All posts in Vegan Winter Wear

Outerwear with Inner Glow: NYFW’s First Ever Vegan Fashion Show!

The clothes were beyond fabulous but the adoptable bow tied pups from The Humane Society of New York and Bad Ass Brooklyn Rescue stole the show! (Image: cnn.com)

This week, history was made. A 100% vegan label showed at New York Fashion Week for the first time. Vaute Couture, created by vegan and long-time animal lover Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, launched in 2008. With a line of stunning high-end winter coats, Vaute Couture was an instant game changer. No more hemp or flimsy eco-unfriendly poly blends. These coats are made from super warm, waterproof, environmentally sound, and of course 100% vegan materials.
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Down with Down!

Plucked goose (image courtesy of veganpeace.com)

In my email inbox a few days ago, I received a rather atrocious bit of spam that was promoting goose-down jackets. The email went on and on about the “high class” of down products and how special and wonderful they are, proclaiming that it’s the best insulator in the world. Well, considering that birds need it to stay warm in wintertime, isn’t it far more ethical to leave it on the birds than to harvest it for our own use?

Down-filled jackets seem to be cherished by those who proudly show them off because they’re prized commodities for the elite. Fashionistas and minor celebrities prance around in them because they’re the flavour of the month, and those who idolize such public figures often scramble to emulate them, not taking any time to consider where their clothing has been sourced from: whether the down is being used for jackets, sleeping bags, duvets or pillows, the feathers within them aren’t exactly shed in a natural way by birds who want to take a little off once and a while. These feathers are often plucked from living animals, not just the ones that have been slaughtered for food, which is an incredibly painful process that traumatizes the birds, and since they can re-grow their feathers within a few weeks, they’ll be subjected to it over and over again until they’re finally slaughtered. Companies that claim that they use “ethical” feather-harvesting methods generally source their feathers from the white ducks and geese that have been raised and killed for food—most often for the fois gras or other pate industry—which means they’ve been force-fed by tubes and kept in pens all their lives before being killed via electrocution and decapitation. Yeah, that just screams “ethical” to me.

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Vegan Winter Boots Strong Enough for Rain, Slush & Show

Patagonia Fiona Quilted High Winter Boots from Planet Shoes

In our previous post about stylish vegan boots for winter and fall, we focused on fancier styles that can take you from office to date night and still keep your toes from falling off. This post is more about “functional” boots: the ones more suited to a day out in the snow, or a trekking expedition through a slushy downtown core after it’s supposedly been ploughed.  Fortunately, even with the more utilitarian vegan boots out there, a fair amount of aesthetic charm still holds sway, and the heavy-duty boots are just as attractive as the fancy ones in their own way.

A great resource for vegan shoes is Planet Shoes. While they carry an extensive array of shoes and boots in countless styles, a huge plus is that they have a splendidly large vegan section to choose from: Just type “vegan” into their search bar, and you are taken to the dedicated VEGAN section of their website! Let the happy dancing begin! There are shoes and boots for men, women and children available, in styles to suit all tastes, so be sure to check out their boot selection when you’re scouting around for both warmth and comfort this season. I’m rather fond of the Earth Lodge Vegan Boots on there, but since I already have my winter gear, I’ll just gaze adoringly at my screen and admire from afar.

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Wrap Yourself in a Cruelty-Free Winter Coat

Belden by Vaute Couture

As the thermometer begins its slow dive towards “glacial” once again, it’s time to dig out our winter gear, including those awesome bits of outerwear that will keep us toasty all season long. For some of us, it also means that we will be looking for new clothing to help battle winter’s onslaught, which inevitably leads to a trip to the mall, or if you’re anything like me and loathe shopping centers, purchasing online.

Naturally, if we’re cold in wintertime, animals will be too, and it’s best to ensure that they keep their coats to themselves! If you’re in the market for a new coat, jacket, parka, or other style of winter gear for either yourself or as a gift for another, please ensure that you’re shopping vegan—A gift of ethical, compassionate clothing is a gift from the heart, and is not only a beautiful present for the recipient, but for the animals who are spared an ugly fate just for the sake of human fashion. In the near future, we will be publishing posts about why we should avoid wool, leather, silk, down, and other materials that have been harvested from animals to be used for winter jackets, as well as clothing, shoes and accessories, but since the mercury is dropping as I type this, let’s focus on the pressing matter of warm winter gear.

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