The fashion world is flooded by high couture brands using all sorts of fabrics and real animal furs to create their masterpieces for the sake of art and creation. Yes, they do look fabulous, and they drive the market itself with their inspiring pieces but do they necessarily have to use animals to thrive in this industry? For those people who feel strongly about animal rights and still like to be fashion forward with their style, Vaute is the perfect shop, where high-tech sustainable textiles meet fashion progressive people who love to keep the animals out of the fashion equation. May we add that it is also the world’s first vegan fashion brand.
Vaute is the first vegan label to show at New York Fashion Week, dubbed as one of the most innovative businesses in NYC. They use organic and recycled fibers to create textiles for their clothing to create warm winter jackets, swimsuits, bodysuits and more clothing items. Is there a market for an entirely ethical and vegan apparel line in this overpopulated fashion world? There actually might be. Vaute has been growing a loyal customer base from their flagship location in Manhattan.
Animal activist and environmentalist Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart decided to start her own business, Vaute, without having any experience in fashion or business. She did fabric research for 8 months, as well as enrolling herself in DePaul’s MBA program while she was modeling in Hong Kong in the summer time. However, she decided to quit right both the program and modeling to start her business right after figuring out what her business model would be. Vaute was finally launched in 2009.
She started creating winter pieces first because people usually go for wool and fur to stay warm in the cold weather. Her coats include organic moleskin, cotton fibers, and recycled synthetic fibers. To keep warm, the coats are insulated with Primaloft ECO—fun fact: this material keeps arctic explorers and astronauts warm. Who said you can’t look good in high-tech fabrics? You can own a hat that’s made from recycled plastic bottles and still look fashionable.
You don’t have to be an animal activist or a vegan to buy vegan apparel. She wanted to create a medium where she can create all-vegan apparel for people who are like her and care extremely about animal rights and for people who are not so into it but are drawn to the high fashion side of it.