Condoms are one of the most effective ways to prevent pregnancy and protect yourself and your partner from sexually transmitted diseases or infections. When used correctly, condoms are 98% effective.1
However, many people may want to consider the environmental impact of their condom usage. Due to the plastic used to make condoms, people often assume that condoms are not vegan or eco-friendly. That being said, there are numerous vegan condom options available.
In this post, we’re looking at the various eco-friendly and vegan condom options available. We’ll be covering their pros and cons, how to dispose of them safely, which brands you need to buy, and more.
Read on for more information.
Table of Contents:
- Are Condoms Vegan?
- Which Condoms are Vegan?
- How to Dispose of Condoms
- What are Condoms Made from?
- Shop for Vegan Condoms at Condoms.uk
Many condoms are made from latex, a milky substance found in various plants. However, the additional steps to make condoms are, unfortunately, not vegan.
What Makes Condoms Non-Vegan?
There are numerous ingredients and factors that may render condoms non-vegan. These include:
Casein is a protein found in cow and goat milk. Condom manufacturers use casein to soften the latex and make it more comfortable during sex. Unfortunately, any product that comes from dairy is not vegan.
Vegans do not use dairy products because calves are taken away from their mothers when they are born, causing distress to the calf and the parent. The longer a calf stays with the mother, the stronger their bond, so separating the cows can be highly detrimental. In addition, dairy farms may not treat their cows in an ethical manner.
Most medical or pharmaceutical goods are tested on animals to achieve their secure certification. Due to condoms being a medical device, they will have been tested on animals to some degree when it comes to using them.
While the condom industry is moving away from using animal intensives for contraceptive products, one company (Trojan NaturaLamb) makes lambskin condoms. While these products are suitable for people with latex allergies, they are not vegan and are not 100% effective against STDs. Lambskin condoms have tiny holes in the material, which STDs can get through.
Even though many chemicals are vegan, they are often not eco-friendly. Many vegans or environmentally-conscious non-vegans prefer products that are natural and organic. However, certain condom brands use harmful chemicals such as spermicide or benzocaine, which may lead to vagina dryness; benzocaine is a numbing chemical that helps men last longer but also causes vaginal irritation.2, 3
Here at Condoms.uk, we offer a range of eco-friendly condom brands for our plant-based or environmentally-conscious customers. These include:
Glyde condoms are manufactured using a thistle extract and natural rubber latex plant-based formula. These condoms are free from additives, such as spermicides, casein, paraben and petrochemicals.
Glyde condoms are made using pure ingredients. In addition, the company abides by ethical principles, making them an excellent choice for vegans, those with dairy and latex allergies, which come from the casein used in many popular condom brands.
Glyde states that its condoms are 100% natural and certified ethical and vegan by the Vegan Society. Plus, all ingredients are Fair Trade. These condoms are free from animal testing and any animal by-products. In addition, they are double washed, so you do not have to worry about any unpleasant odour.
hese condoms feature Glyde’s patented technology for durability and strength, which goes beyond global standards.
Glyde condoms are available in numerous sizes and styles. In addition, they also made vegan-friendly flavoured condoms. Different types include slim fit, ultra-thins, and condoms for larger men. However, some especially well-endowed men may find Glyde condoms are not big enough.
We have many Glyde condoms available in our online store, too numerous to mention. Browse all our Glyde products here.
Fair Squared Condoms
Fair Squared condoms, much like Glyde, are ethically-produced, cruelty-free, and approved by the Vegan Society. They are also unscented, flavourless, and suitable for oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Currently, there a five different Fair Squared condoms available, including:
As you’d expect, this is a standard condom. The Original is lubricated and cylindrical with a reservoir tip. If you have no allergies or special requirements, this is the right condom for you.
The Sensitive Dry
The Sensitive Dry has the same shape, tip, and transparency as the original, but it is un-lubricated. Therefore, if you have sensitivities to lube or prefer a specific brand of lubricant, you can use it safely.
The Ultra Thin
The Ultra Thin is transparent, lubricated, and made with a reservoir tip. However, as the name suggests, it is made from very thin rubber; the thickness measures 0.005mm. This condom is designed to improve sensation and make you feel closer to your partner.
If you are well-endowed, some condoms may feel too tight. If a condom does not fit right, it can split, tear, or split. As such, men need to get the right size. If regular-sized condoms are too small or not wide enough, the XL is the choice for you. This condom has different dimensions to suit most larger gentlemen, with a minimum length of 205mm and a width of 60mm.
If the XL is still too small for you, Fair Squared offers an even larger condom: The XXL. This condom is their largest option, measuring 64mm in width and a minimum length of 255mm. It is also a little thinner than the XL, Sensitive Dry, and Original options.
