Is Mesh Vegan? Should Vegans Buy Mesh Clothes or Shoes?

Yes, mesh is vegan. It is typically made from nylon or polyester, both of which are vegan, cruelty-free, and suitable for a vegan lifestyle. It is possible to make mesh from non-vegan materials, but this is not generally done; to be safe, always check the label.

What is Mesh Fabric?

Mesh is material that resembles a web or net due to containing a large number of closely-spaced holes. It is popular in the fashion industry for use in both clothes, including sportswear and underwear, and shoes, both because of its looks (see-through) and the added breathability.

Mesh is not made from any single type of fabric; nylon and polyester are the two commonly used fibers.

How is Mesh Made?

Mesh is typically made from nylon or polyester, both of which are polymers made using petroleum. To make these, polyamide monomers are obtained from petroleum, treated with acids and other chemical agents, and then passed through a spinneret to create strands. These strands are then turned into nylon or polyester thread. 

The polyester or nylon yarn is then woven together in a certain way to create the mesh fabric with its thousands of holes. This can be done either in a square mesh pattern or a tulle mesh pattern.

Is Mesh Sustainable?

Mesh is typically not a sustainable fabric because the nylon and polyester it is made from are plastics. Both nylon and polyester can be made from recycled and reused materials (plastic bottles and nets), but much isn’t, and the resulting fabric still isn’t biodegradable in most cases. 

Verdict: Should Vegans Buy Mesh?

Mesh is a vegan material, but it isn’t normally a sustainable one. While it isn’t animal-derived, your choice will depend on whether sustainability is a key consideration in your vegan lifestyle.