11 July, 2017
Vegan Fashion
Meet the world’s first vegan fashion brand

Fashion couture that believes in the rights of animals by eliminating animal byproducts in the making of its garments? That’s Vaute right there for you. Apart from being the world’s first-ever vegan fashion brand, Vaute was also the first vegan label to be seen at the New York Fashion Week 2013 runway. It was seen as “one of the most innovative businesses in NYC” by Business Insider.

Chic and sustainable

Vaute makes use of the latest technology combined with organic and recycled fibres to create wonderful textiles. Its products include warm winter coats, elegant gowns, cozy sweaters and summery swimsuits. With a base in Brooklyn, New York, Vaute has been gaining popularity amongst the eco-conscious and animal lovers through its flagship store in Manhattan.

Path to Vaute

Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, the founder of Vaute, recalls the start of her journey when she was inspired to voice out for the ones that couldn’t: the animals. The Chicago suburb girl spent her days joining letter-writing campaigns, calling makeup companies to inquire about animal testing, and designing her own homemade statement T-shirts. This went on for 10 whole years before Hilgart came across Deepak Chopra's "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" while modelling in Taipei. She extracted a mantra from the book and pursued it—there is abundance where your talents meet the needs of the world. It took Hilgart three years to understand what this meant and how she could put it into practice to achieve her goal of standing up for animal rights in the fashion industry. In 2009, Vaute was born.

With no background or prior experience in fashion or outside investors, starting the apparel was a daunting step for Hilgart. And there were some extra efforts she had to input in terms of time, money and experimentation. Before starting the collection, Hilgart spent eight months researching fabric and finding new ways she could use them in her designs. She believes that innovating in new fabrics can result better in both warmth and performance than animal-based fabrics.

Eco-friendly and effective fabric choices

Vaute uses a high-tech fabric called Polartec for the brand's line of coats—an excellent choice that is recyclable and usually recycled. It is vegan, sustainable and looks as luxurious as wool. Polartec is also a light, synthetic fibre that can be found in clothes worn by explorers in Antarctica, where the average daytime temperature temperature stays at a -40 degrees Celsius.

Vaute has just launched a small collection of men's dress coats, the first-ever eco-friendly and vegan insulated line of insulated coats, as well as soy hand knits made from the waste of soybean farming. As for her future plan, Hilgart says Vaute is working on dressy vegan leather gloves and belts for the next season.

So for all the Vaute lovers out there—now you know what to keep your eyes open for!

By: Sumichhya Gurung


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