Getting intimate is supposed to be fun, and, let’s be honest, getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) is the last thing anybody wants when they’re trying to enjoy themselves. But across the US, STI rates are rising. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, incidents of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis all increased between 2020 and 2021.

Safe sex is important. And, without doubt, the best way to protect against the majority of STIs and unwanted pregnancies is to use a condom. In fact, if used correctly, condoms are about 98 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. But if you’re trying to follow a vegan-friendly, sustainable lifestyle, can you still use one? Quick spoiler: yes, but there are a few things you need to know.

Are condoms vegan?

Condoms are often made with latex, a type of natural rubber. But to make this material smooth, soft, and pliable, casein is usually used in the manufacturing process. Casein is a protein derived from cow’s milk, so it’s not vegan. Some condoms are also sometimes made with lambskin, one of the oldest materials used for condoms, which is derived from the intestinal membrane of a lamb.

But the vegan condom market is growing, and today, plenty of brands offer animal-free choices. Most of these brands still use latex, but instead of casein, plant-based ingredients, like vegetable binding extract, are used to soften and smooth the surface of condoms.

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The environmental impact of condom waste

Condoms are a big source of waste. In fact, it’s estimated that around 5 billion are bought and thrown away every year. While biodegradable latex is a go-to choice for most condom manufacturers, some condoms can be made from synthetic materials, like polyurethane, a type of plastic. 

Polyurethane is durable, but it’s not biodegradable. That means that when it ends up in the landfill, it will likely stay there for centuries, leaching microplastics into the soil. However, it is possible to buy condoms from brands that don’t exploit animals and use more eco-friendly materials. For seven of the best, check out the list below. 

7 vegan condom brands

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1XO! by Here We Flo

London-based brand Here We Flo offers two different varieties of vegan, eco-friendly condoms, XO! Ultra-Thin and XO! Hi-Sensation, both of which are carbon-neutral and made with natural rubber latex. The brand is also a founding member of the Regenerative Rubber Initiative, which means it works directly with smallholders who are paid fairly and practice sustainable farming.
Get them here

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2 Glyde

Glyde has been supplying the US with vegan, non-toxic, ethical, fair-trade condoms since the early 1990s. Certified by a number of nonprofits, including The Vegan Society and PETA, the brand offers a wide range of options, including Ultra Thin, Slimfit, and Ultra Organic, in both flavored and unflavored varieties.
Get them here

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3 Hanx

British brand Hanx—which launched vegan condoms in the US back in 2022—was created by Farah Kabir, an investment banker, and Sarah Welsh, MD, a gynecology doctor back in 2017. The duo set out to make safe condoms that are vegan, sex-positive, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing, and it’s safe to say that, so far, they have achieved all of this and more.
Get them here

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4 Cake

Modern sexual wellness brand Cake specializes in safe, reliable, vegan condoms that don’t compromise on pleasure. It has five different options: Snug, Ribbed, Dotted, Large, and Thin, all of which are unflavored, available in three different size options, and made with premium-quality latex.
Get them here

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5 P.S.

These vegan, non-toxic condoms are 40 percent thinner than other condoms on the market, according to P.S. But don’t worry, they also exceed FDA standards in terms of strength. “Sex is something that is meant to be felt and enjoyed without worry,” notes the brand. The condoms are available in two sizes: Regular and XL.
Get them here

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6 Sustain

Founded by the family behind Seventh Generation, an eco-friendly cleaning brand, Sustain is all about making sex as sustainable as possible. In fact, the brand’s vegan, non-toxic, fair-trade condoms are sourced from the only FSC-certified latex plantation in the world.
Get them here

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7 Lelo

According to Lelo, its signature Hex condoms are made with a “unique hexagonal cell structure,” which helps the condom to stretch and move while maintaining strength and security. But, made with natural latex, they’re also thin and smooth enough not to hinder pleasure.
Get them here

For more on vegan sex, read:

Here at VegNews, we live and breathe the vegan lifestyle, and only recommend products we feel make our lives amazing. Occasionally, articles may include shopping links where we might earn a small commission. In no way does this effect the editorial integrity of VegNews.

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