The Awl interviews Vaute Couture’s Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, with charming results! »
Because Vegansaurus is your repository for pertinent vegan-lifestyle links, we felt obligated to direct you to this interview with talented, beautiful genius and Friend of Vegansaurus Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, founder and HBiC of Vaute Couture, over at The Awl. Sample highlight:
No one had made a warm dress coat that was vegan, and it was always there as an excuse as to why we still had to use animals for some things: “Well, we can’t completely get rid of animal products, we’d freeze without a wool coat.” And thus, this was my mission, to make sure there was no excuse to wear animals ever again.
We love Leanne and Vaute Couture so, so much. This is an interview with a successful vegan business-owner that you should read right now.
OMG: It’s your chance to win a Vaute Couture coat and raise money for a vegan business! »
How adorable is Leanne?! It also doesn’t hurt that she’s probably the sweetest person you’ll ever meet. PS: Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!
The partnership’s goal is to raise $13,000 that will be used to finish design and construction of the first store. Once they have a flagship store, Leanne and her team hope to bring animal-friendly haute couture to the masses. Any contributors to this cause will be rewarded with gifts provided by Vaute Couture, a raffle for a coat ($5 pledge), Friends of Animals Print Series ($100 pledge), the first coat from next year’s collection and named after the participant ($1,000 pledge).
How excited am I?! I love her coats, but how many coats can you own? Jewelry and tank tops, though, you can have as many as you want! Here’s a pic of the jewelry in the mini collection:
I love it! As it says, this stuff is limited edition and only available until May 8! So get on that! And omg did you see you can pay to get a coat named after you?! The world needs a “Rascal” coat! Am I right? I’m always right!
Guest post: Vaute Couture storefront’s grand opening! »
My bridge-and-tunnel ass hightailed it from Jersey to Brooklyn on Sunday for three things: Blue Bottle coffee; a vegan breakfast at B.A.D Burgers; and to witness the grand opening of the long-awaited Vaute Couture storefront.
Caffeinated to bejesus, my hubby and I waited outside in the 30-degree weather, excited to see the inside of the shop and get our grubby hands on some of those sample sale coats. Leanne appeared and told the crowd that she “really wanted everything to be perfect for us,” so it would be another few minutes. Frozen and grumpy, I decided to give it five more minutes before stomping off empty-handed. Luckily, the doors opened and we were invited to immerse ourselves in the vegan goodness that is Vaute Couture.
Not only were there several coat styles to choose from that I had been eyeing on the website for over a year, there were mini-cupcakes to nibble—and Leanne, people, LEANNE! She is beautiful, as kind as they come, and well deserving of a successful Brooklyn business.
The décor is warm and rustic, and the photos of Leanne with her dog and the models with the rescued kitties just made me smile. The employees were helpful and smiley too, and despite all the pressure they must have been feeling, they handled everything with ease and excitement.
The shop is made from a variety of salvaged materials. The fitting room is a starry light box, and the mannequins (and their tan abs) came from Abercrombie. The photo booth is vegan, of course. Don’t miss the animal heads by local artists Becka & Marta.
Now, to make you all jealous, I made the first-ever purchase at the shop: a bunny sweatshirt and the FW10 Vaute in Red jacket (left) at a heavily discounted price. I was not aware that these coats are made of Polartec fabric, which is snow-proof and super-warm. They hold their shape, even through a cycle in the washing machine, which RULES! I only shop thrift stores, so buying this new coat was extra-special for me.
Thank you, Leanne, for bringing vegan fashion to Brooklyn and to the mainstream! Everyone who didn’t go, get yourselves there immediately.
Keri Siry lives in New Jersey with her 2 dogs Sammy and Honey Bee, new cat Hank and her 4 year old daughter Gemma and husband Darryl. Vegan for 8 years, Keri loves to share recipes and meatless know how via her blog at the Politics of Food.
Vaute Couture is opening a storefront! Huzzah! »
You know I love Leanne and Vaute Couture, so how excited am I! Pro tip: SO EXCITED. She’s opening a storefront in Williamsburg on March 4th!:
Vaute Couture Grand Opening
Sunday, March 4, 12 p.m.
