Cruelty-free living is a lifestyle choice, not for everyone. Unless you are raised a vegan from birth, it is hard to create the lifestyle from scratch in one move. I have been interested in cruelty-free products for years. It wasn't until I truly had my own purchasing power plus disposable income that I was able to really start making the switch.
Each season, I purge unused/unwanted/ill-fitting items from my closet to donate. I then have the space for new purchases. Sounds familiar right? What I have changed is what brands I am purchasing. I peruse fashion magazines and blogs, but when I find something I like, I do not automatically pull out my debit card. Especially regarding leather goods and footwear, I always check what it is made of. If the item is made of animal materials, I try to find a vegan dupe on another website. With time, I have found sites that specifically carry cruelty-free or vegan product lines. It makes it so easy!
One brand I have come to love is Matt and Nat. MAT(T)erial and NATure, as they call it, is inspired by just that: eco-friendly materials and the colors of nature. Founded in Montreal, Matt and Nat believe in "social responsibility, excellence, inclusiveness, integrity, learning, authenticity and, of course, love." They utilize recycled and non-animal based materials including cardboard, rubber, and cork. I love their quote, "Simply put, we don’t like hurting animals and we care about the welfare of the planet." Easy as that.