Sustainable Fashion

Can You Wash Jeans With Towels? (Don’t do it!)

Find out why we recommend you don't wash jeans with towels and what you should do instead.

Don't Wash Jeans With Towels Featured

Laundry might just be my least favorite chore around the home. That’s why I tend to overstuff my washing machine with every dirty cloth item I can find when I finally get around to the task. I rarely separate anything, throwing everything into one load. However, I always separate my jeans and towels… and so should you. Here’s why:

Jeans and towels should be washed in separate loads to extend their lives and protect their fibers. Jeans should be machine washed gently with cold water only when absolutely necessary. Towels, on the other hand, should be washed frequently with high heat, bleach, and on a heavy-duty preset. 

If even I, the queen of stuffing an enormous amount into my washing machine, keep my jeans and towels separated, so should you! Below you’ll find laundry tips on how to best wash jeans, towels, sheets, and other clothes!

Why Shouldn’t You Wash Jeans With Towels?

You shouldn’t throw your towels in with your jeans because they can damage one another in the wash and they have very different care requirements.

The zipper and buttons on jeans can snag onto the towel fibers while spinning around the washing machine. These snags make your fairly new towels look old and used. It can even begin to unravel the towel if it continues to happen.

Even more importantly, though, is how washing jeans differ from washing towels. Below you’ll find brief instructions on how best to wash towels and jeans.

How to Wash Jeans

pile of jeans ready for washing
Try to avoid washing jeans unless they really need it – they’ll last longer

Jeans should not be washed in the washing machine unless they’re heavily soiled. Hand washing jeans will help prevent shrinkage and damage to the denim fibers. 

It may take some extra effort, but it really is the best idea to hand wash them. If your jeans are smelly or covered in dirt and need to be washed in the machine, wash them on the gentle cycle with cold water. Avoid using a lot of detergent and avoid the dryer completely. Save time by line drying your jeans outside in the sun.

How to Wash Towels

towels that need washing
Unlike jeans, towels can be machine washed regularly

Towels, on the other hand, should be washed with hot water to kill bacteria. This is especially important for your bath towel which gets used every day because it holds onto a lot of your skin cells. Use detergent with non-chlorine bleach for the best results.

Wash them on a heavy-duty long wash cycle to start the drying process in the washer. Separate dark towels from light. Finished drying in the dryer at a high temperature to speed the process along and kill any remaining bacteria.

Towels should be washed and dried at the highest temperature possible. Most towels are made of cotton, which can tolerate up to 95˚F or 35˚C.

You can wash your bath towels with your hand towels. As a general rule, kitchen towels should be washed in a separate load if they have any food bits on them.

Can You Wash Other Clothes With Towels?

Now that you know you can’t wash your towels with your jeans, you might be wondering if you can wash other garments with your towels. It might be tempting to wash all of your dirty laundry in the same load, but most clothes cannot handle the high heat and heavy-duty washing cycle that towels require. So it’s best to throw your favorite sweater into a separate load from your towels.

Wash clothes according to their care instructions for the best results. Silk and lace, along with dark clothes should be washed in cold water, while other fabrics like linen and cotton clothes (other than denim) should be washed in lukewarm water. Always separate light colors from dark when washing clothes.

mixing jeans with towels in washing basket
Try to wash clothes in batches with similar items

You can wash sheets with towels as long as they’re made of cotton. However, make sure you’re not overloading your washing machine with a huge load of laundry. However, you should line dry sheets to avoid shrinkage. 

These tips will make your towels and clothes squeaky clean! Happy washing!

Megan Lemon

Megan Lemon

Megan is a sustainability writer based in Fiji, where she lives with her partner in the house they built themselves. In her free time, she free dives, spear fishes, and takes long walks on the dirt roads.

Sustainable Fashion

Vegan & Cruelty Free Fabrics (140+ Fabrics Checked!)

We've checked 140+ fabrics for whether they are vegan or not, so you don't have to. The ultimate resource for vegan fabrics.

Vegan Fabric Guide Featured

Purchasing clothes and furniture that use vegan fabrics is a great way to support your vegan lifestyle and encourage brands to stock more vegan products. But although more brands than ever are stocking vegan and cruelty-free products, they don’t always label them as such.

Vegan and cruelty-free fabrics are come in two categories: Plant-based vegan fabrics, such as cotton, hemp, and other fabrics made from these materials (such as chino, corduroy, denim, and khaki), or synthetic vegan fabrics, including nylon, polyester, elastane, microfiber, or rayon. Most non-vegan fabrics are either use wool from an animal or silk in their construction.