234 Grand Street, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, G to Lorimer)
According to SuperVegan, Vaute Couture is also going to add overalls, jumpers, and dresses to their line! Happy day! And the store is outfitted in all sorts of great recycled items:
"Nearly everything in the store is created of salvaged materials, like our photobooth made from decades-old doors from BuildItGreen, a mantle from Lady Gaga’s Barney’s Exhibit that became our cash wrap, a hand-etched Starry Lightbox for a dressing room, and all our mannequins from Abercrombie & Fitch," Leanne said. "Even the paint is leftover, used gallons."
Dang, girl! Sounds awesome!
In other exciting news, it looks like Vaute Couture is looking for interns! YOU could join their team and make vegan fashion history! That’s totally like you.
The Ultimate Vegan Gift Guide! »
Last week I told you what to buy the omnis in your life, today we shift our focus to what to buy vegans! If you want to make gifts at home, this is not the post for you; but if you want to buy kick-ass vegan gifts for the vegans in your life, you’ve come to the right place! And most of them are gifts that give back in their own way so you can feel good about giving and your vegan can feel good about getting. Wait, did I really say kick-ass? It’s how I felt! That’s how excited I get about buying presents. It’s my favorite thing to do! And here are my top gift picks for vegans:
I totally encourage you to make your own vegan gingerbread house but it is kind of a hassle. And really, besides eating the cookie dough, decorating is the best part. So what if the pieces were already made and ready for you to decorate?! And someone sent you vegan candies and frosting to decorate with?! Why, that’d be the best! You aren’t just giving someone yummy vegan food, you’re giving them the gift of wholesome, old-fashion fun! And it always feels good to patronize team VeganEtsy.
This is a great gift for kids, families, holiday-enthusiasts, craft-lovers, or people who love pomp and circumstance but just don’t have a ton of time.
You can’t really have a vegan gift guide without at least one Matt and Nat product. But Matt and Nat for Apple? Be still my heart! The only snag is this bag only fits the 13 inch Macbook. I don’t have the bitty 13 incher! But if you know someone who does, this is the greatest present. The faux suede lining is made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles and all their packaging is made from recycled materials. They also say they occasionally donate bags to women’s shelters and donate vegetarian meals to homeless people. That’s nice.
Belts are one of the few accessories dudes get to wear, so they should take them very seriously. Some of them do—and this goes doubly for vegan boys. It is difficult to find the perfect vegan belt! But friends, I may have found it. Not only is the Captain cruelty-free, the Vegan Collection takes great pains to ethically source their products. They visit the factories where the belts are made to make sure they’re on the up and up. They also seek to keep their products as eco-friendly as they can. Kudos! It comes in black as well but I’m partial to brown.
There’s not really a better present in the world than a Vaute Couture coat, but unfortunately, buying a coat for someone else is pretty difficult. What’s not difficult is buying super-cute over-sized sweatshirts! I have this sweatshirt and it rules (Meave and Laura actually got it for me because they are the best and they know how to keep me happy!). It’s like Animal Farm meets Flashdance. It’s also just about the softest thing in the world. And it’s printed on an “Alternative Earth sweatshop free sweatshirt made of eco-heather fleece (recycled polyester & organic cotton) with water based ink in the US.” Sounds good to me!
Everybody needs a wallet. But a wallet is hard to pick and a hassle to find! So if you know someone whose current wallet is on its last leg, a new wallet is a good gift. You took all the work out of it for them and they can just transfer their cards and move on down the road!
This wallet is extra cool because it’s, “handmade primarily of newspapers and plastic bags collected off the streets of Delhi, India. The production of this wallet helps reduce waste in Delhi, provides fair-wage employment, and subsidizes health-care and education for each employee’s family.” That’s what I like to hear! Plus, I like the way it looks. That’s always nice.
Oh and keep in mind: PETA is polarizing within the vegan community so make sure your giftee is a fan before you pick up this wallet.
