Cruelty-Free Back-to-School Fashion: Teacher Edition

A new school year is just around the corner, which means it’s time to spruce up your wardrobe. Back-to-school shopping isn’t just for the kids—teachers like to look their best, too! Unfortunately, millions of animals are still killed for their skin, wool, fur, and feathers. But we did the research for you, and with so many options, you can leave the cruelty out of your wardrobe.

Sweater Weather

No teacher’s wardrobe would be complete without a cozy cardigan. When shopping for clothing, look for cruelty-free fabrics such as Tencel, viscose, organic cotton, cotton flannel, polyester, and synthetic shearling. Avoid items made with wool, angora, rabbit hair, cashmere, pashmina, mohair, camel hair, and shearling.

Try adding one of these fashionable items (or all of them) to your wardrobe—just be prepared to answer a lot of questions in the copy room about where you got them:

LOFT Textured Dolman Sweater

Old Navy Open-Front Super-Long Cardi for Women

LOFT Fringe Knit Jacket

Old Navy Shawl-Collar Cardigan for Men

Merona Men’s Cable Knit Cardigan

Blaze Into the New Year

Take your professionalism to the next level with a blazer this year. These offer an effortless and cruelty-free way to dress up any outfit.

Bisou Bisou Seamed Open Blazer

Indigo Jersey Blazer for Men

Just for Kicks

Keep your feet comfortable while teaching a compassionate lesson to your students. Just be sure to avoid cruelly produced materials like leather, suede, alligator skin, and snakeskin. Look for vegan leather or synthetic materials like polyurethane, microfiber, cork, pineapple leather, waxed canvas, cotton, “mock croc,” “fake snake,” or faux suede.

SUSI Matilda Shoes

Cuddle Bootie in Whiskey From BC Footwear

Desmond Chukka Boot in Brown From Novacas

Merona Women’s Boot Cuff Socks

Carry It All

Between stacks of ungraded papers, worksheets to copy, and all those pages from professional development sessions, you’ve got your hands full—literally. Try one of these animal-friendly totes to help you manage your load and promote kindness at the same time.

Vegan Bag

‘My Dog Ate My Lesson Plan’ Tate

Vegan Infinity Tote


Set your compassionate classroom expectations early in the year with these beautiful animal-friendly reminders. You can also add some flare with a cotton scarf or bowtie.

PETA Bunny Recycled-Aluminum Necklace 

Animal Etched Ring

LOFT Watercolor Stripe Scarf

Chalkboard Pi Bow Tie

Need more tips? Check out our Lesson Plans and Activities section.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind