When transitioning to a cruelty-free vegan wardrobe, sweaters are among the last things we think about. When it comes to animals used for clothing, we typically worry first about fur and leather, but wool is also a huge concern for compassionate animal lovers.
People frequently ask me why I don’t wear wool (we’re taught as children that the wool harvesting process is pain-free), and my simplest answer is this: any industry that exploits and profits from animals ends up cutting corners and prioritizing revenue over kindness. If you want to know more about the wool industry and why vegan animal advocates don’t support it, read my post here: Why We Don’t Wear Wool.
Other materials to avoid when embracing an animal-friendly wardrobe are angora, cashmere, feathers, and silk. Fortunately, animal-friendly fashion has made huge strides in recent years, and we now have abundant animal-free options to choose from! When consumers (i.e.: you!) demand cruelty-free options, the market has no choice but to innovate…so let’s keep up the pressure!
You may be wondering why I’ve included sweatshirts in this guide as well, given that they aren’t usually made with animal-sourced materials. The answer is pretty simple: I just want to give you more options to stay warm! I’ve also come across quite a few animal-friendly AND eco-friendly sweatshirt brands in recent years, and wanted to make sure to share them with you! Whether you’re looking to stay warm in vegan sweaters or sweatshirts, I’ve got you covered:
To help you make your animal-friendly purchases without too much confusion, I’ve assigned labels to each business. “Fully vegan retailer/brand” means you’re safe to purchase anything from their website, as they never use or sell animal products. “Vegan-friendly retailer/brand” means the brand consistently carries plentiful vegan options (but you should still double check materials). Finally, “Carries vegan brands/options” means the business does sell many animal products, so you’ll definitely need to check materials lists carefully.
Petit Vour (fully vegan retailer)
Petit Vour may be best known for their monthly vegan & cruelty-free cosmetics and skincare subscription box (I’m obsessed with it), but in the past couple years, they’ve also started selling vegan fashion and accessories! Curating only pieces that meet their standards for highest quality and high fashion, Petit Vour offers vegan sweaters and sweatshirts from many different animal-friendly brands! All designed and created without harming any animals. They update their website often, so be sure to check in regularly for the newest trends in vegan fashion!
Shop vegan sweaters and sweatshirts at Petit Vour.
Nois New York (fully vegan retailer)
Nois New York started as a street style blog, but evolved into a cruelty-free online boutique! They offer a wide range of animal-friendly fashion, including vegan sweaters. One thing I love about Nois is that they provide symbols on each product page that denote qualities like “eco-friendly”, “organic”, “fair trade”, etc., to help you make the most ethical choices possible. At Nois New York, you’ll find some traditional styles and looks, but you’ll also discover new trends and creative couture, all made without harming any animals!
Shop vegan sweaters and sweatshirts at Nois New York.
Everlane (carries vegan options)
Everlane is a relatively new discovery for me, but I’m already enamored. They are dedicated to offering ethically made, eco-friendly apparel with full transparency behind their price tags! What that means is, for every piece they sell, you can scroll down to their “true cost” section, which shows you what exactly you’re paying for with your purchase. Costs is broken down into categories like materials, hardware, labor, travel, and duties (taxes), so you know exactly where your money is going. They aren’t a vegan brand, as they do use a lot of wool/cashmere, but they do have quite a few vegan options! My personal favorite item they sell (pictured above) is the ReNew Fleece Sweatshirt, each of which is made from 35 recycled plastic bottles!!
Shop eco-friendly, vegan sweatshirts at Everlane.
Modcloth (vegan-friendly retailer)
I’ve loved Modcloth’s affordable, quirky, trendy, and sometimes whimsical apparel for years. They manage to make getting dressed actually fun! They tend to carry a lot of animal-themed (and animal-friendly!) apparel, which I love! They do carry more basic, solid colored vegan sweaters and sweatshirts as well, but I prefer their more unique pieces. Modcloth does carry some apparel that contains animal products, so make sure to check the materials before purchase.
Shop vegan sweaters and sweatshirts at Modcloth.
PrAna (carries vegan options)
I’ve always thought of prAna as an eco-friendly yoga brand, but they actually sell much more than just activewear. Today, I discovered their range of cozy vegan sweaters and sweatshirts! They use a wide variety of animal-friendly materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester (used in that Permafrost Half Zip I’m obsessed with….*hint hint* if any of my family needs to buy me a gift!), and hemp, making them a dream for the planet conscious consumer!
Shop vegan sweaters and sweatshirts at prAna.
Tentree (vegan-friendly brand)
Tentree is one of those rare, exceptional brands that cares about animals and the environment! They use almost zero animal products (with the exception of some wool); even their leather-looking patches are made from sustainable cork! Using materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester, Tentree offers cozy, eco-friendly sweatshirts that doesn’t break the bank. On top of all that, as their name suggests, they plant ten trees for every item purchased! This system has allowed them to plant more than 24 million trees since their launch. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Shop vegan sweatshirts at Tentree.
Free People (carries vegan options)
Free People has been offering more and more vegan options with every new season, which is so exciting for lifelong fans of the Free People aesthetic! Still, they do carry quite a few animal products, so it’s important to check materials before purchase. They do tend to mention specific animal-sourced materials in the product titles, so you’ll know to stay clear of those and instead look for sweaters made with cotton, nylon, etc.. Prices definitely vary at Free People, so be sure to check out their payment plans if you want to splurge on one of the pricier sweaters!
Shop vegan sweaters at Free People.
Nordstrom (carries vegan options)
It’s surprisingly easy to find vegan sweaters at Nordstrom, simply by selecting vegan fabrics under their “materials” filter! They occasionally make mistakes, so be sure to double check (they’re a little confused about wool and down), but for the most part the search results should be dependable. They have a wide variety of “accidentally vegan” (my term for when the designer may or may not have created the piece with a vegan consumer in mind) sweaters and sweatshirts. A few of my favorites are linked above (I’ve tried on the Wubby Fleece Pullover and it is SO COZY), but be sure to peruse the whole selection!
Shop vegan jackets at Nordstrom.
ASOS (vegan-friendly retailer)
Vegan sweaters shown above are the Missguided Knitted Cardigan with Sleeve Bobble Detail, the Y.A.S. Crew Neck Knitted Cable Sweater, the Asos Design Cable Sweater.
You can always count on ASOS to have a wide variety of (very affordable!) animal-friendly pieces, from footwear to bags to jackets! They don’t have a vegan filter for sweaters (like they do for bags/shoes), but they generally have more vegan options than not. Give the materials lists a quick scan (they’re listed on every product page) before purchasing!
Shop vegan sweaters at ASOS.
ThredUp (carries pre-owned vegan options)
I haven’t linked to individual items for ThredUp, as their inventory is constantly changing and most listings only have one item available. Take a peek at their selections here!
ThredUp is a slightly different option than the other retailers and brands on this list, as they sell used/vintage items rather than newly made ones. Of course, buying upcycled clothing is the MOST eco-friendly option available! Vegan fashion advocates are sometimes torn about whether or not its advisable to purchase pre-owned animal products; personally, I abstain from wearing animals but I understand why others aren’t bothered by it (since buying pre-owned apparel doesn’t create new demand for the materials). Regardless of your opinion, you can use ThredUp’s materials filter to make the most ethical choice for you!
Shop vegan sweaters and sweatshirts at ThredUp.