This is our Rachel’s bid for the perfect present for your vegan: a pressure cooker! I don’t really understand them or know what they are but Rachel says they RULE. We don’t know which brand is best but she thinks you’ll be fine with one of these Presto numbers. Rachel says these things make cooking beans a snap! I just use canned beans. I guess that’s bad for the environment? I mean I do recycle the cans. But there’s less waist if you get them in bulk and cook them yourself.
So if you know a big vegan cook and they are without one of these babies, go ahead and change their culinary world!
We all know vegans love to eat and they especially love sweets. And the harder the vegan alternative is to find, the more they are obsessed with it! So procuring some excellent vegan chocolate is always a good gift. When it comes to chocolate, there is one place that holds my heart: Cocoa V in Manhattan. Owned by the co-founder of Blossom, Cocoa V is a chocolate and wine bar—my two favorite things! But to your good fortune, you can order from them online! What to order? Well, anything. They have all sorts of exciting goodies like Earl Grey caramels and chocolate edamame clusters, but I HIGHLY recommend the vegan Butterfinger. It’s out of control delicious. And while getting your pals vegan chocolate is nice, getting it from Cocoa V makes it a bit more special. In addition, Cocoa V chocolate is organic and fair-trade. Holler!
I know, it’s a terrible picture, but you get the idea. Do you have a lovely Jewish vegan in your life? This is the perfect gift! Chocolate dipped marshmallows in Hannukah shapes (I don’t know if that’s how you spell Hannukah but that’s how they spell it so I’m keeping it consistent). And you’ll be happy to know that Sweet and Sara is on the “chocolate we feel comfortable recommending” list over at the Food Empowerment Project. A happy Hannukuh indeed!
This is a nice gift for a cat-owner or if you are looking for a present for your little kitty. Actually, lots of dogs like grass too. It aids in digestion! And pet grass is great if someone is having problems with their cat eating houseplants. They have the natural instinct to eat plants and maybe they will stay away from houseplants (that could be poisonous!) if you give them nice grass to chew on. My cat LOVES this stuff. And it’s so cute to watch them eat it because they cock their little heads and do that funny squinty chew. Hilar.
It’s always nice to get a pet-lover a present for their pets because it lets them know that you care about what matters to them. And this 100 percent organic kitty grass is good for the kitty’s health so that is an extra little bit of consideration! Plus, if you buy the kitty garden through the link above, proceeds go to the Humane Society. Good for you!
This is a nice present for the vegan dog or the vegan dog-owner. I got these for my dog and he loves them. I don’t even know if he likes the way they taste actually; mostly he just carries it around the house with him and then chews it down very slowly. But he sure loves to carry them around! It’s very cute. He’s very proud.
I have to warn you, there’s a small chance that these aren’t vegan. I’m positive they’re vegetarian but nothing is telling me they’re vegan. BUT there’s a British version that appears to be the same company that I KNOW is vegan. I think they are the same but if you don’t want to risk it, you can order from Veggie Pets in the U.K. Shipping will be more expensive but peace of mind isn’t cheap! And veggie chews are hard to find. That’s exactly what makes this a nice gift, there are almost no vegan dog chews and not many people are aware of this brand. And chewing is good for dogs! It relieves stress! So your vegan dog-owner will be pleased you searched the world for the perfect chew for their sweet pup.
Know a tiny vegan? Turn them into a superhero with this 100 percent organic cotton, fair-trade shirt from the super-ethical Autonomie Project! And this shirt is extra special because it raises funds for Farm Sanctuary.
This is nice because it makes a celebration out of being vegan. Superheroes are special and so are vegan kids! So vegan kids are essentially superheroes! Don’t check my math. But you know what I mean, it is special to be a vegan kid but it can be good special or bad special—try to make it good special!
This is a no-brainer. Vegans love food and surprises are the best—so surprise snacks every month are great! And remember, if you are one of the first 50 to use the “VEGANSAURUS20” coupon code when you purchase a gift subscription (note: it only works for the gift subscriptions!), you will get 20 percent off your purchase!
