Dressing sharply for work is always going to give you that competitive edge for the day. When you look good, you feel good – you get to give your best and come up with the results that matter. That said, while there’s giving your best, you can actually go one better than that by dressing cruelty-free. That way, your ethics aren’t compromised by your workplace attire.
Sadly, over 50 million animals are killed a year for their skin, fleece, or fur. That is cruel and unnecessary, as you can look better cruelty-free. For the professional that truly cares about what they wear, here are a few pointers to maintain your cruelty-free integrity while making an impression in the office.
Nothing says professional more than a suit – the classic hall-mark of white-collar workers around the world. From law to accountancy to sales to any number of professions, the image you portray to your colleagues, clients and customers needs to be spot on.
Traditionally, most suits have been made from wool, either in part or whole. As a cruelty-free professional, you know that wool production is a brutal business that should be avoided. Wool is always best on the sheep and therefore never to be found in your wardrobe.
Instead, be on the look-out for alternatives to wool suits – there are plenty of other options out there. Try brushed cotton, linen or corduroy, for example. You’ll still look great in the office, and you’ll be popular in the world of sheep too.
Given that most formal office shirts are made of cotton, you’re on firm crueltyfree ground when it comes to a cotton shirt. If you read “100% cotton” you’re typically reading “100% animal-free.” Always reassuring to know.
Silk ties are very common. However, for a truly cruelty-free look in the office, silk is a definite no-no. Silkworms toil to make cocoons for their eggs by producing silk thread. Sadly, to obtain the silk, the silkworms are boiled inside their cocoons. So that silk tie look? Definitely lacking in ethics and compassion.
Ditch the silk to ensure that you put mercy over misery every time. As an alternative material for a tie, try rayon, cotton or polyester instead. New cruelty-free tie designs and style are coming out all the time. As a bonus, ties made from non-silk materials tend to be much cheaper, saving you your hard-earned dollars!
As with suits, avoid jackets that contain either wool or leather. Go for cotton, nylon or polyester. Keep in mind that while a jacket may look good on the outside, some jackets may be stuffed or lined with down – and that is an ethical downer. Down is a euphemism for the feathers of geese and its product is shockingly cruel. Luckily, synthetic materials are cheaper, lighter, and warmer!
Your Cruelty-Free Green Lights
Cotton is always the best friend of the savvy cruelty-free clothes shopper. Other materials such as nylon, corduroy rayon and polyester join the ethical thumbs up club.
Other cruelty-free fabrics include denim, chino (yep, for Chino pants), sateen and moleskin (as counter-intuitive as that sounds, all’s good for the cruelty-free look in the office.)
Make Sure You Always Avoid
Leather. Surely the best known of all non-cruelty free materials, it is still worth stressing what leather really is – the by-product of large-scale animal cruelty. While leather jackets or shoes are easy flags to avoid, be mindful of things like leather trim on zipper-pulls.
Fur. Always avoid. You can tell fake fur from real fur as the faux version typically will have the hairs standing almost vertically, while real fur grows like human hair and will have a lean or direction to it. Fur is a brutal industry that is luckily being banned by more brands and fashion shows every year.
Other red flags for your office-wear include cashmere, mohair, suede and alpaca.
All of these are products of cruelty that will seriously cramp your ethical style in the workplace. You no doubt work hard in your profession. Compared to the hard work you do every day, looking stylish while maintaining your cruelty-free standards is easy.