The Max Perform
The Max Perform is designed to enhance every facet of sexual intercourse. This condom comes in a regular size and is made from thin latex. In addition, the Max Perform comes with a cock ring to help you maintain strong erections and improve your performance in the bedroom. You may not need the extras included with this option, but they can be fun to explore.
If you are a fan of Fair Squared products, you may want to try their additional products. For example, the company makes a Green Tea lube that is body-safe and water-based. In addition, this lube is suitable for sex with or without a condom or with sex toys. The lube tastes like green tea with a dash of lemon, making it popular for oral sex. However, this lube is not organic, but it is Fair Trade approved so that you can buy it with some assurance. Customers can also use this lube as an effective massage gel.
You can browse our full range of Fair Squared products here.
EXS also has a range of vegan condoms that the Vegan Society and Peta have approved. As such, they are not subjected to animal testing and do not contain casein, using vegan-friendly alternatives during the manufacturing process instead.
EXS Condoms provide eight vegan-certified condoms. These include:
EXS Snug Fit
EXS Snug Fit Condoms are best for those with smaller penises or anybody who enjoys more constrictive fits. These condoms are designed to stay in place once you ejaculate, so you don’t have to worry about any sperm escaping when you pull out. These condoms are 166m long and 49mm wide, with a straight wall that covers the penis without restricting movement. They are also slightly thicker than regular condoms at 0.073mm.
EXS Magnum Extra Large
EXS Magnum Extra Large Condoms are developed for well-endowed men, measuring up to 190mm long and 60mm wide. These condoms also have a thin condom wall (0.063mm). The flared head and reservoir tip allow for natural movements and comfort. This product is suitable for oral sex, though it is coated in silicone lube.
EXS Mixed Flavoured
EXS Mixed Flavoured Condoms offer various flavours for adventurous couples. These condoms are regular-sized with a width of 54mm. The flavours include:
- Strawberry Sundae
EXS Nano Thin
EXS Nano Thin Condoms deliver a skin-on-skin feel while still offering top-quality protection like regular condoms. These condoms are only 0.045mm thick and just as durable as other varieties. The condom also has a layer of silicone-based lubricant to reduce friction.
You can find our full range of EXS condoms here.
What Makes Vegan Condoms Different?
Several factors separate eco-friendly and vegan condoms from regular brands. These include:
100% Plant-based Ingredients
Obviously, vegan condoms do not contain any animal products or by-products. In fact, many vegan condom brands use vegetable binding extract instead of casein to create a smooth condom texture.
Many people confuse vegan and cruelty-free products. While both concepts are similar, they both mean different things. For example, vegan products do not contain any animal products or by-products. However, cruelty-free products are not tested on animals. Some condoms that have been tested on animals can still be classed as “vegan” because the term doesn’t technically apply to animal testing, though most vegans would avoid any product that was not cruelty-free. However, the Vegan Trademark is a recognised certification that a product is free from animal ingredients and has not been tested on animals. When in doubt, double-check your condom before purchasing.
Eco-friendly products are made from sustainable rubber tree sources, which are used to make plant-based latex. In addition, eco-friendly condoms are often made in safe working conditions where workers are paid a fair wage according to their basic human rights. If you want to ensure your condoms are eco-friendly and sustainable, look for the Fair Trade symbol.
As vegan condoms are made from natural materials, they tend to feel better for you and your partner. In addition, these condoms are often free from harmful chemicals and available in ultra-thin sizes. Many of the chemicals used in regular condoms (such as spermicide) can lead to vaginal soreness.
As well as feeling better, vegan and eco-friendly condoms usually taste better too. Standard condoms often leave an off-putting latex taste after being used - or a synthetic novelty aroma. However, vegan condoms (such as the brands listed above) are usually double-washed and offer a neutral flavour that does not distract from oral sex.4
What are the Pros and Cons of Vegan Condoms?
Eco-friendly and vegan condoms have many advantages and disadvantages, some of which are similar to standard condoms. These benefits or drawbacks may influence your decision to purchase vegan condoms.
Some advantages of using vegan condoms include:
- Eco-friendly and vegan condoms often use natural materials that are ethically sourced. In addition, no animal is harmed in vegan condom production.
- Vegan condoms are usually better for people who have allergies to latex and dairy products. Condoms typically do not have any medical side effects, provided you know any allergies.
- When people use condoms regularly, they reduce the risk of pregnancy by 98%. In addition, they can reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV and chlamydia.
- Condoms are only necessary for sexual intercourse - you don’t need to worry about other contraceptive measures or invasive procedures.
- Vegan condoms are easily purchased and available to buy.
- Vegan condoms are available in vegan-friendly flavours, shapes, and sizes.
- Vegan condoms are put on the same way as any other condoms (check this post out if you want to know how to put on a condom.)
