A year ago, I never would have considered there was an ethical decision to be made when selecting swaddling for me tootsies. But as a vegan, even a purchase as simple as socks needs to be done consciously.

For those veg-curious popping in (hello there, you’re lookin’ well) the vegan philosophy extends beyond what we eat and drink. Once I decided to become a vegan I had to re-evaluate all the products that I use in my life and whether or not they came to me as a result of the enslavement of animals. Now I know that word is a little extreme —enslavement — but don’t bolt. If you think about it, it’s spot on. It’s an accurate way to define what is happening in animal-related industries. Animals are kept under our will and made to work to produce whatever product us humans are after. Now, I understand that it is difficult for some people to see it that way. Animals are viewed as cogs in the machinery — and that machinery’s purpose it to make money. And that is the way it has been for a very, very long time. So expecting people to change their perceptions overnight is unrealistic. But I see it a little differently. I see animals as persons. And so, when faced with a decision to purchase from an industry that makes life very uncomfortable for these persons — I choose not to. So I no longer buy wool.

Now I never want this space to have a soapbox. I know that will send the veg-curious among you packing as quick as you can scream, “she’s a preaching vegan, run for your life!” But I will explain my decisions as I’ve found a lack of understanding can change people’s perceptions of my lifestyle unnecessarily for the worst. And if you want to find out a little more about some of the problems with the wool industry then you can cautiously click here and here. No one’s watching.

Now, I’ve been spending a lot of time on my feet lately. And the ol’ grey mare she ain’t what she used to be. So I needed to find a pair of animal-free socks that were thick enough to keep me tootsies warm and my feet cushioned. I found my answer at the sock stall at South Melbourne Markets. These babies:

These bamboo socks are fully sustainable, they are produced without the use of chemicals and they have anti-bacterial properties. Now, of course, I don’t suffer from smelly feet so I can’t attest to their anti-odour benefits but I wore them after a long, hard day upright and they were super warm and comfy. They are more expensive at 14 bucks a pair but they are animal and environmentally friendly so they get two thumbs, erm, big toes up from me!

What are your favourite wool alternatives?