Of course, it isn’t always so simple. Some fabrics have both vegan and non-vegan methods of production. Others will be made from silk or wool but are then given another name, making it hard to tell if they contain animal-derived materials.

Below, we’ve listed 150 fabrics, given a brief description, and stated whether they are vegan or not, and below the table, we’ve also gone into more detail into some of the more popular fabrics that people ask about. Remember: not all vegan fabrics are sustainable. Many synthetic vegan fabrics are bad for the environment and may still cause indirect harm to animals and the planet.

p.s. We’ve worked hard to make this the most useful source for information on vegan fabrics on the internet, but we still recommend you check the label and, if necessary, ask the manufacturer for more information. Additionally, just because the main material used is vegan doesn’t mean there might not be non-vegan elements, such as leather details – so watch out for those!

Which Fabrics are Vegan and Cruelty-Free? Check the Table!

FabricIs It Vegan?
Aba – a course felted fabric woven from goat and/or camel hair.No
Acrylic – a synthetic fabric made from a polymer called acrylonitrile.Yes
Aertex – a trademark for a brand of loose-weave cotton fabric.Yes
Alpaca – derived from alpaca hair. It is warmer than wool, water-resistant, and hypoallergenic.No
Angora – woven from hair of the angora rabbit. Silky and soft.No
Baize – a felt-like material used for covering snooker and pool tables. Typically a wool/cotton blend.Depends
Bamboo – Bamboo cellulose is used to make all types of rayon, including viscose, modal, and lyocell.Yes
Batiste – also known as Cambric or Chambray, it is a lightweight cotton (or linen) fabric used for linings, lingerie, and handkerchiefs.Yes
Broadcloth – a dense cloth historically made of wool, but in a modern context more likely to be cotton or cotton blend.Depends
Brocade – a rich, thick fabric with an elaborate raised design. Normally silk, but synthetic alternatives are available.Depends
Buckram – a stiff cotton or linen cloth. Used for bookbinding, hats, and in clothing.Yes
Bunting (or Bunt) – traditionally made from a lightweight wool, but alternative materials include plastic, synthetic fabrics, and paper.Depends
Calico – a cheap, plain-woven textile made from unbleached cotton. Often, the cotton has not been fully-processed.Yes
Cambric – also known as Chambray or Batiste, is a lightweight cotton (or linen) fabric used for linings, lingerie, and handkerchiefs.Yes
Camelhair – fiber or cloth made from the hair of a camel. Often blended with other fibers, including wool.No
Camlet (or Camelot, Camblet) – a woven fabric traditionally made of camel or goat’s hair. Later made from blends of goat’s hair and silk, or of wool and cotton.No
Canvas – a course and durable plain-woven fabric traditionally made from hemp, but now typically made from cotton, linen or PVC.Yes
Cashmere – a soft and silky fiber harvested from cashmere, pashmina, and other types of goats.No
Challis – a lightweight woven fabric. It can be made from cotton, silk, or wool (or often a blend), but is now sometimes produced from man-made fabrics, such as rayon.Depends
Chambray – also known as Cambric or Batiste, it is a lightweight cotton (or linen) fabric used for linings, lingerie, and handkerchiefs.Yes
Chenille – a heavy woven fabric typically manufactured from cotton or synthetic yarns, sometimes mixed with wool or silk.Depends
Chiffon – a lightweight and sheer fabric. Can be made from cotton, silk, or synthetic fibers.Depends
Chino – a twill fabric. It is typically made from either 100% cotton or cotton-synthetic blend.Yes
Chintz – a brightly printed and glazed cotton fabric.Yes
Corduoroy (or Cord) – a textile made from twisted fibers that have been woven into a distinctive cord pattern. Normally made from cotton.Yes
Cork – made the soft bark of some kinds of oak tree.Yes
Cotton – made from fibers that surround the seeds of the cotton plant. It is used as both a textile fiber and as a thread for sewing.Yes
Cotton flannel (or Canton flannel) – a stout cotton fabric with nap on one side onlyDepends
Crepe (or Crape, or Crepe de Chine) – a soft woven fabric. Originally made from carded wool or worsted yarn, modern crepe is normally either wool, cotton, or synthetic.Depends
Cretonne – a heavy cotton fabric used for upholstery. Typically printed with a floral pattern.Yes
Damask – a woven fabric with an ornate and intricate pattern. It can be made from silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers.Depends
Denim (or Jean) – a durable cotton textile with distinctive diagonal ribbing. Denim itself is vegan, but jeans sometimes aren’t due to leather patches.Yes
Dimity – a sheer cotton fabric woven with raised stripes or checks. Hard-wearing.Yes
Doeskin – leather made from the skin of a female deer.No
Down – fine feathers taken from birds, normally domestic geese.No
Duck (Duck Cloth, Duck Canvas) – a heavy woven cotton cotton fabric which can be used for both clothing and tents.Yes
Duffel (or Duffle) – a coarse heavy woolen fabric used for both bags and clothing, particularly coats.No
Elastane – a synthetic fiber that is stronger and more durable than rubber, while still retaining exceptional elasticity.Yes
Elastic – a flexible stretchable fabric, typically cotton, nylon or polyester, made with interwoven strands of rubber or elastane.Yes
Etamine (or Etamin) – a soft, loosely woven fabric with a slight sheen. Can be made from cotton or wool.Depends
