One of the big questions I get from other vegans is “where did you get your _______”—referring to a bag, shoes, hair product, skin care…. you get the idea.
Shopping for eco-friendly, vegan options can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. There are plenty of times I thought I found the perfect “xyz” then when I scan the ingredients or read the tag I end up disappointed. Luckily, there are plenty of companies stepping up to create products that are vegan and eco-friendly. I guess the only issue is choosing what actually works well which is no easy task. I’ve spent years researching and testing out—by trial and error—to find the best vegan-friendly and eco-conscious shopping options. This list includes a few of the “best-of-the-best” from that that long journey.
***I promise that even non-vegan friends will love these options too***
1.) Handbags or Purse Lovers—Matt & Nat
Ok, so handbags and purses might arguably be the same thing. Nevertheless they are my weak spot. For most women it’s the shoe collection… Me? I have a million purses. Particularly, a love affair with Matt & Nat—their colours, sizes, different styles…. AND on top of that they are 100% vegan leather with a liner made from recycled bottles. How cool is that? Plus, if you are even slightly good at taking care of your things they will last forever. Making them a solid choice when it comes to being eco-friendly.
Budget tip: If you’re in Whistler a shop called Ruby Tuesday has a local’s discount on Tuesdays which saves you 10%. I’ve also found Matt & Nat bags at consignment stores like Turnabout in Vancouver AND even on craigslist.
2.) Yoga Wear Connoisseurs—Inner Fire
There are so many places to get yoga pants these days the choices are overwhelming! Which is why it’s more important than ever to consider where you’re putting your hard earned money. Enter Inner Fire. This local, ethical, eco-friendly company makes beautiful yoga wear. Their pants are made from recycled bottles—how cool is that?!
Full disclosure: I am an Inner Fire Luminary (which is like a brand ambassador) for Inner Fire. With that said, I would only ever support brands that I truly believe in and Inner Fire is the real deal!
—-LOVE these pants from Inner Fire!
Budget Tip: You can get 15% off using the code “emilykaneyoga” on their site!
3.) Bath/Body etc.—Lush
Ok, so Lush isn’t fully vegan (yet!) but many of their products are 100% vegan—and they’re 100% vegetarian. They are also committed against animal testing while creating less packaging to reduce waste and maintain a focus on ethical sourcing.
Some of my faves from Lush
For face: Herbalism – a gentle face scrub meant to balance out oils to help skin stay clean, fresh, and calm
Budget Tip: none for this one other than scoring some samples in-store. Most of their prices are quite reasonable.
4.) Shoes and Boots—Lulus and Toms
I am a gal who loves a good pair of vegan boots. Before I found Lulus it was a struggle. I’d be going into shoe stores reading every label… it was a tedious search. When Lulus entered my life it was a dream come true because they did that search for you. Although they aren’t fully vegan they have a whole section dedicated to vegan shoes and boots! I also find if you take good care of your boots (waterproof them and good general care) they’ll last a few seasons which means less impact on the environment. Toms is another awesome option for shoes considering they have lots of vegan options (keep in mind they’re not full vegan) AND they use natural hemp, organic cotton, and recycled polyester. Their commitment to sustainability and social responsibility in general is inspiring!
Budget Tip: Sometimes Lulus and Tom’s will have sales so it’s good to check back every so often!
4.) Hair Products—Avalon Organics & Live Clean
Avalon organics is 100% vegan and cruelty-free which is very refreshing. They only use certified organic ingredients that commit to the highest level of sustainability which benefits the farmers, the environment, and of course… anyone using their products! My absolute fave from them is the Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner.
Live Clean delivers when it comes to plant-based, eco-friendly, chemical-free products. **Keep in mind, not every single product is 100% vegan so make sure you double check the labels** thankfully, the majority of their products are vegan-friendly plus they never test on animals. They are also extremely budget friendly and can be found at many drugstores and supermarkets making their products very easily accessible.
Budget Tip: go for the Live Clean if you’re on a budget. As far as I know none of their products are over $10.
5.) A Natural Deodorant that Actually Works—Lavilin
Lavilin is like the answer to your underarm’s prayers. There’s no aluminium, no parabens, no harsh chemicals and yet, somehow it actually works. Which is crazy because I’ve literally tried 20+ natural brands that just don’t cut it for me with my yoga practice and outdoor/active lifestyle. Keep in mind, only certain products from Lavilin are vegan so my best recommendation is the Fragrance Free Roll-On. In the description I think they’re stretching it a bit saying it lasts 48 hours but on the plus side, it will likely last you the day. You’ll likely only have to reapply once if you’re pretty active.
Budget tip: Buying online off a site like Amazon vs. in-store (like Whole Foods) might save you a couple bucks. Every bit counts, right?