Veganism is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. This is a common way to describe the approach of someone who has taken the conscious decision to live in a cruelty-free way. Living such a lifestyle means avoiding animal products as much as possible, not only when it comes to food, but also clothing, and other everyday products.
Indeed, veganism extends to all aspects of life, including the home. Many who make the switch to a plant-based diet also start to look around themselves to see if their living space aligns with their values. To aspire to a more conscious lifestyle and cruelty-free home, we need to take a look beyond our refrigerators and pantries.
Phase out or clean sweep
Once they’ve tuned into veganism, some new vegans want to completely “veganize” their home as quickly as possible, while others decide to take it slow and ease into a cruelty-free lifestyle more gradually. For example, some choose to use any existing non-vegan furnishings for as long as possible and phase them out once they need replacing. Meanwhile others make a clean sweep by simply selling or donating them.
Checking cruelty-free credentials
Already accustomed to reading food labels for animal-derived ingredients, many vegans also check the cruelty-free credentials of any non-food items they’re considering buying. This means they only purchase products that are vegan and not tested on animals.
Luxury without cruelty
For those who like a touch of luxe, they don’t have to compromise. There’s no shortage of luxurious things for your home that are vegan and cruelty-free. Every year, PETA UK’s annual homeware awards are a shout out to the designers and brands meeting the demand for products for the home that are compassionate as well as sustainable.
Taking stock of furniture
The first place many people start when taking an inventory of non-vegan household items is having a look around at their furniture. The sofa is the centerpiece of a living room, so naturally it’s the first to fall under scrutiny.
Leather and suede are obviously not the sofa materials of choice for animal lovers, but for those who like the leather-look, there are many faux leather options that are cruelty-free and just as luxurious.
Plush velvet is another on trend material when it comes to the living room couch. Velvet was traditionally made with silk thread and therefore was not vegan. However, today velvet is almost always made of cotton or synthetic fibers, but sometimes wool is used – do check the label to be sure.
PETA’s 2022 Best Leather-Free Sofa Range award went to dfs for their exclusive collection of PETA-approved vegan sofas.
Are your furnishings ethical?
Fur is often the first thing to be removed from a home transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. Scandi-style sheepskin rugs add a touch of luxe to interiors, but at a high ethical price. Faux fur is the perfect replacement for lovers of all things furry, and just as soft to the touch as it is to the conscience.
Wool is a common material used to weave into carpets but one that can also be easily avoided and replaced with one free of animal products. When it comes to curtains, silk, velvet, and felt (made from wool) are fabrics that don’t get high marks for compassion. Again, these can make way for more vegan-friendly choices, made of cotton, linen, or luscious faux silks.
Netherlands-based Donkersloot made PETA’s 2022 list for Best Wool-Free Carpet with their 100% recyclable vegan rug.
Sleeping with a clear conscience
The next obvious place to look when considering a vegan upgrade to your living space is your bed. Do you want to lay your head on a pillow filled with down or feathers? Probably not. Ditto with your winter duvet. Have a look at down-free pillows and cushions, and feather-free bedding for a much better night’s sleep.
Did you know that mattresses are not typically vegan? Wool and feathers are the culprits here, as well as some types of latex which contain casein, a milk protein. If you want to be sure your new latex bed is free of animal derivatives, look for the letters GOLS, which stand for Global Organic Latex Standard certification. This means the latex is sourced from organic rubber tree plants and has the vegan stamp of approval. One such vegan-certified and PETA-approved bed is the Avocado Green Mattress.
What’s really on your walls?
Probably the walls of your home are the last place you’d think of doing a vegan inventory. But house paint contains animal ingredients such as casein, beeswax, shellac, and ox gall. Paint is also often tested on animals – that’s why looking for a cruelty-free vegan alternative would be a priority for any conscious home makeover.
Natural paint is what you want to keep an eye out for… luckily there are plenty of vegan and eco-friendly choices out there. If you’ve decided to go with wallpaper, do check the glue – which is often not vegan. Also, dyes may have been tested on animals.
The guide to Ethical & Cruelty Free Wall Paint has you covered: from interiors to exteriors, kitchens to bathrooms, cots to doors, and even cruelty-free paintbrushes. It’s all there.