Transitioning to a Cruelty Free Wardrobe

3 Aug

Today I have a brand new column starting that I’m writing over at iEatGrass! It’s called Vegan Vogue and I’ll be writing about all things stylish and vegan. This is a re-post of my first article, but don’t forget to stop on over there to check it out. They have lots of awesome vegan content over there.

Get rid of your non-vegan designer and wardrobe items with these quick tips. {image credit: style.ish}

When first making the decision to go vegan, the first step people think of is eliminating all animal products out of your diet. It usually takes a little bit before new vegans remember their entire wardrobe is packed full of animal products as well.

Shoes, and accessories more often than not made of leather. When winter rolls around, we often forget our coats and sweaters are full of wool. Purging your wardrobe and replacing everything with cruelty free versions is no small task when you’re first starting out.

Being a big fan of fashion, when I myself made this realization, I was pretty overwhelmed. I suddenly felt guilty wearing about half my shoe collection. My handbag collection was my biggest hit. Handbags were my guilty pleasure, and my closet was packed with pricey designer versions. I also tend to prefer more “rocker” type looks, which are very leather heavy. So it was time to start looking for replacements for all my favorite items. I needed money to do this, so I turned all my non-vegan items into cash so I could shop for cruelty free versions.

Good news is now with the help of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to sell your leather and wool items to other stylish ladies and gents who will get use of them, all while making some money so you can go buy yourself a vegan leather wallet. Here we’re some of the websites and stores that made it easy for me to create my now 100% vegan friendly wardrobe.


Fashionphile is the place to go if you have super high end, designer items to move. If you’ve ever tried to sell a designer purse on eBay or Craigslist, you’ll appreciate this being its notoriously hard to sell designer bags and accessories because everyone thinks they are fakes.
Fashionphile is a consignment boutique based on the west coast that will evaluate photos of the items you have for sale, and then tell you what they can sell them for. Being they’re an established consignment boutique, fans of designer items trust the items aren’t knockoffs, so they’ll pay a higher price for them than you could selling them on your own through eBay or Craigslist.

The selling process is easy. You set up an online account and send them over the pieces you want to sell. They’ll evaluate then to determine the condition of the pieces, as well that they’re legitimate and if so what they can sell them for you for. If you agree to their conditions, they give you pre-paid shipping labels so you can ship the items to them. Once they sell, they cut and mail you a check. It’s that simple.

Again, this place is best for higher end designer handbags and accessories. During my purge, I sent over 3-4 of my purses, including some Louis Vuittons and they made me close to my Brooklyn rent back. It was well worth the time and effort.


Threadflip & Copious
Threadflip and Copious are both web platforms that allow fashionistas to sell their gently used items to other fashionistas. Think of it like eBay with a fashion twist, but better curated and more like shopping at an online boutique. Threadflip even has an iPhone app that makes it easy to post and sell items on the fly. They also allow you to take a quick “style quiz”, and the service will recommend other sellers and items to you based on your tastes.

For both services you can sell and receive credits to purchase items from other sellers. This is great if you lets say wanted to get rid of a pair of leather pumps, and replace them with a pair of vegan ones. Several sellers on both platforms even tag items as being vegan so they are easy to find. I found these neon blue, pointed toe flats on Copious the week before last.

To make your items stand out, make sure your photography is on point! The better the pieces are presented either as part of an outfit, or on a unique background (like my new neon flats were) the quicker they’ll sell.


eBay is now a household name, and we all know what their service does. They still remain a great way to purge leather and wool items out of your closet.

Buffalo Exchange-Crossroads

Recycled Fashion Stores- Like Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading Company
If you are fortunate enough to live a Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads Trading Company, or similar store, you’ll soon learn they are the easiest and fastest way to clear out our wardrobe (vegan or not!), and replenish it with brand new, eco-friendly styles you love. The way it works is you bring in your gently used items and they’ll buy them from you for either store credit or cash.

Any time I feel like doing some guilt-free shopping, I hit up my closet, grab a few items I no longer wear and head on over. I always sell for credit and then use the credit to buy new items to freshen up my wardrobe.

When selling at a recycled fashion boutique, always remember the season you are in. These stores don’t really keep a stock inventory and will only buy what they can move immediately. So if it’s the middle of summer, don’t bring them all your wool sweaters. Call in advance to see what they are currently buying, or you can check their website as well.

I purged the majority of my mainstream handbags, shoes, accessories and clothes of leather and wool just by bringing them to Buffalo Exchange. Fun part was I racked up a ton of credit, which means I get to shop until I drop now!

Have you transitioned your wardrobe to be 100% cruelty-free? Share you tips in the comments!

14 Responses to “Transitioning to a Cruelty Free Wardrobe”

  1. gold account August 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    When choosing a non-leather company, one should also consider the company’s reasons for carrying non-leather goods. Although we are pleased that more and more companies offer non-leather items, most large manufacturers and retailers who carry both leather and non-leather offer the non-leather goods primarily for economic reasons. It is cheaper to manufacture non-leather goods, and as a result they often cost less. Note that many of these companies sell mainly leather items. Still, by supporting the vegan articles these companies distribute, a clear statement can be made in favor of alternative products. Maybe this will encourage companies to produce more synthetic products, even if their reasons for this decision are not necessarily ethical.

  2. Marissa Joy August 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Really interesting article- I’ve been considering looking into more vegan and eco-friendly fashion, though I’m not sure I could go totally vegan anytime soon.

    Love your blog- now following you on twitter, pinterest, and bloglovin’!

    • Corrie August 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

      Thanks for the follows! Just followed you back.

      Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle is for sure a challenge and for most takes a long time to accomplish. Most people start small, like eliminating one thing and working from there. For example, my husband within the past year became a vegetarian. He cut out all meat but still has dairy and eggs. He’s planning on eventually becoming fully vegan once he adapts to the lifestyle change.

      All in all little things all add up, so even if you’re “vegan-ish”, it makes a huge impact in the scheme of things as far as the environment goes!


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