Faille – a shiny, closely-woven fabric characterized by slight ribs in the weft. Can be made from silk, rayon, or cotton.Depends
Faux-Leather – sometimes called Leatherette, Vinyl, or Polyurethane, it is a synthetic fabric that replicates the look of real leather.Yes
Felt – hair, wool or synthetic fiver that has been matted and pressed together to create a thick, strong material. Traditionally not vegan but can be made with synthetics.Depends
Flannel – a soft woven fabric that can be made from wool, cotton, or synthetic fibers.Depends
Flannelette – a light cotton fabric that has been designed to imitate flannel.Yes
Fleece (and microfleece) – made from PET, a plastic. Not to be confused with the fleece of a sheep or goat.Yes
Foulard – a lightweight fabric made of silk or a silk/cotton blend. Can be either twill or plain-woven, usually made with a printed design.No
Frieze – a heavy woolen fabric with a long napNo
Fustian – a cotton and linen fabric. Strong, with a short nap, it is usally dyed in dark colors.Yes
Gabardine – a tough fabric with a tight weave. Traditionally worsted wool, but can be cotton, polyester, or a blend. Used for suits, overcoats, uniforms.Depends
Georgette – a sheer, lightweight silk material used predominantly in dressmaking.No
Gingham – a lightweight plain-woven cotton cloth. Typically produced in a check design mixing white with a bolder color.Yes
Grogram – made from a mix of silk and wool.No
Grosgrain – a corded fabric or ribbon characterized by a weft that is heavier than its wrap. Traditionally wool, silk, or a blend, but can also be made from nylon.Depends
Haircloth – a stiff fabric made from horse hair or camel hair.No
Hemp – a tough fiber harvested from the cannabis plant.Yes
Horsehair – a stiff fabric made from horse hair or camel hair.No
Jersey – a kntted fabric originally made using wool, but now sometimes made with cotton or synthetic fibers instead.Depends
Khaki – a strong twilled cloth usually made from cotton and linen.Yes
Lace – a beautiful delicate fabric with an open weblike pattern. Traditionally made out of silk, but modern lace is often synthetic.Depends
Lame – a fabric made using a mix of one material (often synthetic) with thin metallic fibers to create a shiny, metallic-looking fabric.Yes
Leather – made by tanning animal (often cow) skin. Strong and flexible.No
Leatherette – an imitation leather made from paper, cloth, synthetics, or other materials.Yes
Linen – made from the fibers of the flax plant. Cool and fresh in hot weather.Yes
Linsey-woolsey – a strong and coarse fabric made with a linen (sometimes cotton) warp and a woolen weft.No
Lint – a linen or cotton fabric with a raised nap on one side. Commonly used to make bandages.Yes
Lisle – a fine fabric made from lisle yarn, (a strong, high-twisted yarn made of cotton).Yes
Lyocell – a type of Rayon made using the Lyocell process. It is a semi-synthetic fabric made using wood or bamboo cellulose.Yes
Mackinaw – a felted woolen cloth with a heavy nap, often produced with a plaid design.No
Mackintosh (or Macintosh) – a lightweight waterproof fabric, usually rubberized.Yes
Madras – a lightweight fabric made from cotton. It typically has a patterned texture and a plaid design. Ideal for summer clothing.Yes
Marseille – a strong cotton fabric. It has a raised pattern and is used for bedspreads.Yes
Mesh – material that resembles a net due to a large number of closely-spaced holes. Typically made of nylon or polyester.Yes
Microfiber – a very fine synthetic yarn.Yes
Modal – a type of Rayon. It is a semi-synthetic fiber made out of tree or bamboo cellulose. Used alone or sometimes blended (often with cotton).Yes
Mohair – a silky fabric made from the hair of the Angora goat.No
Moire (Watered Silk) – a fabric with a wavy (or watered) appearance. Traditionally made from silk, it is sometimes made from wool, cotton, or rayon.Depends
Moleskin – a durable cotton fabric with a velvety nap. It is not made from moles.Yes
Monk’s Cloth – a heavy cloth made from cotton with a basket weave.Yes
Moquette – a synthetic fabric. It is thick and velvety and is normally used for carpets and soft upholstery.Yes
Moreen – a heavy fabric with a ribbed face. Traditionally made from wool, but now may be made from a cotton/wool blend or just cottonDepends
Mousseline de soie – a thin, gauze-like fabric. Traditionally silk, but could now be made from rayon or other materials.Depends
Muslin – a loose plain weave cotton fabric.Yes
Nankeen – a pale yellow cotton cloth.Yes
Neoprene – a synthetic alternative to rubber.Yes
Ninon – a sheer fabric with a plain weave used in dresses, scarves, and eveningwear. Traditionally made from silk, it can now also be made with synthetic fibers.Depends
Nylon – a synthetic polymer made from materials derived from petroleum.Yes
Oilcloth – a cloth treated on one side with a drying oil or synthetic resin.Yes
Organdie or Organdy – a sheer stiff muslin.Yes
Organza – a sheer fabric with a thin plain weave. Traditionally made from silk, but can also be made out of polyester or nylon.Depends
Orlon – a brand name for first acrylic fibers created by DuPont.Yes
Paisley – a pattern of colorful swirled curved shapes. Traditional paisley is likely to be on wool and silk, but can be used on other fabrics.Depends
Percale – a closely-woven cotton fabric used to make bed covers.Yes
PET, PETE – PET, also known as polyethylene terephthalate, is a plastic. When used in fashion it is normally called polyester.Yes
Pilot Cloth – a heavy woolen material with a thicknap. Used for seamen’s uniforms.No
