Vegan Alternatives to Silk

Silk feels wonderful against your skin and that would be great, if it weren’t for the fact that silk means exploiting the deaths of millions of silk worms for your comfort. 

Yes, silk is an animal product not a vegetable one and for many vegans, that’s a big problem. The good news is that there are solid alternatives to silk for vegans. Let’s take a look at them.


Cupro Vegan Alternatives to Silk

Cupro isn’t a perfect plant-based alternative to silk. The good news is that it’s made entirely from recycled fabrics and that’s great for the planet. 

The downside is that the manufacturing process relies on caustic soda, copper and ammonia. It’s very easy for these things to cause environmental damage when they’re thrown out. 

Cupro really does feel like silk though – why not buy yours at Niluu

Spider Silk

Spider Silk

OK, this might sound like animal exploitation but the spider that makes silk, lives to see another day – a silkworm must die for its silk to be used. 

Sadly, for the moment this issn’t available commercially, though Bolt Threads has a synthetic (and eco-friendly) material that is very similar. 

Art Silk

Art Silk

OK, it’s not very sustainable and it feels more like Modal than actual silk but we’re expecting to see bamboo silk (art silk) take off in the next few years as manufacturing processes improve.

For now though, the byproducts of the chemical process are simply too toxic for the environment for us to recommend art silk as the perfect silk replacement. 

You can buy it from Bamboo Blonde though, if you want to try it. 



This is a silk substitute woven from nettles! It’s very close in feel to silk and it’s not a new fabric, either.

In fact, it has a 6,000 year history in East Asia, Southeast Asia and South America.

You can try Ramie at Balossa which has some amazing designs that would go perfectly with an Alexandra K handbag. 

Orange Silk

Orange Silk

This fabric was used in a single year’s Slavatore Ferragamo collection and hasn’t been seen since. 

And yes, it’s made from orange husks. 

Sadly, for the moment, you’re only likely to find garments made of orange silk on eBay at massive markups!

There’s no need to kill silkworms when awesome ethical alternatives are available for silk. And the more you support these products, the more alternatives are likely to be discovered.