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Vegan Gentlemen

deepgreen

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Hello everyone!

What this thread is about:
Sharing and appreciation of classis menswear that is made without any animal products such as leather free shoes, wool free suits etc. It is hard to find good quality vegan menswear that doesn't LOOK vegan. (We've all seen those square toed faux leather dress shoes)

I would also like to loosely include NON vegan items if they are thrifted, second hand, repaired etc. and how you might go about finding and altering them. I want to include them since I personally feel that there in no harm done in wearing out your leather goods or buying them when it does not create new market demand.

What this thread is NOT about: A discussion of morals, diet or anything that is removed from the topic of clothing that aims to exclude or reduce animal products.
Let's stay civil and on-topic everyone :cheers:
________________________________________________________________________________


To start things off i would like to share this pair of beatiful brogue oxfords which i got on sale recently. Exactly what i was looking for in my quest to build a smarter and more adult wardrobe!
 

HotToddy

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Why don’t you just buy vegan products from good menswear shops or tailors? Cotton, linen or corduroy would all class as vegan I would think.

It is not vegan but for shoes shell cordovan can be an ethical option. You can source horses hides that are from horses that have been killed humanely and were dying of natural causes.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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Nice topic.

I looked into this once but struggled to find good products. Some things I was able to dig up:

MooShoes carries some vegan sneakers from Veja (note, I've heard their sneakers are hard to break in)

https://www.mooshoes.com/collections/mens-sneakers

Vegetarian Shoes has one of the better looking oxfords I've seen (they may have a derby in there, which would be better for casual outfits)

https://www.vegetarian-shoes.co.uk/shoes/pimlico_oxford_black/17159_p.html

Vegan Chic has a Timberland book lookalike

https://www.veganchic.com/men/vegan+boots/search.aspx

And Sanders used to carry a vegan model. I unfortunately don't know the name, but you can contact the company. It's supposedly available upon special order.

https://putthison.com/sanders-vegan-shoes-our-friend-ville-over-at/

The thing I struggled with the most was finding good animal-free suits. It's not just finding something in cotton or linen, but something made without horsehair inside. On most suits, the chest piece inside will be made from a springy horsehair to give the garment some shape. There are some garments made without any structure, but they're not always the kind of thing you can wear to a professional office (e.g. Barena or Engineered Garments, who do their takes on a tailored jacket, but in a more casual way). I found a company that made fully vegan suits and sport coats, but the cut left a lot to be desired. Just seems like finding a vegan suit or sport coat -- not made from wool, no horsehair inside, and in a good cut -- is like trying to find a unicorn.
 

deepgreen

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Why don’t you just buy vegan products from good menswear shops or tailors? Cotton, linen or corduroy would all class as vegan I would think.

It is not vegan but for shoes shell cordovan can be an ethical option. You can source horses hides that are from horses that have been killed humanely and were dying of natural causes.
tailors aren't really a "world" i have dived into yet, but i've figured that researching facbrics and going to a tailor would be a good idea for getting that wool free suit (that isn't completely polyester haha)

i've never heard of sourcing that kind of leather, sounds very interesting for sure! do you have any sources or good starts as to where one could start reading into it?
 

deepgreen

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Nice topic.

I looked into this once but struggled to find good products. Some things I was able to dig up:

MooShoes carries some vegan sneakers from Veja (note, I've heard their sneakers are hard to break in)

https://www.mooshoes.com/collections/mens-sneakers

Vegetarian Shoes has one of the better looking oxfords I've seen (they may have a derby in there, which would be better for casual outfits)

https://www.vegetarian-shoes.co.uk/shoes/pimlico_oxford_black/17159_p.html

Vegan Chic has a Timberland book lookalike

https://www.veganchic.com/men/vegan+boots/search.aspx

And Sanders used to carry a vegan model. I unfortunately don't know the name, but you can contact the company. It's supposedly available upon special order.