Pique – a weaving style characterized by fine ribbing. Normally used with cotton yarn.Yes
Plush – a term used to describe fabric with a pile higher than ⅛ inch (0.3 cm).Depends
Polar Fleece – a highly-insulating fabric with a soft nap. Made from synthetics such as polyester.Yes
Polyester – a category of synthetic fibers. The most common is PET.Yes
Pongee – a soft thin cloth woven from raw silk.No
Poplin (or Tabinet) – has a tight weave and a distinctive ribbed texture. Typically made of cotton, but can be wool or silk.Depends
Prima Loft – a brand of synthetic insulating materials developed for the US Army in the 1980s.Yes
Ramie – a natural fiber made from the stalks of the Chinese Nettle plant. It is similar to linen, and has been used for fabric for more than 5,000 years.Yes
Rayon – a semi-synthetic fiber made by chemically treating tree and bamboo cellulose.Yes
Rep – from the Latin for ‘rib’, Rep (or Repp) is a fabric with horizontal ribs. Can be made from silk, wool, or cotton.Depends
Russet – a coarse gray, brown, or reddish-brown cloth. It is made of wool and dyed with wood and madder (a red dye).No
Sailcloth – any fabric used for boat sails. Could be cotton, nylon, or Dacron.Yes
Samite – a luxurious heavy silk fabric which often has silver or gold threads woven into it.No
Sarcenet – a fine soft silk fabric from Italy.No
Sateen – a cotton (or sometimes rayon) fabric with a satiny finish.Yes
Satin – a smooth fabric with a glossy surface. Uses fibers such as silk, nylon, or polyester.Depends
Scrim – a lightweight woven fabric used in curtains, bookbinding, and upholstery. May also refer to a heavier reinforcement material used art, building, and canvas making. Made from cotton or flax.Yes
Seersucker – a light fabric normally made of cotton with alternating rough and smooth stripes.Yes
Serge – a twilled woollen fabric made with a two-up, two-down weave.No
Shag – a fabric with a deep pile. Typically used in reference to rugs or carpets.Depends
Shagreen – a type of leather made from rough, untanned skin. Often shark or ray.No
Shantung – a silk plane weight fabric often used for bridal gowns.No
Sharkskin – a worsted fabric with a two-toned appearance. Traditionally made from wool, mohair, or silk, but can also be made using rayon. Could also refer to an actual sharkskin (not vegan!).Depends
Sheepskin – a sheep’s hide which has been tanned with the fleece still attached.No
Silesia – a twilled cotton fabric used for pockets and linings.Yes
Silk – a soft and shiny fiber harvested from silkworm cocoons.No
Spandex – an extremely stretch synthetic fiber used in the manufacture of elastic clothing.Yes
Sponge cloth – a porous fabric usually made in a loose honeycomb weave.Depends
Stammel – a course woolen fabric historically used for the undershirts of penitents.No
Suede leather – a type of leather with a napped finished. Uses the underside of the skin of the animal, normally lamb, but can be deer, goat, pig, or calf.No
Swan’s-Down – could refer to either the soft down feathers of a swan OR a thick soft fabric, often wool (could be cotton, rayon), used in baby clothes.Depends
Taffeta – a smooth plain woven fabric made from either silk or synthetic fibers. Primarily used for evening wear.Depends
Tammy – a plain-woven fabric of wool or a wool/cotton blend used for linings. Often glazed.No
Tapa (or Tappa) – a paper-like cloth made in the South Pacific by pounding tapa bark.Yes
Tapestry (or Tapis) – a woven decorative fabric, made with wool and/or silk.No
Tencel – a brand of lyocel and modal rayon fibers produced by Lenzing. It is a semi-synthetic fabric made from the natural cellulose found in wood pulp.Yes
Thinsulate – a brand of synthetic thermally-insulating fiber used in clothing.Yes
Toweling – refers to any fabric used to make towels. Usually linen or cotton.Depends
Tweed – a rough wool patterned fabric assocatied with Scotland and Ireland.No
Ultrasuede – a synthetic microfiber used as a substitute for suede leather.Yes
Velcro – a fastener for clothes consisting of two connecting sides, one with stiff hooks, the other softer loops. Both sides are made from nylon.Yes
Velour – a plush fabric made from cotton or polyester that resembles velvet. It can be produced cheaper than velvet and is vegan.Yes
Velvet – a silky fabric with a dense pile. Traditionally, made from silk, but it can be made from a wide range of materials, including nylon, rayon, linen, and wool.Depends
Velveteen – a cotton fabric with a dense pile made to resemble velvet.Yes
Vicuna – the wool from the vicuña’s (a South American relative member of the camel family) undercoat.No
Vinyl (or PVC) – a plastic.Yes
Viscose – a type of rayon made using the viscose process. It is made from tree and bamboo cellulose and commonly used in fashion.Yes
Viyella – a fabric made from a cotton and wool blend in a twill weave.No
Voile – a sheer fabric, usually made of either 100% cotton or cotton blended with linen or polyester. Used in curtain making.Yes
Vulcanized Fiber – a tough laminated plastic made from cellulose.Yes
Whipcord – an extremely strong worsted fabric with a twill weave. Can be made from heavy cotton, worsted wool, or syntheticsDepends
Wincey Fabric – fabric made with a wool weft and a cotton warp (sometimes linen is substituted for cotton). Can be plain or twilled.No
Wool – a natural fiber obtained from sheep, goats, rabbits, and other animals.No
Worsted Wool – a high-quality type of wool. Stronger and smoother than wool, worsted is often used in suit-making.No

