Cozy and Cruelty-Free

As I pulled out my winter wardrobe this season, I realized that the majority of my warm clothing was not cruelty-free. I was surrounded by leather boots, wool coats, cashmere sweaters, down-filled vests - the list went on. As I looked around, I knew that I needed to buckle down, do some research and find replacements for my old winter standbys. And now, with all the winter storms slamming the East Coast, I thought I'd share some of my new favorites, and spread the (cruelty-free) warmth.

 Step 1 : Protect the head

Step 1 : Protect the head

It made sense for me to start by replacing my Rag & Bone cashmere beanie (a Winter 2016 staple in my closet). Luckily, while in Beaver Creek over Thanksgiving, I stopped in to Patagonia and asked the salesman for help with finding a Vegan hat. This guy was amazing. Not only did he not look at me like I was crazy for wanting cruelty-free gear, but also he knew exactly where to point me. He pulled out this Powder Town Beanie in Birch White and I was sold. The hat is 96% recycled polyester/4% spandex and super thick. It keeps you warm, and totally protects from wind & snow/rain. While this hat has a pattern, when it's paired with a black or neutral coat, it ends up as a pretty pulled together look. Added bonus, when I take it off I never have static hair. Double added bonus, it's less than $40!

 Step 2: Warmn the Core

Step 2: Warmn the Core

Finding a fashionable coat that is also cruelty-free can be quite the challenge...you really have to read the product details to make sure no wool, down, etc is snuck in there. Not trying to be a walking ad for Patagonia, but I got this Stormdrift coat shown, in black for Christmas and constantly receive compliments on it. It's got a firm line, so holds its shape really well. I normally wear this over fitted pants or tight jeans...however, I will also throw it on over workout clothes and still get compliments from people whose fashion I admire, so it's versatile. Being mid-season though, sizes are limited. For other cruelty-free coat options I also love this faux shearling Barbour Coat, and this Burberry Parka.

 Step 3: Dress up the stems

Step 3: Dress up the stems

My favorite vegan fashion find this year might well be coated denim. It gives the edgy and sleek look of leather pants, while sparing the animals. Coated denim is sure to keep you warm this winter, while giving you a cruelty-free and fashionable edge. While most popular jean brands have coated denim options, our personal favorites right now include this AG pair, and this Paige pair shown. Though if you have a jean brand that makes you feel comfortable and confident, we recommend trying out their version of coated denim, if available, for the best fit :)

Worth noting - the best part about this whole thing, aside from a legitimate excuse to go shopping, is that every time you find new cruelty-free apparel, you can donate your old animal-derived gear to any number of charities in need.

StyleElizabeth Almgren