Now That I’m Vegan, What Do I Do With My Shoes?

I’ve really been enjoying your posts. Have you ever done one about how to transition away from old clothing (wool, silk, leather)? I’m not sure what to do with mine. I’m not much of a shopper, so most of my wardrobe has been collected over the years and contains animal materials. I’ve been planning to wear things out and then replace them with vegan products, but I’m feeling ambivalent about that lately. What do others do and how do they afford to replace all of these clothes/shoes?
~Erin in Calgary

Hi Erin,

Great question. Vegans avoid buying and wearing animal products including fur, leather, wool, silk and down, so what’s a girl (or guy) to do when she goes veg?

First, there isn’t one right answer but here are my thoughts. The first step anyone can take is to stop buying shoes, clothes and accessories made from animal products. The less demand for these products, the better. I remember when I first learned about the veg life back in the late ’80s, I said to myself, “I’m not going to wear ugly shoes.” Luckily, compassionate consumers have good choices these days.

A Vegan Love Bag

Here’s a little story. Just before I went vegan I bought The. Cutest. Designer. Bag. Ever. (Switch out the word, bag, with shoes, coat, sweater, belt — whatever it is that you don’t want to give up.) This suede bag had the word, Love, stitched on the flap. I had wanted this purse for a loooooong time and I loved it. Then I went vegan. Ironically my “love” purse began to weigh on my heart and I knew I couldn’t use it anymore.

There is nothing cute about wearing dead animals, but what’s done is done. If you want to continue to wear them until they wear out, do so. That’s the path to least consumption. I continued to wear leather shoes and wool sweaters for a awhile but tired of people asking me about them. Eventually I let the “love” bag go along with my other non-vegan clothes. It took some time but I slowly donated everything to the needy. Also, there’s no need to go into debt rebuilding your wardrobe. Take your time with the process.

The most important step to take is to stop buying shoes, clothes and accessories made from animals. What you do with your current wardrobe isn’t as important, just follow your heart.

Best wishes,

Vegan shopping resources:

These are just a few resources for purchasing vegan goods. Use google to find more options.

What’s wrong with wearing:

I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at Vegan Blogs.

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