FAQ – Vegan Fabrics or Not?

Is Suede Vegan?

Suede is not vegan or cruelty free. It is a type of leather with a napped finish typically made out of lambskin, but may also be made from goat, pig, calf, or deerskin. The exception is ‘vegan suede,’ which isn’t actually suede, just a synthetic alternative that does not use animal products.

Are Fleece and Microfleece Vegan?

Both fleece and microfleece are vegan as they are made of polyester, which is the same type of plastic that is used to make many plastic bottles. Unlike a sheep’s fleece, this fabric is suitable for a vegan lifestyle. However, watch out for fleece blends: commonly these are cotton or rayon, but fleece is sometimes blended with wool – the resulting blend is not vegan.

Is Moleskin Vegan?

Moleskin fabric is vegan. It is a heavily-napped fabric typically made from cotton (or sometimes polyester) that is famed for its softness and durability. Despite the name, moleskin fabric has nothing to do with furry, subterranean mammals. It is cruelty-free and suitable for a vegan lifestyle – no moles were harmed in the manufacture of this fabric!

Moleskin fabric should not be confused with the notebook brand, Moleskine (but just in case this is what you were looking for, we’ve checked, and Moleskine products are typically vegan!).

Is Felt Vegan?

Felt is traditionally not vegan, but vegan versions are increasingly popular. Traditionally, felt is made from wool and animal fur, and linked to cruel, unethical, or inhumane treatments of animals. However, felt can also be made from synthetic materials. When this is the case, the felt is cruelty-free and suitable for a vegan lifestyle.

Always check the label to find out which type of felt a product uses, and keep in mind that some products will use a mix of both animal-derived materials and synthetic materials

Is Vinyl Vegan?

Vinyl, aka polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is vegan. It is a versatile plastic used in a wide range of products, including clothing, toys, construction, and – of course – vinyl records. Because it does not use animal-derived products it is suitable for a vegan lifestyle, however, vinyl does have significant sustainability issues that may give vegans cause to think twice.