https://putthison.com/sanders-vegan-shoes-our-friend-ville-over-at/

The thing I struggled with the most was finding good animal-free suits. It's not just finding something in cotton or linen, but something made without horsehair inside. On most suits, the chest piece inside will be made from a springy horsehair to give the garment some shape. There are some garments made without any structure, but they're not always the kind of thing you can wear to a professional office (e.g. Barena or Engineered Garments, who do their takes on a tailored jacket, but in a more casual way). I found a company that made fully vegan suits and sport coats, but the cut left a lot to be desired. Just seems like finding a vegan suit or sport coat -- not made from wool, no horsehair inside, and in a good cut -- is like trying to find a unicorn.
thanks for replying!

yes, suit shopping has proved to be quite difficult for me as well, (especially given my small frame too) they are unicorns indeed haha
for now i mostly thrift (non vegan) suits and have them altered as a transition before i can actualy afford going to a tailor.

a thing i was wondering about, given that you seem to have a fair bit of experience i thought i could ask, is if there are ways to nicely shine and poilish faux leather shoes?
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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thanks for replying!

yes, suit shopping has proved to be quite difficult for me as well, (especially given my small frame too) they are unicorns indeed haha
for now i mostly thrift (non vegan) suits and have them altered as a transition before i can actualy afford going to a tailor.

a thing i was wondering about, given that you seem to have a fair bit of experience i thought i could ask, is if there are ways to nicely shine and poilish faux leather shoes?
I don't have that much experience with vegan leather shoes, to be honest. But I looked into vegan clothing once when I was trying to research some things for an article. That said, my impression, from having at least handled a few samples, is that this stuff doesn't shine up well. If you get a pair, I'd be curious to hear your experience.

To be honest, I don't even polish my full grain leather shoes that often. I think it's fine to have dress shoes that aren't high spit-shined or anything, so long as they don't look dusty. I kind of prefer the more casual, fuss-free look of just normal, conditioned leather. My main concern with vegan leather would be how it ages. Corrected grain leathers typically don't age that well. If you get a pair, I'd be curious to hear your experience with them after a year or so of wearing.

I think if you're OK with thrifting non-vegan clothes, that's probably your best bet. At least for tailored clothing. I just think it's hard to make a tailored jacket look good with some kind of horsehair inside. Horsehair is nice and springy, so it helps give the jacket some shape.

On the upside, if your reasons for going vegan is because you don't want to contribute to an economy that's linked to animal abuse, I think thrifting is a reasonable way to go because so many clothes at this point are just binned or shipped off to rag markets. You're still in the animal economy, but it's pretty tertiary. If someone has religious or other moral reasons for not consuming animal products, outside of economic/ production reasons, and they can't thrift, I would suggest just sticking with casualwear. It's a lot easier to do this in casual clothing.
 

HotToddy

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tailors aren't really a "world" i have dived into yet, but i've figured that researching facbrics and going to a tailor would be a good idea for getting that wool free suit (that isn't completely polyester haha)

i've never heard of sourcing that kind of leather, sounds very interesting for sure! do you have any sources or good starts as to where one could start reading into it?
I am not sure to be honest. I have a shell cordovan watch strap which I bought in France and was told it was made from a racehorse that went lame. I am not sure how common it is to do this though.

A lot of English shoe makers offer shell cordovan. I suppose you could ask them how they source their hides if you want to buy a pair.
 

dieworkwear

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I am not sure to be honest. I have a shell cordovan watch strap which I bought in France and was told it was made from a racehorse that went lame. I am not sure how common it is to do this though.

A lot of English shoe makers offer shell cordovan. I suppose you could ask them how they source their hides if you want to buy a pair.
afaik shell largely comes from horse meat consumption
 

aj805

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I've got llama leather boots that the maker claimed were made from hides of animals that died of natural causes.

I know also that kudu is sold as "ethically sourced" because there is a mandate to cull them in Africa--"ethically slaughtered" if you will.

Thus goes that slippery slope.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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Yea, I think it's a lot easier to do this in casualwear, if only because you can stick to things like cotton, linen, and even synthetic materials.

I'm a little skeptical of any claim that says an animal died of natural causes or was humanely put down. Having interviewed a few brands and stores now, I just find information is often mixed in with marketing purposes and people, frankly, often don't know what's going on.

