Cotton is one of the most common materials out there and most clothes are made up of it.
If you follow a vegan lifestyle, you have to be a bit more vigilant in what you are consuming and wearing, and suddenly you’ll find yourself asking “is this vegan?” about pretty much everything you come into contact with.
If you have found your way to this article, then your latest question is probably “is cotton vegan?”.
We will be going over everything you need to know about cotton, confirming whether or not it’s vegan, and we’ll even go into a bit of detail on how it’s made.
By the end of this article, you’ll be able to decide whether or not you want to continue using cotton. So let’s get started!
Is Cotton Vegan?
Let’s start with the most important question first, “is cotton vegan?”. Well, the short answer is yes, it is vegan.
Cotton is not animal-derived, and it is considered suitable for anyone who decides to live a vegan lifestyle.
On top of this, there are lots of methods for producing cotton that is cruelty-free, without being unethical or inhumane, especially towards animals.
However, some non-organic cotton is grown and cultivated in ways that might be considered unethical, especially towards vegans, so you may need to do some extra research into your specific item or accessory that contains cotton.
Should You Buy Cotton If You’re Vegan?
While cotton is vegan, you might be wondering if you should buy it. In most cases, you can buy cotton and it will be perfectly fine.
However, if the cotton is non-organic, this is where you might find some ethical concerns. We’ll go into what organic cotton is a little later so you know how to differentiate it.
If you are vegan and you are unsure of whether or not you should buy cotton, you can, just make sure that you always go for organic cotton over non-organic if you want to avoid an ethical battle with yourself.
How Is Cotton Made?
As a vegan, it’s in your best interest to have at least a little bit of knowledge about how the materials you wear are made. Knowing how cotton is made can put your mind at ease when you choose to use and wear it.
Cotton fiber actually comes from the outside of the seed casing and it is grown from the cotton plant. The fiber itself is harvested and separated from the cotton seed before it is “combed” or “carded”.
Both of these techniques are used to prepare the cotton by lining up the individual fibers for spinning. Though some people do use the combed method, the carded method is more common because it is cheaper.
As soon as either method is complete, the cotton is then spun into a yarn.
Once the yarn is made, it is used for many different kinds of products, some of which include clothes and upholstery. Some cotton yard is even dyed before it is woven.
This is just a brief outline of how cotton is made, so you can have a better understanding of where it comes from. As long as it is organically made and grown, then it is completely suitable for vegans.
Non-organically grown and manufactured cotton isn’t considered vegan though, so keep that in mind when you are using cotton.
Is Cotton Sustainable?
Another thing that vegans look out for when they are buying clothes and products is how sustainable it is.
Overall, cotton is considered sustainable. It is an organic and biodegradable fiber when it is grown in an organic environment.
However, when cotton is grown non-organically, this is where it can have negative effects on the environment.
Often, cotton is created in larger volumes so the producers can make a lot of money without having to spend a lot of money making it.
This can cause the environment in which it’s grown to be less desirable and sustainable, resulting in requiring huge volumes of water, fertilizer, and pesticides to be used to get the maximum amount for harvest.
This method can unfortunately result in significant damage to the local environment and because of the use of pesticides, this can actually cause significant damage to specific animals in the area.
This is only a problem if the cotton is not grown sustainably though. When it is grown sustainably, it is more expensive, which is why lots of people go for a more non-organic and less sustainable method.
Cotton that is grown sustainably is often called “organic cotton” and if you’re vegan, this is the type of cotton you’ll want to invest in.
You can usually tell if it’s organic cotton by checking your clothing or product label.
Organic cotton is usually grown and cultivated in areas that have enough rain, so it doesn’t need to be watered manually too often. This type of cotton also doesn’t need to use pesticides either.
The only real issue with organic cotton is that it’s going to be more expensive to purchase, but if you care about your environment and the animals within it, this extra cost won’t be that much of an issue.
Brands That Use Organic Cotton
If you are serious about only purchasing and using organic cotton, then you will need to know which brands actually use it.
While there are more out there than just the ones on this list, these ones are great for you to start out with as you familiarize yourself with organic cotton a bit more.
Some of the best vegan brands that use organic cotton include:
- Dk Active
- GARY MASH
- Harvest + Mill
So if you were worried about cotton being vegan, you can definitely put that worry to bed because it is vegan.
You do have to watch out for non-organic cotton, but as long as you check your product and clothing labels, you won’t accidentally by any of the non-organic stuff.
Overall, cotton is one of the best materials for vegans out there!