Silk, Wool and Leather


Forum Senior
Apr 19, 2015
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  1. Vegan
To most people, when they mention 'vegan' they are only referring to a dietary vegan and the same with vegetarian, they are only thinking about what you eat, a dietary vegetarian. They eat vegan/vegetarian, but they don't actually consider the rest and that is things such as silk, wool and leather to name a few.

Now OK, you don't eat them, but with silk especially, the living caterpillar is boiled alive (no other way) to obtain the silk. The individual strands of silk will not unravel unless the cocoon is plunged into boiling water and the insect killed.

Wool, well usually that isn't a problem for the sheep if they are only sheared once or twice a year but it is traumatic for the sheep and lambing and wool do not go hand in hand, it is an either or situation.

Leather & Suede, obviously only obtainable once the animal is dead because it is the skin of the animal (not necessarily cow, but usually so).

So I am wondering where you all stand on this.

Personally I don't wear silk or use leather, but I do have a lot of woollen items. I use them until the are totally worn out and un-repairable. I have several woollen tops from companies such as Icebreaker and Smartwool that are decades old. I can date the items to within a month of when I purchased them and they are still going strong in most cases, though one top has had to be declared illegal and can now only be worn under something because it is almost totally thread bare now!

So where do you all stand on the silk, wool, leather & suede arguments? We have plenty of alternatives available that will now replace these items.

This makes for a great read on the subject
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Apr 23, 2015
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  1. Vegan newbie
I usually assume that vegans care about animal products in clothing, wheras vegetarians are more lax.

I personally do not buy any new silk, leather or wool products, but I have no problem getting these items from charity shops if I like them. Leather shoes are often much stronger than imitation leather and last me much longer - I don't like the fact they're made from dead cows, but you know, at least I'm not directly supporting the industry. Though I have always thought that if you have to kill animals though, you might as well use everything, there's no point wasting the hide of a animal already killed for meat, in my opinion.