Is Lace Vegan?

It depends. Traditional lace is made out of silk and is not vegan. However, most modern lace is made out of cotton or linen, but could also be made out of synthetic materials like polyester. In these cases, lace is cruelty-free and suitable for a vegan lifestyle.

Vintage and second-hand lace are less likely to be vegan, and vegans should also be wary of more-expensive lace products, which are more likely to be made of silk (since cotton and linen are cheaper). 

Is Mesh Vegan?

Yes, mesh is normally vegan. It is typically made from nylon or polyester, both of which are vegan, cruelty-free, and suitable for a vegan lifestyle. It is possible to make mesh from non-vegan materials, but this is not generally done; to be safe, always check the label.

Is Chiffon Vegan?

Yes and no. Traditional chiffon a lightweight, sheer fabric is made out of silk, which is non-vegan. However, many chiffon clothes are now faux-chiffon, made out of rayon, nylon, or polyester. These are made using a similar process, but are vegan and cruelty-free. Vegan chiffon is cheaper to produce, but the resulting fabric is not quite as luxurious or smooth as silk chiffon. Check the label!

Is Velvet Vegan?

Yes and no. The term velvet actually refers to the structure of the fabric and how it is made, so it can be made from many different materials. Traditionally-made velvet is made from silk, so it is not vegan. New methods mean velvet can now be made from other materials, including vegan ones such as cotton, linen, and synthetics, and non-vegan ones, such as mohair and wool. We recommend you check the label or ask the manufacturer to be certain.

Is Spandex (aka Lycra or Elastane) Vegan?

Yes, spandex (aka lycra or elastane) is a vegan material. It is a synthetic fabric that is formed from a long-chain polymer (an organic material), and it can be combined with other fabrics like polyester or cotton (also vegan). Spandex fabric is not made from animal-derived products, and no animals are hurt during the manufacturing process. It is considered cruelty-free and suitable for a vegan lifestyle.

Is Cotton Vegan?

Yes, cotton is vegan – it is a natural fiber that is harvested from cotton plants. It is not animal-derived and is considered suitable for anyone living a vegan lifestyle. Like other vegan fabrics, it can be produced without causing cruel, unethical, or inhumane treatment of animals, however the methods used to grow non-organic cotton may cause ethical concerns for some vegans as it is not a sustainable process. We recommened organic cotton.

Is Chenille Vegan?

Normally, but not always. Chenille is vegan when it is made from cotton or synthetic yarns (which is most of the time). However, if the yarn is mixed with wool or silk, then it cannot be described as being vegan.

Interestingly, the name is derived from the French for ‘caterpillar.’ This may cause some initial concern amongst vegans; however, the name comes from the fact that the yarn is fuzzy and resembles a caterpillar, rather than any involvement of caterpillars in the manufacturing process! 

Is Denim Vegan?

Yes, denim is a vegan fabric, and most denim clothes are vegan. It is made from cotton which is woven into a distinctive twill pattern, which makes them more durable, water-resistant, and less likely to wrinkle. However, some jeans use leather patches that make them unsuitable for a vegan lifestyle – always check the label.

Is Modal Vegan?

Yes, modal fabric is vegan. Modal is a type of rayon, a fabric made from plant cellulose. It is cruelty-free, does not use animal-derived materials, and can be used as part of a vegan lifestyle. Like many synthetic fabrics, the production process relies heavily on chemicals, so it is not a sustainable vegan fabric. For this reason, some vegans choose not to use modal in preference of more sustainable fabrics.

Is Tencel Vegan?

Yes, Tencel is a vegan fabric. It is a brand-name for a type of rayon created by an Austrian company called Lenzing AG. Tencel material is a type of rayon fabric (made from plant cellulose) created using the lyocell or modal process. Additionally, and unlike other forms of rayon, Tencel is produced using a sustainable process, making it better for the planet too.

Is Neoprene Vegan?

Yes, neoprene is vegan, it is a synthetic alternative to natural rubber. It is made using a multi-step chemical reaction, and then the finished material is laminated to another fabric, often nylon, ready to use. The production process does not involve animal derivatives, although as a synthetic the production process is not considered sustainable.

Is Velour Vegan?

Yes, velour is vegan. It is a dense fabric that is meant to look and feel like traditional velvet and is often referred to as vegan velvet. The most common form is cotton velour, but you may also see polyester velour or rayon velour.

Is Flannel Vegan?

Flannel is sometimes vegan. It is a soft fabric with a loose weave and a napped finish. It is usually made from cotton, wool, or synthetic fiber, and depending on the fabric used it may be vegan or not vegan. Vegans should avoid traditional wool flannel and aim for alternatives made out of cotton or synthetic materials.

Is Memory Foam Vegan?

Yes, memory foam is vegan. It is made from polyurethane, a type of plastic also used in car seats, in glues, and as insulation in buildings and fridges.

However, it should be noted that both shoes and memory foam mattresses often have other materials in them that may not be vegan. For example, a memory foam mattress may have a mattress protector made from satin, silk, down, or flannel. These animal products are not vegan fabrics and not compatible with a vegan lifestyle.

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James Evans

James is a copywriter based in the UK. He writes on sustainability, finance, tech, and anything else that interests him. He likes tea.

Sustainable Fashion

Slim vs Skinny Jeans: Which Should You Wear?

Our guide to the differences between slim and skinny jeans and which you should choose.

Slim Vs Skinny Jeans Featured

In any other conversation, slim and skinny could be used interchangeably. When it comes to jeans, though, slim fit and skinny jeans are two very different styles.

The main difference between skinny and slim jeans is tightness. Skinny jeans are tighter, while slim fit jeans have a straight leg and aren’t as form-fitting. Plus, skinny jeans tend to be made with stretchier denim for a comfortable, but tight fit. Slim jeans are more structured, which makes them better for work.

With Gen-Z raging a war against skinny jeans, many of us are looking toward different styles. It’s a great time to try on a pair of slim fit jeans, so I’ve also given some tips on how to style both of these popular cuts. Let’s get into it!

What is the Difference Between Slim Fit and Skinny Jeans?

You might think the only difference between the two styles is how they fit. However, they can also differ in the denim blends and weights they’re made of and ultimately how comfortable they are.

Skinny Fit Jeans Have a Tighter Fit Than Slim Jeans

One of the key differences between slim fit vs skinny fit jeans is how they fit your body shape.

Skinny jeans fit tightly to the leg, following the body very closely. They have a narrower leg opening at the bottom and are tight throughout. Some are so tight that they’re like a second skin!

Slim fit jeans are not as tight and have a straighter shape. In women’s jeans, they’ll fit somewhat snugly at the waist and through the hips. Then from the hip, they follow a straighter line and have more room in the legs. Men’s jeans in a slim fit style have a loose fit throughout. Most have a tapered leg design, but some have larger leg openings.

Skinny Fit Jeans Are Made With More Stretchy Material Vs Slim Fit Jeans

Denim is made with cotton, but most pairs use a fabric blend featuring stretchier materials like TENCEL Lyocell, Spandex, or Lycra.

Skinny jeans typically use more stretch denim so they can follow the body closely. Because slim fit jeans aren’t as tight-fitting, they usually have less elastic material blended with cotton for their denim. This helps keep their shape around your legs.

Another big difference between slim fit vs skinny fit jeans is the weight of denim used. Typically, skinny jeans will use lighter-weight denim, which makes them more flexible to move with your body.

Slim fit jeans will typically use heavier-weight denim. Just like with a higher percent cotton blend, heavier weight denim will help them keep the jeans’ shape structured.

Slim Jeans Can Be More Comfortable Than Skinny Jeans

Comfort in jeans comes mostly down to fit and material. With skinny jeans and slim fit jeans, certain aspects of each can make them comfortable or uncomfortable.

Because skinny jeans are tight down your entire leg, they can be quite restrictive. We all know the painful pinching that comes after eating a big meal in a pair of skinny jeans! The tightness on the legs, especially around the knees, can also make moving in them uncomfortable. That’s why it’s important to find skinny fit jeans with a stretchy denim blend.

Slim fit jeans have a looser fit, so they’re much more comfortable in that way.  However, because they typically use heavier-weight denim with less elastic, the material can be scratchy and inflexible.

This discomfort will mainly be felt at the waist, where the jeans will touch your skin the most. Buying slim jeans that use organic cotton. like the ones from our best sustainable denim brands will make your jeans a lot softer!

Which is the Best For Me – Slim or Skinny Jeans?

High-quality jeans can be quite the investment, so it’s good to determine which style fits your shape and lifestyle.

Woman in slim fit jeans with camera
The best style for you will depend on your taste, shape, and lifestyle

Below you’ll find info that will help you choose which style is best for you:

Body Shape

Your body shape or silhouette is determined by where you carry more weight proportionally. Some styles of jeans work best and are most comfortable on some body shapes and not others. Keep reading for the best jeans for your body shape!

