The Ultimate Vegan Tour of Target

Hit the bullseye with great vegan finds in every aisle.

There’s a lot to sift through at Target, but after wandering aisles for hours reading countless labels, we were able to pile our carts high with vegan goodies. To test the vegan friendliness of the popular big-box store, we rolled around on feather-free bedding, tried on pair after pair of shoes, sniffed all the cruelty-free beauty products, tossed a few leather-free sporting goods, and strutted our stuff down the fashion aisles. If that sounds like fun, that’s because it was!

Of course, no trip to Target would be complete without stopping by the freezer section to pick up snacks, meatless meats, and blendable frozen fruits and veggies, which is why we’re devoting an entire story next week to all of the food finds at Target. In the meantime, here’s everything else we found on our vegan tour of Target.

The women’s department
While the store partners with higher-end designers with pricier clothing lines that sometimes include animal products, Target also offers cheaper—and cruelty-free—finds made from materials such as rayon, cotton, nylon, and acrylic that are always in stock. We like to look for bargains on outerwear and basics by brands such as Xhilaration, Merona, and Knox Rose. Tip? While many of these brands usually do not use animal fibers, read labels carefully as some items may contain wool.

The menswear department
In addition to basics from the in-house brands (plus one snuggly 100-percent-polyester, faux-sheep zip-up jacket), Target offers a chic vegan dress shoe line (by Merona) in the men’s department, where you can also find several styles of brown or black faux leather loafers and ankle high boots.

The beauty aisle
Many big brands—Johnson & Johnson and Unilever to name a few—test on animals and contain the likes of yogurt, honey, carmine (crushed-up insect bodies), and tallow, a common makeup additive made with rendered animal fat. Luckily, in the same aisle, you’ll find items from cruelty-free companies such as Pacifica, Yes To, and Dr. Bronner’s. We also spotted bath and hair products by Jason; acne scrubs, moisturizers, and cleansers by Alba Botanica; essential oils by Aura Cacia; cleansing foam by Andalou Naturals; and foaming bath soaps by Dr. Teals.

The companion animals section
Even your favorite furry friend has compassionate options at Target. We saw doggie shampoo and ear and eye wipes—in tea tree and oatmeal scents—by JP PET, a brand that’s “Tested on Humans First” and not on animals. Natural Promise makes products such as doggie tooth brushes and paw-shaped dental chews.

The cleaning department
Target is a good place to stock up on toxin-free supplies such as the heavenly scented products from Mrs. Meyer’s and Method, which makes liquid soaps in colorful, bulbous containers you’ll find near every sink at the VegNews HQ. For hardcore cleaning, turn to eco-conscious detergents and sprays from 7th Generation and The Honest Co.
The sporting goods aisle
Franklin’s synthetic material-wrapped soccer balls are “manufactured without child labor,” while Nerf Sports Pro Bounce basketball by Hasbro is made with foam. If you’re a yoga enthusiast, Target’s got you covered with mats, towels, blocks, water bottles, bags, and other asana must-haves by GAIAM.

The home section
We’ve been keeping warm this winter with feather-free alternatives from Target’s home department made by Threshold. While the brand has a few non-vegan items, we found a slew of alternative-down comforters, acrylic throws in soft knits and earthy colors, microplush blankets, all-cotton quilts, and embroidered throw pillows. The company also makes furniture such as faux-leather bar stools, fabric-lined ottomans, and classy nylon area rugs to help beautify your home.

The vitamin department
When you need a nutrition boost, Target carries vegan nutritional products such as Vega Clean Energy and Clean Protein (in several flavors), 10 varieties of Lärabars (watch out for the Uber Bites … not vegan), and a vegan-friendly B12 supplement by Nature Made.

Stay tuned for next week's VegNews Guide to Vegan Food at Target for a full round-up of the store's best veg eats.

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