Is Camel Hair Vegan and Sustainable?

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 01/03/23 •  8 min read

Is camel hair vegan? Is camel hair sustainable? And is camel hair ethical? Here are camel hair pros and cons: all the info on camel hair that every ethical consumer wants to know…

is camelhair vegan and sustainable

Clothing, fabric and materials are things we consume often. If you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on camel hair.

After learning if camel hair is good or bad for your home, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you shop.

This post is all about camel hair and what every ethical consumer needs to know.

Is Camel Hair Vegan and Sustainable? 

HOME

Durability: pros camelhair tends to be long lasting, no pilling or loss of shape due to fiber length

Versatility: pros camelhair is used to make coats sweaters and suits, double the warmth of other wool textiles, moisture managing properties, becomes softer with use

Accessibility: cons well made camelhair is typically expensive

Camelhair is…

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ENVIRONMENT

Fiber source: natural, camelhair is a natural fiber, obtained from the hair of bactian camel

Biodegradable: yes, camelhair is biodegradable

Destruction: high, camelhair production is relatively destructive, toxins from animal excrement pollute air, water, soil, high CO2e carbon emitted, strain on natural resources such as land, food and water, contributes to deforestation, with the large number of animals unnaturally bred onto the planet in the name of human utilization, specifically ruminants (cows, sheep, goats, deer, camels, etc.), they emit high volumes of carbon emissions and contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Camelhair is…

ANIMALS

Kills: none, camel hair production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: camel hair production requires camels to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: wildlife and ecosystems, wildlife considered to be “threats” to camels and goats leads to landowners killing kangaroos and coyotes, permitted by law, resulting in millions slaughtered every year by ranchers and the federal government

Camelhair is…

LABORERS

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always be accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Camelhair…

What are camelhair uses?

Camel hair uses include making overcoats, knitting yarn, knitwear, blankets, rugs, machine beltings and press cloths.

What is the material abbreviation for camelhair?

WK is the material abbreviation for camelhair.

Is camel hair durable or delicate?

Is camelhair durable or delicate?

Camel hair is durable and long lasting when cared for properly.

For every 5 garments produced, the equivalent of 3 end up in a landfill or incinerated each year!

One reason for such wastefulness society’s ever growing desire to acquire. Fast fashion (creating low-priced items at high volumes) is problematic for a number of reasons and promotes the attitude that clothing is nearly disposable.

But another component of such a quick turnaround on clothing is because it’s just not lasting long enough. Snags, stains, warping and shrinkage render items unusable and unacceptable for the  donation pile. Avoid such problems by buying better quality, more durable, long lasting materials. Timeless wardrobe favorites that last for years and years are more sustainable and reduce the need for replacements. 

Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck full of textiles burns or goes to landfills…

Keep minimalism in mind and buy less, borrow and buy items second hand. Thrift shops offer many inexpensive, unique finds that have already proven to stand the test of time!

Is camel hair sustainable?

Is camelhair sustainable?

No, camel hair is unsustainable.

Animal materials are a natural fiber and biodegradable unless heavily treated with chemicals. However, they are not at all eco-friendly or sustainable due to the overwhelming strain on natural resources; the water needed, food needed and land usage that must happen for such abundant amounts of animals to live.

With the high number of animals unnaturally bred onto the planet in the name of human utilization, specifically ruminants (cows, sheep, goats, deer, camels, etc.), they emit high volumes of carbon emissions and contaminate air, soil and water with their waste (excrement). This is also toxic to ecosystems and wildlife. 

Animal agriculture is not good for the environment, human health and of course, the animals themselves. Thus, animal derived, non-vegan materials are not only cruel and inhumane but environmentally unsustainable. 

That’s not to say that all vegan materials are sustainable. There are many vegan yet unsustainable fabrics, materials and textiles. Most of us don’t realize that washing one synthetic garment releases about 2,000 plastic microfibers which then enter the ocean and food chain…or that 30% of rayon and viscose used in fashion comes from endangered and ancient forests. So because a fabric is vegan it does not necessarily mean that it is sustainable, eco-friendly and so on. 

Wow! …So it’s time to start using sustainable fabrics, materials and textiles.

Is camel hair vegan?

Is camelhair vegan?

No, camel hair is not vegan. Camels must be killed or used in order to produce camelhair.

Cows, sheep, alpacas, goats, ducks and foxes are animals commonly subject to exploitation for their skins, hair or feathers. In fact, BILLIONS of them die every single year simply in the name of fashion. 

Before buying a pair of shoes, a sweater, a purse, check the materials. Common and unfortunately popular animal-derived materials include:

These materials often come from places like India and China where there can be NO animal welfare laws or enforcement. But if the item does come from a more developed area of the world, such as the United States or Europe, that animal was likely a victim of factory farming. In such overcrowded farms there is confinement, disease and animals sometimes live their entire lives indoors, never seeing the light of day.

Material from animals may involve slaughtering like leather and fur production, for instance. In regards to wool or feathers, animals struggle while workers hold them down and beat them in order to shear their coat or rip feathers from skin. This leaves them bloody and wounded in pain. 

Dressing and decorating vegan is easier than ever with this: Vegan Fabrics, Materials and Textiles List

Does camel hair have human rights issues?

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

At this time, there are no specific reports of worker mistreatment regarding camel farming but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Camelhair may or may not have labor issues.

Did you know that the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? Whether agriculture involves crops or animals, the labor behind each and every product made from cotton, leather, wool, etc. cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers.

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, sweatshops and child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence. Unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives simply by being mindful to buy items that are certified fair trade. 

Sources:

Sew Guide: Fabric glossary
Textile School: Textile fabric types
The Spruce: Types of fabric A to Z: What are you wearing?
Grandview Research: Synthetic Leather Market Worth $40.9 Billion By 2027 | CAGR: 4.4%

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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