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  • Claire Michalski

Is the word 'Vegan' on your T-shirt made with vegan ink?

Shockingly many clothing companies are cashing in on the vegan community and will happily use non-vegan materials, inks and methods to sell you a ‘vegan tee’.

A frustrating moment many of us have experienced, when we suddenly get asked what our clothing is made from and we aren't that sure. It says Vegan on it though, surely its vegan? Not necessarily! Are the words ‘Go Vegan’ on your new T-shirt made from animal derived ingredients?


It’s hard to know, so here are our top three tips to help:

1. Only buy from Vegan Founded Certified businesses. This way you know that the ink, materials and equipment have all been checked and approved. A few companies we have on board already are Alba Paris, Ethcs, Grow Up Vegan, Heartcure Clothing, Subtle Vegan Clothing, and even the Vegan Camp Out who's merch is 100% vegan!

2. Ask the company what the clothing dye is made from, and do not accept “natural dyes” as their answer. Natural dyes can include insects! For example, red dyes can be made using cochineal which requires approximately 80,000 to 100,000 insects to make just 1 kg of red dye. Even snails are used for some darker dyes! Insist the company gives you transparent answers, or better yet, just avoid non-vegan companies that you cannot fully trust.

3. Ask what ink AND what emulsion for screen printing they use. It's not common knowledge but the emulsion used on the screens to create the stencil itself is usually the non-vegan element. They commonly contain gelatin! Permaset inks have no animal derived ingredients and aren’t tested on animals. Plastisol inks require harmful solvents during the screen cleaning process which harms aquatic life. What about water-based inks you ask? Well some are sustainable and others...not so much. The tip within this tip is to simply ask, and if they don't have the answers then walk away and toward a 100% vegan business that has transparency when it comes to their Tee's.


After having many vegan graphic designs stolen from my non-profit campaigns organisation and sold on non-vegan Tees by a non-vegan company, I knew a more transparent vegan certification was desperately needed. Vegan Founded was born and we aim to certify as many 100% vegan clothing companies as possible to make identifying clothing that’s free from harm, as easy as possible. Support Vegan Businesses! #VeganFounded


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