How to Choose Vegan Outdoor Gear

Last Updated: February 2021

It may be common knowledge to some vegans that veganism applies far beyond what you eat each day.

At its core, veganism is a sort of moral code that drives decisions making. In a sense, to be vegan means that you strive to minimize harm. 

Vegans then have decided to minimize harm to others (human-animals and non-human animals alike) and other environmental aspects.

So, when it comes to choosing outdoor gear, not only should vegans avoid animal-derived products like down or leather, but they should consider the eco-footprint and human implications of their products as well. 

That seems like a lot to consider, and it is at first. To help you get started, we compiled a list of outdoor gear brands that focus on vegan-friendly products. 

Identifying Vegan-Friendly Outdoor Clothing and Gear

One of the major problems that vegans face when shopping for any outdoor clothing or gear is that many brands offer vegan-friendly products, but they don’t market them as such.

Because of this, vegans are left sifting through a wide array of products in hopes of finding one that does not have any animal-derived materials. 

Beyond that, when vegans find a product, like a jacket, they think might be suitable, several sneaky animal-derived materials may not be listed. 

Most brands will label a product if it has leather, wool, or feathers, sure, but what about dyes or adhesives? These materials will be used to make a wide variety of products, from backpacks to clothing.

Still, unless you are buying from a fully vegan company, you likely will not know if animal-derived materials are used in lesser thought of aspects of the product. 

To make your outdoor adventures even more ethical, be sure to invest in other aspects of eco-conscious shopping.

Vegan Only Outdoor Brands

Our list is not exhaustive, so if you know of a great vegan outdoor gear brand that we forgot to mention and should add, let us know! 

Ethical Wares

Based in the UK, Ethical Wares has been making fully-vegan footwear and other lifestyle products since 1993. For the outdoor enthusiast, their vegan hiking boots are a great option. They have a wide variety of other types of shoes, clothing, and other accessories. 

Not all of their products are tailored for outdoor use, and most of their items are likely classified as lifestyle products, but they do have a few outdoor-specific clothes and shoes. 

They’re 100% vegan, offer fair-trade products, and are PETA-approved. Although their products are manufactured in Europe, they do ship worldwide. 

Save the Duck 

As a certified B corporation, Save the Duck is a sustainable brand that produces 100% animal-free and cruelty-free products. They strive to have a well-rounded approach to their business and have full transparency with customers

They have a wide range of products, and many of them are made with PLUMETECH® and RECYCLED PLUMETECH® instead of down. This makes them insulate well, even when wet, as well as being breathable. 


Another European brand, Bleed, is a German company that manufactures 100% vegan, eco, and fair trade outdoor and lifestyle clothing. They ship worldwide (free shipping in Germany) and use minimal packaging to prevent unnecessary waste. 

Bleed works hard to minimize harm throughout their entire production process, and they go the extra mile by supporting ocean cleanups and promoting animal welfare, especially in the textile industry. 

Plant Athletic 

Plant Athletic isn’t necessarily an outdoor clothing line, but they are an athletic clothing line. As many outdoor folks will admit, they are also athletes that train in the gym and outdoors. If that sounds like you, then Planet Athletic is somewhere to start shopping. 

Planet Athletic says it for themselves, “We are here to encourage, support, and connect the modern-day athlete in their endeavor to increase performance and health while maintaining an ethically responsible lifestyle.”

They are a PETA-approved Vegan brand that uses Bluesign materials and follows the Global Recycling Standard. Most of their products are geared towards cyclists, runners, and triathletes. 

Hill Killer

Hill Killer is a cycling-focused, fully vegan clothing brand. They also make running apparel. Both their cycling and running clothing offer a bold mix of colors and designs. Plus, they have thermal wear, perfect for the year-round athlete. 

They don’t have a ton of specifics on their website as far as other sustainable practices go. Still, you can always contact them to inquire about other manufacturing and production aspects. 

Trail Snacks: GoMacro 

We aren’t sure if trail snacks count as outdoor gear, but they’re essential to an enjoyable day outdoors, so we had to include our favorite vegan power bar. GoMacro is a women-led company with a focus on a balanced plant-based diet. Their mission also states that sustainable sourcing is at the forefront of their production process. 

Vegan-Friendly Outdoor Brands

As mentioned, be aware that many hidden production aspects could involve animal-products for brands that are not strictly vegan.

Still, several larger outdoor companies have begun to label vegan products and have them third-party tested. 

Here are some popular outdoor brands that offer vegan outdoor products:

  • Patagonia
  • Merrell 
  • Arc’teryx
  • La Sportiva 
  • Cotopaxi 
  • Marmot

Unpopular Opinion: Vegans Can Buy Animal-Derived Materials Secondhand

In most circumstances, this will be up to the individual. However, as we have mentioned before, one of the most eco-friendly ways to buy clothing or some outdoor gear is to buy used or secondhand.

It is hard to argue that some animal-derived outdoor products and apparel offer durability and functionality. 

If you find a high-quality pair of secondhand hiking boots, but they aren’t entirely vegan, buy them. They have already been produced, and you are not contributing to unnecessary harm. 

When it comes to secondhand gear, you aren’t necessarily contributing to supply and demand like you are when buying new products.

So, if you find something that works for you and you will use it often, a secondhand option is usually less harmful than a brand new one. 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing outdoor gear, vegans should try and avoid animal-derived products like down or leather, whilst also considering the eco-footprint and human implications of their products as well. 

It is not easy to find information online so we hope our list of vegan only and vegan-friendly outdoor brands can at least be a starting point.

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