Some disadvantages to using vegan condoms include:
- Vegan condoms are available in many locations. However, they are still less available than non-vegan brands. Luckily, we have various eco-friendly options here at Condoms.uk
- Some people feel condoms are a mood killer in the bedroom. We recommend practising with condoms beforehand or including them during foreplay.
- Many vegan condoms are durable and safe, but they can still break or split if used incorrectly. So make sure you know how to put the condom on safely before having sex.
- Some people may be allergic to some of the products used to make vegan condoms. Check the back of the box before you try the condom on to make sure it is safe to use.
- When you ejaculate, you need to take your penis out before it gets soft, holding the condom in place, so no semen escapes. This can be difficult at first and could result in pregnancy if you do not know what you are doing.1
How Can I Tell if My Condom is Vegan?
The condom industry is worth over one billion dollars. As such, some companies may cut corners and make fake condoms that do not work as effectively or may not even be vegan. Typically, any 100% vegan condom will be certified by at least one of three associations: the Vegan Society, the American Vegan Association, and Vegan Action. Keep an eye out for these logos; all vegan condoms will have international certification.2
Are Vegan Condoms more Effective than Non-vegan Condoms?
Vegan condoms are no more effective than regular condoms. All condoms that pass government testing and standards have a fail rate of 2%, meaning they are 98% effective against sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and pregnancy.
As aforementioned, lambskin condoms are less effective than vegan condoms and may not protect you or your partner from sexually transmitted infections.
How Long Do Vegan Condoms Last?
Typically, vegan condoms will last just as long as standard condoms, which is usually five years. Condoms that contain spermicide only last three years, but vegan condoms do not contain spermicide, so you don’t have to worry about that.
Always check the expiration date and for signs of wear and tear before using any condom.
Can You Buy Plant-Based Lubricants?
Nowadays, many condoms are made without lubricant, so you may want to purchase your own vegan-friendly lube.
Luckily, most lubricants are water-based and not made from animal products. However, there are some exceptions. For example, some lubricants use animal-derived enzymes and beeswax. However, some sexual lubricants may also have been tested on animals to prove they are medically safe.
Check product descriptions and look for any vegan or cruelty-free certification on the packaging when in doubt. Unfortunately, no lubricants carry the Vegan Society logo yet, but some products are explicitly vegan and advertise themselves as such.2
What about Other Extras in the Bedroom?
Once you know which condoms and/or lubricant you need, you may consider choosing some additional extras for the bedroom. While many sex toys and enticing underwear sets are available, many are unsuitable for vegans and environmentally-conscious individuals.
Stay Away From Silk and Leather
Silk and leather are two of the most common materials used to create accessories for the bedroom. Obviously, vegans need to stay away from silk and leather. However, many substitutes are available using synthetic materials rather than the genuine animal-based original.
Most retailers will have vegan options available, including here at Condoms.uk. You can find our selection of bedroom accessories to spice up your love life at the following link.
Some Plastics and Rubbers May not be Suitable for Vegans
Customers should also consider that typically vegan materials may also contain some animal derivatives. Certain rubber and plastic accessories contain certain chemicals or materials that have been tested on animals, much like non-vegan condoms. Make sure you do your research to ensure you are purchasing the right options for you.2
Are Eco-Friendly, Vegan Condoms Reliable?
Yes. Vegan condoms need to satisfy the same government guidelines as regular condoms, so they are tested to ensure they are 98% effective against pregnancy and STIs. However, people should still check if the condom has lubricant, as it can break down the latex over time; water-based lubricants are both condom and toy friendly.
When you have finished intercourse, you should ensure the condom did not tear during sex. Take your penis out of your partner, holding the base tight. Only remove the condom once you are away from your partner.
Take the condom to the bathroom and fill it with water. If the condom has broken, water will come out the other side. If the condom is intact, you don’t have to worry about any potential pregnancy. However, if you think the condom has torn during sex, speak to your pharmacy about emergency contraception as soon as you can.
Tie a knot in the condom or twist it, so no sperm escapes. Then, wrap it in tissue and put it in the bin.5
Can You Flush Condoms Down the Toilet?
Unfortunately, you cannot recycle condoms or flush them down the toilet - they will block your drains. Condoms can cause serious damage to drains, and work to repair that damage can run into the hundreds, if not thousands of pounds. No matter how tempted you may be, flushing condoms down the toilet is not the right thing to do. Condoms should be wrapped carefully in tissue and then placed in the bin.
Condoms are typically made from latex, which is taken from rubber plants. However, condoms are often tested on animals or contain animal-derived products, which makes them non-vegan.
Some condoms are made from lambskin, while vegan condoms are made from sustainably-sourced rubber plant products and not tested on any animals.1
As Veganism becomes more popular, expect to see more big condom brands bring out vegan-approved condoms, toys, and accessories. If you want to find reliable vegan condoms, shop here at Condoms.uk now. We have plenty of options available, including ultra-thin, extra-large, and flavoured condoms.