Vegan Vogue: How to Transition to a Cruelty Free Wardrobe

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By Corrie Feld

When first making the decision to go vegan, the first step people think of is eliminating all animal products out of your diet. It usually takes a little bit before new vegans remember their entire wardrobe is packed full of animal products as well.

Shoes, and accessories more often than not made of leather. When winter rolls around, we often forget our coats and sweaters are full of wool. Purging your wardrobe and replacing everything with cruelty free versions is no small task when you’re first starting out.

Being a big fan of fashion, when I myself made this realization, I was pretty overwhelmed. I suddenly felt guilty wearing about half my shoe collection. My handbag collection was my biggest hit. Handbags were my guilty pleasure, and my closet was packed with pricey designer versions. I also tend to prefer more “rocker” type looks, which are very leather heavy. So it was time to start looking for replacements for all my favorite items. I needed money to do this, so I turned all my non-vegan items into cash so I could shop for cruelty free versions.

Good news is now with the help of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to sell your leather and wool items to other stylish ladies and gents who will get use of them, all while making some money so you can go buy yourself a vegan leather wallet. Here we’re some of the websites and stores that made it easy for me to create my now 100% vegan friendly wardrobe.



Fashionphile is the place to go if you have super high end, designer items to move. If you’ve ever tried to sell a designer purse on eBay or Craigslist, you’ll appreciate this being its notoriously hard to sell designer bags and accessories because everyone thinks they are fakes.

Fashionphile is a consignment boutique based on the west coast that will evaluate photos of the items you have for sale, and then tell you what they can sell them for. Being they’re an established consignment boutique, fans of designer items trusts the items aren’t knockoffs, so they’ll pay a higher price for them than you could selling them on your own through eBay or Craigslist.

The selling process is easy. You set up an online account and send them over the pieces you want to sell. They’ll evaluate then to determine the condition of the pieces, as well that they’re legitimate and if so what they can sell them for you for. If you agree to their conditions, they give you pre-paid shipping labels so you can ship the items to them. Once they sell, they cut and mail you a check. It’s that simple.

Again, this place is best for higher end designer handbags and accessories. During my purge, I sent over 3-4 of my purses, including some Louis Vuittons and they made me close to my Brooklyn rent back. It was well worth the time and effort.


Threadflip & Copious

Threadflip and Coupious are both web platforms that allow fashionistas to sell their gently used items to other fashionistas. Think of it like eBay with a fashion twist, but better curated and more like shopping at an online boutique. Threadflip even has an iPhone app that make it easy to post and sell items on the fly. They also allow you to take a quick “style quiz,” and the service will recommend other sellers and items to you based on your tastes.

For both services you can sell and receive credits to purchase items from other sellers. This is great if you lets say wanted to get rid of a pair of leather pumps, and replace them with a pair of vegan ones. Several sellers on both platforms even tag items as being vegan so they are easy to find. I found these neon blue, pointed toe flats on Copious the week before last.

To make your items stand out, make sure your photography is on point! The better the pieces are presented either as part of an outfit, or on a unique background (like my new neon flats were) the quicker they’ll sell.



eBay is now a household name, and we all know what their service does. They still remain a great way to purge leather and wool items out of your closet.

Buffalo Exchange-Crossroads

Recycled Fashion Stores- Like Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading Company

If you are fortunate enough to live a Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads Trading Company, or similar store, you’ll soon learn they are the easiest and fastest way to clear out our wardrobe (vegan or not!), and replenish it with brand new, eco-friendly styles you love. The way it works is you bring in your gently used items and they’ll buy them from you for either store credit or cash.

Any time I feel like doing some guilt-free shopping, I hit up my closet, grab a few items I no longer wear and head on over. I always sell for credit and then use the credit to buy new items to freshen up my wardrobe.

When selling at a recycled fashion boutique, always remember the season you are in. These stores don’t really keep a stock inventory and will only buy what they can move immediately. So if it’s the middle of summer, don’t bring them all your wool sweaters. Call in advance to see what they are currently buying, or you can check their website as well.

I purged the majority of my mainstream handbags, shoes, accessories and clothes of leather and wool just by bringing them to Buffalo Exchange. Fun part was I racked up a ton of credit, which means I get to shop until I drop now!

Have you transitioned your wardrobe to be 100% cruelty-free? Share you tips in the comments!

Vegan Vogue is a lifestyle and style column focusing on all things in vogue and vegan. More tips from Corrie Feld can be found at her website Brooklyn Bliss. Follow her on Twitter @CorrieFeld

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9 Responses to Vegan Vogue: How to Transition to a Cruelty Free Wardrobe

  1. Thanks Corrie! I am totally hitting up Threadflip and Copious!

  2. Lori says:

    Great tips! I had no idea about most of those websites! It took me almost 3 years to fully transition my wardrobe. I donated most stuff, and sometimes sold to thrift shops in exchange for ‘store credit’. My last hold out was a pair of Frye boots that I finally mailed to a friend who has been telling for years that she would love to take them off my hands when I was ready to part with them. They sat in my closet unworn for about a year before I finally decided it was ‘time’. And guess what.. I won a pair of fabulous Olsen Haus boots in a raffle shortly there after šŸ™‚

  3. My closet still has a shelf of boots waiting for their “time.” I just need to do it! I think I can convince myself by splurging on some boots that I can actually wear…

    Corrie! Can you please do a post for fall on vegan boots that are both good looking and well made? That’s been my biggest issue with all of the vegan boots I have seen…they seem so crappily made. Help!

  4. Corrie says:

    I’m so glad to hear the tips are helpful!

    Zoe, I love the post suggestion on fall boots. Quick question would everyone be looking more for practical (i.e. warm, slosh around in the snow, etc) or sexy, chic boots? Or a mix of both? Want to be sure I hit what everyone’s looking for. I’d love feedback everyone can hit me up on Twitter @CorrieFeld with suggestions.

    I’m also planning on a post featuring how to wear Fall 2012’s latest trends using all vegan items. Stay tuned for that as well!

    • Ayinde says:

      Looking forward to it!

    • Awesome! I am pretty hopeless at heels, even though I like to pretend I’m not… so I try to get boots that make me feel sexy but are also good for walking around. I also have a soft spot for combat-style boots. I wore the heels out of the last vegan pair of boots I bought in less than three months. SO sad!

  5. Pingback: Vegan Vogue: Fall Boot Roundup | I Eat Grass

  6. Pingback: Vegan Vogue / Fall Boot Roundup « Brooklyn Bliss

  7. ailea says:

    sexy shoes šŸ™‚

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