Find the Best Sustainable Silk Substitute for Vegans
Being vegan is not all about the plan-based food we choose to consume and the animal products we choose to omit from our diets, it’s also about living a fully ethical and more sustainable lifestyle that aligns perfectly with our morals throughout all walks of life.
Unfortunately, animal products, animal-derived products, and animal testing is used in a wide range of traditional items within our daily lives, from our bags to shoes, furniture, and blankets, finding ethically sourced, and vegan alternatives are what it’s all about.
Vegan silk is another bug that has caused a lot of controversy in the plant-based community and is a perfect example of how we so easily miss the misconduct of animals being used in large and unsustainable quantities.
Is Silk Vegan?
While silk as a material is often overlooked and actually advertised as a more eco-friendly clothing material, the hidden truths behind how it’s made ultimately determine the reason that it is not vegan. Do vegans wear silk? Vegans avoid wearing or buying silk due to the fact that it is not ethically sourced and made by using animals.
This is because silk is actually spun by worms in a process that is surprisingly extremely cruel and often ends up killing them. The silkworms used to make silk products are often domesticated and raised on farms where they are treated poorly and solely used for their silk-spinning abilities and because of this type of cruelty and animal abuse, vegans will avoid silk altogether as it is not ethically or morally correct.
Vegan Silk Alternative
As vegans tend to avoid silk and steer as far as possible from any products that possess the material, there have many vegan silk fabric substitutes made o provide them with a similar product but that is ethically sourced and environmentally friendly. Lucky for us vegans the market nowadays is strongly catering to the veggie community and provides an array of options including:
Banana silk is a cruelty-free silk substitute that comes directly from banana trees that are normally used for their fruits and fibers. However, within the Japanese culture, banana trees have been used in the fashion industry to made and thread fibers that similarly represent the texture of silk. The fabric produced is often spun by hand and is a great environmentally friendly and low waste textile.
Another ethical silk source is that of cactus silk, which is derived from a specific subspecies of succulents that can grow without much water or care. It is most commonly produced in Morocco and found all over the most popular flea markets and clothing stalls. It is great because it takes on dyes really well and has a naturally non-crease ability.
Similar to banana silk, pineapple silk is a sustainable silk source that comes directly from the plant itself. The long fibers, already present in the plant’s leaves, are dried out, spun, and then carefully woven into beautiful and delicate, silk-like fabrics that are used to create blankets and items of clothing in a more environmentally friendly way.
The lotus flower is not only beautiful to look at, but actually produces silk by spinning the long rots of the flower. They are most commonly processed by hand and leave little to no carbon footprint along the journey. This fabric however is very rare and thus very pricey, however, the environmental status and quality of the product make it worth the cost in every way.
Manmade Spide Silk
The silk made from spiders is one of the most durable materials on this planet and can withstand almost any disruption. It is used today in things such as bulletproof vests and telescopes but relies a lot on spiders in the process. That’s when the manmade version of this material comes into play. Manmade spider silk is an eco-friendly silk substitute that is produced in a lab using yeast, sugar, salts, and water to create a fabric on a mass scale that closely represents the same type of texture, look, and durability as the traditional spider silk, but without any animal abuse, cruelty or animal-derived products in the process, making it a perfect vegan alternative.
The Silk Solution
At the end of the day as you can see there is such a wider and diverse variety of silk alternatives that are both vegan-friendly, ethically sourced, environmentally friendly, and a sustainable option for our planet. Luckily for us vegans there is no need to dwell over the fact that we cannot or should not purchase products made from silk when our options for a very similar fabric are so wide. So the next time you are looking to purchase a silky smooth pillowcase, dressing gown, or underwear why not try searching for one of these ethically sourced vegan silk alternatives instead and see what you think for yourself, you may just be pleasantly surprised.
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