Production at this point is so fragmented and globalized with things sourced through long and often far-reaching supply chains, I've been shocked by how many people know very little about the products they're selling. They can tell you a bit about the company's history (marketing pamphlet stuff) and maybe even the basics about the material (worsted vs woolen or whatever). But I've seen people not know the actual fiber compositions in a garment. Something may be marked one fiber composition, but the actual fiber composition may be different because someone along the way decided to lie for import or marketing purposes. Or something says "made in Italy" when it was actually finished in Italy and most of the production was done in China. Or the marketing pamphlet says workers who made some garment were living some scenic, beautiful lifestyle, sewing these products by hand in natural sunlight. And then you go to the factory, in Italy, and there's a lot of out-house work done through a less-than-ideal subcontracting network where workers work for very little pay and no benefits.

Until there's some certification method for humanly sourced skins, I have a difficult time believing someone behind a counter knows how an animal was killed. Some guy at a tannery may not even know. The only person who actually knows is the person who killed the animal and he's far, far down the supply chain, unknown to most of the people even selling the raw materials for the product, let alone people selling finished goods.

I wear animal products, but also care a lot about animal welfare. I don't have a good way of squaring those two values. I don't know if industrial production can ever be truly kind to animals. For tailoring, one of the problems you run up against is that animal hair has a natural spring to it, which just helps make garments look better. Better neckties will be made with wool interlinings, rather than cotton. Tailored clothing will have haircloth. I imagine faux leather dress shoes also don't age that well.

But we're living in such casual times, and tailoring is so elective at this point, I feel like if someone wanted to dress better, they would have more natural and better options in casualwear anyway. Good casualwear is better than bad tailoring.
 

Bromley

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The thing I struggled with the most was finding good animal-free suits. It's not just finding something in cotton or linen, but something made without horsehair inside. On most suits, the chest piece inside will be made from a springy horsehair to give the garment some shape.
There are some sturdy, springy linen chest/body canvases out there. I visited the Martin Greenfield factory once, and I think I remember they were using linen canvas in some jackets because their Orthodox Jewish clients don't wear clothes that contain both wool and linen fibers. I might have that a little wrong, but it was something like that. Anyway, linen and cotton are great materials. Is silk vegan?
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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There are some sturdy, springy linen chest/body canvases out there. I visited the Martin Greenfield factory once, and I think I remember they were using linen canvas in some jackets because their Orthodox Jewish clients don't wear clothes that contain both wool and linen fibers. I might have that a little wrong, but it was something like that. Anyway, linen and cotton are great materials. Is silk vegan?
Huh, that's good to know. Might be a path to explore.

Regarding silk, I think it depends on someone's reasons for going vegan. There are so many reasons why someone might choose to avoid animal products. If you take the Peter Singer approach (don't cause harm to sentient beings), then I imagine silk is off limits. As far as I know, you're boiling those silkworms in hot water, then extracting their cocoons.
 

double00

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i think tussah silk comes from cocoons that have already been vacated but i would not consider it a vegan product
 

thesilentist

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A few caveats that I always tell vegan clients before we move forward is this:

1.) There's no shoulder pad. No, we can't source a non-wool shoulder pad. This means the jacket will sit on your shoulders and will reflect any bumps and imperfections along the shoulder line.

2.) There's no canvas (wool, horsehair). No, we can't source a vegan alternative. This will mean the jacket won't have any structure and will not drape quite as nicely as a fully canvased garment. One of our factories has several canvas materials available -- none of them are vegan or without animal hair.

3.) We use cotton, linen or poly-synthetic fabrics. Cotton and linen will look more casual and not drape as nicely as even the most cheapest wool. It'll also wrinkle more. We have nice cottons (like a gabardine collection from Solbiati) but you won't get that clean looking wool suit look. The poly-synthetic stuff is merely "ok". I don't hate it, I don't love it. And the colors are pretty limited -- and they're all solids. We also have some bamboo fabrics, which are really nice and soft, but perhaps better as a jacket than full suit. Also they tend to be more loosely woven and stretch out a bit more than a typical tighter weave.

It's really important for me that vegan clients seeking a custom made suit know what they're getting into. There are definitely tradeoffs and I try to make sure there's a realistic level of expectations going into the process.
 

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