Technical Absorbents

Free membership

Receive our weekly Newsletter
and set tailored daily news alerts.

Testing/​Standards

Avoiding making unsubstantiated claims around vegan textiles and clothing

The Vegan Society Registered Verification Test from Eurofins | Chem-MAP.

24th March 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Hong Kong

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

The increase in growth in global demand for vegan materials and products, including textiles, clothing, and footwear, means that manufacturers, brands, and retailers really need to avoid the risks of making unsubstantiated claims around vegan materials and finished products.

A growing proportion of the population is adopting a vegan lifestyle. There are around 1.5 million people in the UK who are vegan – a number that is growing rapidly [1]. In 2021, a record 500,000 people signed up to the UK Veganuary challenge to eat only plant-based foods for one month, double the number of people who pledged in January 2019. [2} Globally, the provision of reliable estimates is difficult, although recent data reports [3] have suggested that there are now approximately 30.5 million vegans worldwide [4]. 

Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose

The vegan fashion market was valued at USD $336.9 billion in 2019 with revenue forecasted to reach $1095.6 billion in 2027.[5] Footwear accounted for a 40% share of this market, supported by a growing trend for materials developed specifically as alternatives to leather; a market expected to be worth USD $90 billion by 2025.[6]. With such significant anticipated growth, the demand for vegan products and vegan alternative materials will be sustained.

What do we mean by vegan?

Despite its rise in popularity, there remains some debate about what it strictly means to be a ‘vegan’. There is no universal definition, and those which exist do not always agree on the stringency with which the term should be applied. While some organisations classify those, who adopt a plant-based diet as adhering to vegan principles, The Vegan Society defines “veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

For a product to adhere to ‘vegan’ principles, there is some agreement that it must not contain any materials which have been derived from, or tested on, animals. In practice, there are multiple materials that contain, or may contain, animal derivatives, and for there to be an assurance that a product is truly ‘vegan’, strict control of the supply chain is required.

Taking the example of vegan footwear, adhesives such as glue are a frequently encountered obstacle, as retailers are not always able to guarantee that they contain zero animal by-products. Assuring customers that a product is ‘vegan’ offers additional support to mitigate the fact that there is often little visibility within product supply-chains.

Are your textiles and apparel products truly vegan?

Did you know that not all chemicals can be considered vegan and that raw materials used in the manufacture of chemicals are often animal derived? To avoid the risk of making unsubstantiated claims around vegan materials or products, a robust system of chemical management within the supply chain is required to establish whether any animal products or by-products have been used.

Vegan Verification Programme

Vegan Verification is an innovative programme within the Eurofins | Chem-MAP family that verifies products, materials, and chemicals as vegan. This multi-faceted approach comprises of supply chain support, microscopy, FTIR and DNA analysis; testing both the chemicals used in the manufacture of materials, and the finished materials themselves to establish whether any animal products or by-products have been used. 

 The Eurofins Chem-MAP Vegan Verification Programme has recently been registered under The Vegan Society Trademark for the apparel and footwear sector. © Eurofins | Chem-MAP.

Eurofins | Chem-MAP helps brands, retailers, and manufacturers to test, verify and certify materials and chemicals. Chem-MAP also provides the opportunity to build vegan chemical management systems which will influence manufacturers and suppliers further upstream in the supply chain.

In addition, the Eurofins Chem-MAP Vegan Verification Programme has recently been registered under The Vegan Society Trademark for the apparel and footwear sector.

© Eurofins | Chem-MAP.

The Vegan Society registered verification test will give manufacturers, brands, retailers, and consumers the reassurance that vegan product claims have been validated, and the materials used to develop the product have no trace of animal derivatives.   The Vegan Trademark will be awarded to those companies who successfully meet verification criteria for all product components.

[1] UK diet trends 2021 | Finder UK

[2] Record 500,000 people pledge to eat only vegan food in January | Environment | The Guardian.

[3] Vegetarianism by country/ Wikipedia

[4] This figure excludes data from several countries including China, Russia and Vietnam.

[5] Vegan Women’s Fashion Market Size Report, 2020-2027 (grandviewresearch.com)

[6] Worldwide | The Vegan Society
 

Further information

Contact a Eurofins | Chem-MAP consultant today to talk about testing, verification, and certification of vegan chemicals:

+44 (0)1604 679999

 [email protected]

www.chem-map.com

Latest Reports

Business intelligence for the fibre, textiles and apparel industries: technologies, innovations, markets, investments, trade policy, sourcing, strategy...

Find out more