Is Wool Vegan Friendly?

The thought of winter might have you thinking about a warm fire, sipping on hot drinks, in a cozy sweater –  maybe not one made of wool, though. Why? Well, this is because the process of acquiring wool typically involves a lot of animal cruelty. So, is wool vegan friendly? Certainly not!

Despite being a widely used material for warm clothing, wool is far from vegan friendly. But the good news is that vegan wool does exist, and it is not only softer and warmer but also better for the life of animals as well.

Let’s delve into the topic under the microscope today, right away!

Can Vegans Wear Wool?

No, vegans cannot wear traditional wool. There are certain practices related to the sourcing of wool that involve animal maltreatment and cause outright harm to them. Because of this, the sourcing of wool from animals is frowned upon by the vegan community. However, there are many alternatives to this type of wool, and we’re going to take a look at vegan types of wool soon.

What is Wool?

Before we get to vegan wool, it’s good to first understand exactly what wool is. Wool is a textile fiber that is sourced from animals like sheep, bison, goats, and other types of animals. 

The elastic fibers are crimped together to make long yarn that is then used to make clothing garments on the small-scale and industrial level. Considering wool is mainly derived from animals, this begs the question…

Is Wool Vegan-friendly?

The straightforward answer to the question is a simple no. Because of the painful ways that wool is often sourced from animals, the use of wool goes against the principle values of veganism where animals must not be harmed in any way. 

Common ways of gathering wool are shearing or scouring where, often enough, the animals are treated harshly. To keep up the quality of the wool, a part of the sheep’s tail is often removed. This is called tail docking and is painful for the animal. 

Other inhumane practices involved with the wool collection are castration, mulesing, tooth grinding, vasectomy, and dehorning, etc., that often mutilate the animals in question and thus are extremely painful for the animal.

Keeping in mind the vegan values, wool sourcing goes against everything in the vegan code of ethics. This is why wool is not vegan.

Do Vegans Wear Wool?

Vegans don’t wear the traditional wool because it is linked with inhumane practices and harm inflicted on the animals from which the wool is sourced. Vegans have a better option in the different varieties of vegan wool. So, what exactly is this vegan wool that we keep hinting at? It’s time to find out.

What is Vegan Wool?

There are many ways to keep yourself warm these days. Technological and industrial advancements have equipped us with many tools that we can use to our advantage without harming living beings.

 As far as clothing and textiles are concerned, there are many options, both organic and synthetic, that are available for use and do not involve animals. 

This is where the concept of vegan wool arises. It consists of vegan-friendly alternatives to traditional wool that help you keep warm without inflicting any pain on animals.

Let’s look at a couple of these options.

Vegan-friendly Alternatives to Wool

cotton fabric

Organic Cotton

Cotton is a soft plant-based fiber that is sourced from the cotton plant. The cotton plant grows in tropical and sub-tropical areas. Cotton is a widely used fabric around the world and is easily available. 

Many blends of cotton, including organic cotton, can easily be sourced in your local markets or online.


Linen, one of the world’s oldest fabrics, is a textile derived from the fibers of the flax plant. Linen is a very soft and comfortable fabric and has good absorbing properties as well. 

The fabric is smooth and the best thing about it is that it gets softer with every much; so you have the cozy factor sorted right here.


Hemp is a variant of the Cannabis Sativa plant and is used for the hemp fiber that is used to make textile. Hemp is a versatile plant species used for making drugs, paper, rope, textiles, biodegradable plastics, paint, food, and animal feed. 

While it may come as a surprise, hemp is one of the first plants to be spun into a fiber and was used to make ship sails and garments in the olden days.


The jute plant provides long, soft, and shiny fibers that are used to make different varieties of textiles. Jute is often used to make sacks for grains and raw bales of cotton. It is also used to make curtains, chair coverings, carpets, and area rugs among other things. 

Today, diversified jute is used to make products like soft sweaters, cardigans, floor coverings, and home textiles.

Soy Fabric

Soy fabric is a derivative of soy by-products that are used to make soft clothing items. Its softness earns it the name of soy silk and vegetable cashmere. It is an eco-friendly and vegan alternative to animal cashmere.


Nettle fibers are obtained from the nettle plant and have many versatile qualities. Although a seemingly unusual fabric, nettle fabric is actually quite strong and lustrous. The fabric is similar to linen in its texture and feel but is much stronger.


Nylon is a synthetic polymer used in the textile industry. It is often blended with other fibers and is used to make clothing items. Much of active wear is made from nylon, and since the fabric is so stretchy and smooth, it makes comfortable socks too.

Where There’s Vegan Wool, There’s a Way!

Transitioning to animal-friendly vegan wool options isn’t just good for the animals, but is beneficial for you as well! Vegan wool options save animals from cruel practices and pain, all the while providing you with sustainable, eco-friendly options that you can enjoy guilt-free. 

With vegan wool options, you can wear and customize vegan wool in any way you like.

About Mark Miller

I'm Mark, and I am one of the two faces behind CodeVegan. I co-founded CodeVegan alongside Lila. To give you a little background, my journey here hasn't been an easy one. So, for all of you out there struggling, I've been there. You're not alone! Like many of you, I grew up a meat-eater, but I soon realized the impact this had on the world. I've been a vegan for the last ten years, and life has never been better. It takes time to adjust, but it's worth it in the end. Now, my lifestyle choice is an integral part of who I am. In my early days, there wasn't much in the way of information either, so with this blog, I'm here to make sure that doesn't happen to you.

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