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The Green Life: Green Fashion Monday: Coats for Conscientious Consumers

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November 14, 2011

Green Fashion Monday: Coats for Conscientious Consumers

Vaute CoutureHigh-end fashion rarely intersects with vegan, recycled, or fair-trade concerns. So how do you find fabulous coats free of guilt? You could make your own from recycled fabrics. You could buy a coat-of-many-colors from any number of crafty designers. Or you could troll consignment shops, vintage boutiques, and Army-surplus stores. In recent years, though, a few new designers have expanded the options for responsible outerwear:

Vaute CoutureVegan + Haute. Vaute Couture offers haute coats made entirely from recycled fibers. This collection is also 100% vegan, and while vegan winter wear often disappoints in the warmth department, this designer has done her homework. Inspired by Chicago winters, her coats, ranging from windproof to waterproof styles, retain the heat. Made in New York City’s fashion district, Vaute Couture has covered all its bases. Don’t miss the men’s designs either. 

Platinum Dirt recycled leather jacketLuxury Leather Art. Sport a leather jacket in a sports car. Sure. Sport a leather jacket made from a sports car? You can now. And the VIN comes emblazoned across the front. Designer Platinum Dirt fabricates its sleek line with leather plucked from Jaguars, Mercedes, BMWs, Cadillacs, and Lincolns. Though pricey, these "experienced" leather jackets are warmer and more durable than a typical leather jacket. And hey, it’s a work of art.

Izzy Lane wrap coat with sheeoSoftest Sanctuary. Rescued sheep escape an early death and devote a new life to cruelty-free wool products at Izzy Lane. This British designer acquired a substantial flock simply by saving sheep from slaughter. A variety of imperfections could have resulted in these animals' deaths: a missed pregnancy, or being male, lame, too small, too old, or having all-white fleece with one black spot. With rare breeds of Wensleydales and Shetlands, this sanctuary produces soft, lustrous wool.

Whether shopping for recycled, vegan, or other conscientious clothing, read descriptions carefully and ask questions. In unregulated industries, each company's definition could be different. Once you've found your responsible coat, you'll feel better braving the wind and snow this season.

--Carolyn Cotney / photos courtesy of Vaute Couture, Platinum Dirt, and Izzy Lane

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