When most people think of the word vegan, they think of food. In reality, veganism is a lifestyle that tries to reduce cruelty, improve the environment, and reduce suffering to people and animals. Two reasons people want to try veganism is because they want to improve their health or they care about animals. People that stay vegan learn about all of the benefits including health, impact on the environment, and saving animals eventually. If you are not ready to embrace the vegan lifestyle, you can still enjoy some of the benefits.
If you care about animals
By not purchasing products made of leather, fur, silk, or wool, you can affect the 100 million animals a year that dies for fashion. Cheap leather from China can be a cat or dog. A lot of leather comes from developing nations where there are no animal welfare laws, and animal abuse runs rampant. In the U.S. animals are raised on factory farms and sometimes skinned and dismembered while still conscious. Animals from the fur industry are breed and live in cramped cages, or they capture wild animals in traps that suffer from blood loss, shock, dehydration, frostbite, gangrene, and attacks by predators. Since people don't kill animals for their wool, they are harmed in the shearing process, since volume pays the workers and not by the hour. During the shearing process, animals can have their ears, teats, and tails ripped off. Worms produce silk, and most people don't see the harm in killing them. These small creatures are boiled or gassed while still alive. It takes 3,000 worms to make a pound of silk.
If you care about the environment
Grape Cat carries a selection of wallets, purses, and backpacks made from recycled bicycle tires, recycled cement bags, recycled soda bottles, and recycled cotton. By purchasing accessories from recycled materials, you can keep these materials out of landfills and new materials from being produced.
Grape Cat prints their t-shirts on organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp with water-soluble inks. The benefit to the environment of using organic cotton over standard cotton is that it uses a lot less water, and crops don't need pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides.
We like using bamboo t-shirts because it is incredibly soft, antibacterial, and wicks away moisture. Bamboo clothing is good for the environment too. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth and creates the same amount of fiber as cotton on 10% of the land. Bamboo grows without the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Bamboo fabric is 100% biodegradable and only needs rainwater to grow. Bamboo can also grow where other crops can't.
Grape Cat likes to use hemp t-shirts because they absorb carbon dioxide as it releases. It is better for the environment since it does not require fertilizer or herbicides. Hemp T-shirts can last up to six times longer than cotton shirts. We also love hemp tees because they have a natural resistance to mold and mildew. You can recycle your hemp t-shirt into the paper.
If you care about people
At Grape Cat, we make sure that all of the products we carry are fair trade. Fair Trade products provide women with access to health care, job rights, and freedom from harassment. Grape Cat and Alchemy Goods manufacture their products in the United States. When you buy a Grape Cat t-shirt, a Pennsylvania factory that knits, dyes and sews the shirt, a New York company that sells the shirt, a Bethlehem, PA printer, a New Jersey model, and the Grape Cat family. When you buy an Alchemy Goods product, you are supporting workers in Seattle, Washington.
If you care about animals, the environment, or people, there is something on the Grape Cat site for you. Yes, you don't have to be vegan to shop vegan. Please dress compassionately.