This present works for the new vegan, the bored vegan, the acquaintance vegan, the bff vegan—pretty much all vegans. And maybe they will share with you! Surprise vegan snacks for all.
I wrote about John Bartlett and Tiny Tim previously, and I still love them. And this limited edition Fair Isle sweatshirt is dope! Good for the boy or girl in your life or any pal who likes tripods or rescue dogs. These eco-friendly shirts aren’t just adorable, they raise money for animals saved from high-risk shelters.
I especially like this for dudes because dudes are super cute in sweet animal stuff. It’s like ironic but not at all. If I saw a dude in this sweatshirt? Wham bam! I’d be all over that. And then he could tell me all about the Tiny Tim Fund and I’d be like, “OMG let’s get married as soon as I believe in marriage!”
This makes a useful, fun, inexpensive gift that also happens to be adorbs. What’s better than good-looking people with cute dogs? Not much. Chako has got you covered for the hunk-loving pit bull fan and Pinups for Pit Bulls has the ladies.
A calendar can be kind of not awesome as a present but it is awesome when it’s something cool and benefits a good cause like saving pit bulls. Calendars are corny gifts when you’re just getting someone ANY calendar just to have something to give them. But these are more like collector’s items! And if you know a pit bull-lover, they will like this. And they will like it all the more when you tell them it helps pit bulls too.
Another thing to note is that this is kind of the only time of year you can buy someone a calendar. So you might want to take advantage of that.
I have to confess to you that I love “of the month” clubs. I always did. I just love surprises! And it’s like instead of one gift, you get one every [other] month! So do you have a vegan in your life who’s less of a foodie and more of a wino? How about a vegan wine of the [every other] month club! Every other month (for as long as you have the membership), the Organic Wine Company will send your giftee three organic vegan wines. They can get good and sloshed, organic style!
I don’t know why it’s the Bob Linden wine club but that seems like a good sign. I looked into the fair-trade options and boy, that’s a bag of confusion! It seems that the U.S. isn’t very fair-trade wine savvy. I resorted to looking up the individual wines on the Organic Wine Company’s site but of course there’s no comprehensive fair-trade wine list because they get certifications in different countries, etc. etc. etc. BUT of the ones I looked up and was able to find info on, a lot were fair-trade. For many of them, I couldn’t find any info. However, like I said, several on the Organic Wine Company’s vegan list are certified fair-trade by one source or another. But if you don’t want to risk it! I found this online store from the U.K. that lets you order mixed cases (yee-ha!) of vegan, organic, fair-trade wines. Remember though, those prices are in GBPs. Baller.
Another gift from team VeganEtsy! I just fell in love with this silly pillow as soon as I saw it. It comes in small too but go big or go home, right? So if you know a tofu-enthusiast (or a pirate-enthusiast I guess) this is a super cute present. It could be a good gift for a kid, too. It’s fun, sweet, and comfy. And you can feel good knowing you are supporting a vegan business!
Vegans are some biking motherlovers. Not all of them but I think the percentage of vegan bikers runs higher than your average demographic. They are also a farmers market-loving people, no? Then this vegan grocery pannier is the perfect vegan accessory! And this handsome bag is made from salvaged banner vinyl so it’s very environmentally friendly. Plus, North St. Bags is a member of Trillium Artisans, “an innovative, green, nonprofit community economic development program that empowers artisans and actively connects them to markets.” Holler!
This concludes the Ultimate Vegan Gift Guide! I hope I gave you some good present ideas. Like I said last week, gift-giving should be a pleasure, not a chore! So go forth and make your loved ones happy in the way only materialism can!
This week only: Vaute Couture shirts on sale at Vegan Cuts! »
What time is it? SHOPPING TIME. And as a thoughtful, stylish vegan consumer, you want to give presents that your friends and family will cherish forever. Or, you want to buy yourself stuff because you’re tired and it’s only Tuesday but it’s almost December, where does the time go, you deserve a present.
