Who says going cruelty-free means cramping my style? Oh no, my dears… on the contrary, I walk into a room wearing one of my coats by Vaute Couture and people take notice. In Tucson, I don’t have the opportunity to bundle up very often, but we do get a handful of nights around this time of year when it gets a little chilly… and I’m ready with my new Audrey Coat. Long and elegant, it’s a perfect conversation piece: I just love when people ask me about something I’m wearing, because it gives me a chance to spread the word about cruelty-free options and hopefully help out a business owner who is making animal-friendly and eco-conscious designs. I want people to buy these coats so Vaute Couture flourishes and keeps making them!
I first wrote about the wool industry back in 2009 (“What About Wool?”), and I’ve also talked about the use of goose and duck feathers in a previous post (“Are You ‘Down’ With It?”). I didn’t immediately donate all my wool sweaters (though I now look for alternatives for new purchases), but I rid myself of my down coats when I also eliminated all the leather in my wardrobe. Since then, I’ve been especially driven about finding outerwear that provides as much warmth as jackets and coats made of wool or down. Tucson may be home-base right now, but inevitably I encounter some real wintertime weather at some point during the year. And whether I’m walking around the East Village or exploring the town after a day on the slopes, I cannot have the cold getting in my way of a good time.
I discovered Vaute Couture when I attended the National Animal Rights Conference last July and met its owner and designer, Leanne Hilgart. The coats are a wonderful alternative to traditional wool because all the designs are made locally (NYC) of recycled and recyclable fabrics. My first VC purchase: the Vaute Coat in cobalt blue. Not only is it a great coat, but proceeds from the sales of this particular style go to Farm Sanctuary. And before relocating to New York, Leanne hailed from Chicago, so she really understands the need for a coat to be as warm as it is pretty.
This year the magazine VegNews named Vaute Couture “Company of the Year.” The styles have become really popular with young celebrities, which helped put VC in the spotlight quickly after its launch. For those of you who find the price tag a little beyond the budget: check out advertisements in VegNews for a discount code; and look for a major sale in the summertime, when you may be able to treat yourself to a VC coat or jacket for as little as half-price!
Vaute Couture also offers jackets and coats for men.