If you carry your weight in your stomach…

Either style could work for you! Both skinny and slim fit jeans fit close to the waist and hips, especially women’s jeans. As long as you choose a pair with a cotton and stretch material blend that is high-waisted, you’ll be comfortable.

If you carry your weight in your legs…

Slim fit jeans are the way to go! Slim fit jeans have wider pant legs, which will be more comfortable, especially while trying to bend your leg. If you like to wear skinny jeans to avoid bagginess, try a pair of slim pants with a tapered fit for a more narrow leg opening.

Skinny styles have narrow legs that could cause you to feel restricted and pinched. They can also rip at the crotch more if they’re too tight on your thighs.

If you carry your weight on top or evenly throughout your body…

Slim fit jeans are perfect to bring a bit more balance to your silhouette! Especially when wearing a looser style of t shirt, skinny fit jeans can look imbalanced.

A slim fit jean brings more substance to your lower half. They have a tailored, tapered fit that looks stylish and put together. You can pair them with a billowy blouse or tight shirt without your proportions getting out of whack.

If you carry weight on your hips…

Skinny jeans will emphasize all of your curves without overwhelming your proportions.  High-waisted styles are especially great to highlight your narrow waist.

Slim pant styles will fall straight from your hips, which in your case is the widest part of you. Avoid any bagginess by wearing skinny fit jeans to follow your body’s natural curvatures very closely.


Your everyday routine, frequent events, and how much you do in your jeans can also determine which style works best for you.

Skinny jeans are excellent for casual looks or nights out thanks to their tightness. While they wouldn’t be work appropriate in most offices, they’re great for hanging out with friends or on date night. If you do a lot of walking, make sure to find a skinny jean with lots of stretch to allow movement.

Slim jeans have a more tailored, structured look thanks to their typical heavier-weight non stretch denim. This makes it easier to dress up for business casual outfits. Also, because the fit is looser, they’re more comfortable to wear when sitting at a desk. The heavier-weight denim also makes them great for hard manual work because it’s more durable than a lighter-weight pair.

Below you’ll find a few more tips for styling both styles.

How to Style Skinny Jeans

For some skinny jeans styling tips, read below.

Tip 1: Cropped Skinny Jeans with Ankle Boots

Wearing either short or rolled-up skinny jeans like Everlane’s Way-High Skinny Jean with ankle boots can be worn casually like pictured above.

cropped skinny jeans with ankle boots
Works great as a casual look, but can also be made dressier with smarter boots

Or you can dress it up with Chelsea boots and a dressier shirt or blazer for a night out to a nice dinner.

Tip 2: Wear Skinny Fit Jeans With a Plain White Tee and Canvas Shoes

This is a great outfit for a night out to a brewery, pub, or dive bar, especially when wearing black skinny jeans like Madewell’s Men’s Classic Skinny Jeans.

Madewell Men's Classic Skinny Jeans
We love these skinny jeans by Madewell (image by

If you want to stand out, wear a shirt with bold colors, but a crisp white tee looks classic and put together.

How to Style Slim Fit Jeans

Here are a few different ways to style slim fit jeans.

Tip 1: Slim Jeans Work Great With a Casual Shirt and Sneakers

Pairing slim fit jeans like the Outerknown Ambassador Slim Fit Selvedge with a casual t shirt and canvas shoes is a comfortable outfit to spend the day running errands.

Outerknown Ambassador Slim Fit Selvedge
A great casual look that works in many situations

Choosing a dark wash pair dresses the outfit up more for the office’s casual Friday or date night.

Tip 2: Consider Pairing Slim Jeans With a Button-Up Shirt for the Office

Wear slim fit jeans with a button-up shirt for a great business casual outfit. For women, choosing a black pair like Outland Denim’s Lucy Jean in Ink will dress up the outfit even more with a tucked-in shirt and blazer.

Slim fit jeans with button-up shirt
Considering pairing your slim fit jeans with a shirt or blouse

Skinny vs. Slim Jeans: The TLDR Lowdown

The biggest difference between slim fit jeans and skinny fit jeans is tightness. Skinny fit jeans are tighter throughout the entire pant leg with a narrower leg opening than slim fit jeans. The denim weight, stretch fabrics blended with the cotton, and comfort of skinny fit jeans and slim fit jeans all have slight differences depending on the pair.

Both pairs are really useful to have in your closet. Even if you’re a minimalist, most people find that having three to four pairs of jeans is the sweet spot.

Megan Lemon

Megan Lemon

Megan is a sustainability writer based in Fiji, where she lives with her partner in the house they built themselves. In her free time, she free dives, spear fishes, and takes long walks on the dirt roads.