bit of research, a bit of knowledge, and some compassion.

Where does the compassion come in? Veganism is all about compassion: choosing a cruelty-free lifestyle and supporting animal rights. I think that compassion extends beyond what we choose to eat, wear, and craft with, though. It’s about being compassionate to other people and to ourselves. Did you accidentally make a purse only to realize later that it has shell buttons? Don’t beat yourself up! You’ve learned something, and you did your best. There will be other purses, right?

If you’re concerned about keeping your crafts vegan, it’s as simple as keeping an eye out for animal products and opting for cruelty-free alternatives. Here are some tips to get you going:

  • Opt for natural, non-animal fabrics like hemp, linen, and organic cotton.
  • Choose organic cotton or synthetic thread.
  • Buttons are a sneaky source of animal products. Look for wood, glass, and vintage plastic. No bone or shell, since these are animal products.
  • Most sewing notions are already vegan, so just look out for common animal products like wool. When in doubt, Google it!

I’m sure we’ve got some other seasoned, vegan crafters out there! What other fabrics and sewing notions can contain animal products or be tested on animals? Let’s share some knowledge in the comments!

[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by cedwardmoran]

5 thoughts on “Vegan Crafting Made Easy: Vegan Sewing Supplies”

  1. I like the concept of making our own clothes to decrease our footprint. We’ve all heard about the 1500 mile salad. What about the 6000 mile t-shirt? Being vegan is also about making social decisions that impact everyone. Of course, preaching to the choir but…
    I also like to go to thrift stores to look for interesting buttons and embellishments. That ticks the boxes for recycling plus, it’s fun and cheap!

    1. Indeed, and I’m glad you brought up the social impacts of crafting. It’s something I think vegan and non-vegan crafters could probably stand to think about a bit more, myself included!

  2. I’m an elementary school art teacher, and am constantly looking for green, animal friendly products/techniques. The students in my room LOVE to sew, and I try to use reclaimed fabric (old clothing as well as donated scraps). This year I was running low, so I broke down and bought some felt–the ecofit brand claims it is made from 100% recycled water bottles. For stuffing, we use old cotton t-shirts.

    I buy the thread at thrift stores, but much of it is polyester . . . I hadn’t thought about that . . .

    I’m so glad I stumbled on this series, you’ve given me new things to think about.

    Laurie Dyer

  3. I can totaly get on board with this. As I’m new to veganism (It all started because of milk intolerance) & I love to sew I find the concept of vegan sewing totally cool! I do have questions though. I’ve been sewing most of my life & people are always giving me things they think I can “use or RE-use”. Before i became vegan (for diet reasons) someone gave me an old leather coat. As Im also a firm believer in not waisting things & recycling, as both being viable and reasonable options – at that time i didn’t see the “harm” in turning it into something else. I always heard growing up that old saying “waste not-want not”. So my question is basically-what is your opinion? Am i still doing “harm” to RE-use something? Wouldn’t it have done as much harm thowing it away just to add to the landfills? And please don’t think I’m trying to start an argument…I really am interested in learning more, and in your opinions.

  4. I’m vegan and I’m just hand sewing at the moment, and I recently watched a video about how sewing needles and pins are made using an ‘electroplating’ process to harden and shine up the metal in a glycerin bath. I don’t know how old the video is. I’m searching for more info on this….

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