The number of vegans in the UK has skyrocketed, as people recognise how the meat farming industry affects our climate and the world’s resources. Today there are more than 3.5 million British vegans, up from just 150,000 in 2006.
But is it possible to extend your vegan preferences beyond your diet and into interior design? How difficult is it to ensure your home is entirely cruelty free?
The obvious no-nos
Clearly a leather sofa is not going to be acceptable in a vegan home. Likewise, you’ll need to avoid anything made from suede. Silk is another, less obvious issue, because it involves silkworms – so check what your curtains and bedding are made from.
More challenging items to avoid are down and feather cushions, pillows and duvets. Fortunately there are plenty of synthetic alternatives available today.
But perhaps the trickiest animal product to avoid in your home is wool. Good quality carpets and rugs often contain wool, as do cosy blankets and throws. Cashmere is also a luxury fabric to avoid.
How to buy vegan products
The good news is that the rise of veganism is driving new vegan retailers and products. Megan Markle recently confirmed that baby Archie’s nursery was decorated in vegan paint. There are a number of websites that sell exclusively vegan products, from faux cowhide sofas to mattresses.
Often these exclusive products can come with a hefty price tag, but there are cheaper ways to go animal-free. It’s simply a question of looking into the materials that are included in the item you’re interested in. Cotton, linen, wood and most synthetics are cruelty-free – and often cheaper than wool, down and leather products too.
As you make progress towards having a vegan home, you might choose to take it room by room. One of the most vegan rooms in your home is in fact your bathroom. Your suite, bathroom furniture such as a vanity unit or shelving will be made from ceramics, glass, acrylics or perhaps marble, which are all vegan materials. Most tiles and flooring are vegan too.
The main concern in making sure your bathroom is cruelty-free is in your toiletries and cleaning products. Many popular brands may be tested on animals or include products such as honey and animal fats and other derivatives. Even your toothpaste may contain glycerine, which is made from bone.
Your kitchen is often fairly vegan too, especially if you’ve already eliminated animal products from your diet. It’s the soft furnishings and cleaning products that you should take the closest look at.
As with most home projects, it pays to take your time. Rushing to replace everything in your home with a vegan alternative will be costly and exhausting! It’s fine to take a steady approach, buying vegan whenever you need to purchase a new item. The PETA website features a checker to help you make sure that you can buy cruelty-free, every time.
Make sure you enjoy the journey. Every vegan purchase is a small victory for both the world’s animals and our planet. You’re doing a great thing, take pride in every step!