Vegan Cuts to the rescue! This week only, they’re selling two Vaute Couture tees for 25 percent off! One style is brand new! They are both adorable, made of sustainable, fair-trade materials, and really the biggest problem here is deciding which one you want, because you’re limited to one per person.
Maybe get your friend to buy one and you buy the other and you can share them! Or convince your relations that they should buy one of each style and give them both to you! Or, you know, buy one as a gift for someone you love, because now is the season of being less selfish.
The deal expires this weekend, so get to Vegan Cuts and buy a shirt! Only if you like deals and shirts, though. Maybe saving money and putting fabric on your body aren’t your things. That just means more awesome clothes for the rest of us.
Vaute Couture at Loving Eco! »
Loving Eco, a site I am currently addicted to, is having a special on this super-cute Vaute Couture tank! I have a similar one and it is totes sexy.
You know I love Leanne and Vaute Couture so I had to share the good news. I’m also seriously obsessed with Loving Eco. It’s like Gilt Group for vegans!
The new Vaute Couture collection is here and it rules! All the new coats are available for preorder right now BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE: they are 45% off until the first! Holy cannoli. That’s a good fracking deal. I just ordered the Belden because I wanted one before but they were sold out. But they made more! Happy day!
Yes, it’s August. But you will need a coat eventually. Unless you are a total thug and do the t-shirt in winter thing. Get down with your bad self, you cold-hearted bastard.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! I got this email from Jenith at VC just as I was finishing this post:
Today I am specifically writing to you about Vaute Couture and their their upcoming A/W 2011 Collection: North American Grand Tour. The super sweet Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, founder, is setting up one on one appointments and pop-up shops across the country for pre-viewing and to preorder this seasons coats, at special tour SALEprices!!
This is one of few times the public gets to view the entire collection first hand, be offered awesome sale prices AND meet Leanne.
Vaute Couture is coming to : LA, San Francisco, Portland, NYC, Chicago, Toronto, and Montreal.
Vaute Couture is coming to San Francisco* to show us their fantastic, adorable, sustainable new coats! Specifically, they’ll be at VegNews fancy and gorgeous new headquarters and there will be champagne, sparkling cider, and Fat Bottom Bakery cupcakes! So delightful!! You have to make an appointment for a 20 minute slot on either September 2nd or 3rd, so get on it before all the good times are taken and you’re left out in the cold with NO BEAUTIFUL WARM COAT TO KEEP YOU WARM. Don’t worry, when you’re appointment is done, you can eat more cupcakes and drink more champagne on VegNews beautiful sunny roof and toast your good fortune! We’re all so lucky and pretty! Yay us!
*They’re also going to Los Angeles and Portland on their west coast tour so if you live somewhere else (that’s L.A. or Portland), despair not!
Top 10 links of the week: an extravagant dance through veganism! »
[Hilarious picture my grandpa sent me, from his friend: “People living in Colorado Springs wondered why their rainwater barrel was almost empty every day. They set up a couple of cameras and look what they caught on film”]
I meant to post this a while ago: an interview with the lovely Leanne from Vaute Couture!
FitSugar has a list of five books to help you go vegan. Did your favorite make the list?
I stumbled upon this site, Keep it Wild, that has a great article about what to do instead of going to the zoo. Let’s go do this stuff!
Time's take on this bullshit about banning undercover filming at factory farms.
Did you “like” my Megans United to Save Megan the Lab Chimp page yet? You don’t have to be a Megan. Let’s start a revolution!
Did you see this shit about arsenic in chicken? What. The fuck.
My discussion topic of the week: Did you see this piece in HuffPo about why veganism makes non-vegans so angry? Why do you think they get so angry? I think they are bitter because we are morally superior! In my humble opinion.
This Dish is Veg responded to the HuffPo piece by defending the omnis. What do you think?
WTF. This resort in Singapore captured a bunch of dolphins to entertain guests. It’s super sad. Two have already died. Sign this petition! Because that’s bullshit.
Care2 has an article on butterfly first aid! Did you ever imagine such a thing?!