Vaute Couture Signature Earmuffs in Magenta

Last week we featured plant-strong cookbooks and ethical, men-centric gifts, but today it’s all about the animal loving ladies. We’ve searched high and low and gathered ’round the vegan cream of the crop for your wish list and gift giving pleasure. Furthermore, a few of the best brands offer discounts, so feel at ease knowing you’re snagging great goods at reduced rates. Men, take note.

If you’ve been tuning into the gift guide series since Part I, or at least since Part III, to help you navigate better and save some time, we’ve labeled companies appearing in the guys’ guide with a GG. That way, you can skim some of the copy or just skip straight to purchasing the perfect present.

Please feel free to pass this along to fellow friends and family. Share on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Happy hearting, err, hunting!


Allow me to introduce you to the first and only winter coat line that is simultaneously warm enough for below freezing temps, chic and vegan. Vaute Couture uses cutting edge weatherproof recycled and recyclable fabrics and local construction. Founded by Manhattanite Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart (who knows cold, originally hailing from Chicago), she spent a year developing the line, including eight months of fabric research, and uses custom fabrics that take three months to produce, for a total of a five-month production schedule. Talk about intense! The line is currently self and community funded, the first season’s production run entirely funded by customer preorders. Beginning to get the gist as to why this woman and her wares are so great? If my word counts for nothing, consider the accolades and satisfied customers!

Hilgart has been named 1 of 40 Redefining Green (Grist.org),

Vaute Couture Lincoln Coat in Black

1 of 8 Brilliant Eco Entrepreneurs (VegNews Magazine) and 1 of 7 Best New Green Designers (Ecouterre). Vaute Couture has been named Company of the Year (VegNews Magazine), Best Fashion Company (Peta2) and the Vaute Coat was named 1 of 22 Best Coats (Chicago Magazine) and Winner of the Polartec Apex Design Award (beside brands like The North Face and Patagonia, among others). The label has been featured in Marie Claire, on Oprah.com, on FOX’s Bones (think Emily Deschanel) and on TeenVogue.com. Actress and activist Alicia Silverstone is also a massive fan.

Have I convinced you yet? Plus, if you or the people on your list aren’t in need of a coat at the moment, just keep VC in mind and, meanwhile, shop her other offerings, like headbands scoods, earmuffs, sweatshirts and tees. Featuring lines like, “For the love of dog, adopt” and “Heart all things with, um, a heart,” you’re sure to attract double-takes, while likely inspiring deeper thought. Why not?

Ready to put your money where your mouth is? Prepare to save. Receive 10% off any knits by entering PompKnits at checkout and receive 25% off (!!!) any outerwear by entering PompCoats at checkout. Super win.

Shop here!

Gunas Emily Bag


On the hunt for high end? Look no further than Gunas, an exclusive handbag brand that has standards. Standards about the environment and standards when it comes to animals. Namely, refusing to use them. Their progressive outlook on fashion embodies the style and spirit of someone who cares about aesthetic and animals equally. Gunas is also all about function, so rather than focusing strictly on looks, their motto is a more intelligent approach to accessorizing. They embrace eco-veganism and proudly publicize their dedication to the cause. Their homepage boasts, “Approved by PETA,” proving their fearlessness. Conventional companies are threatened by the idea that they’ll appear weak, cheap or un-luxury if they discontinue building their brand on carcasses of other creatures. It’s so sad. But, Gunas knows better than that. Every collection is bold and edgy and almost always limited edition. As for quality, bags are individually handcrafted in socially responsible factories the globe-over. Gunas: where exclusivity and conscious consumption merge.

To me, their offerings are both nuanced

Gunas Sweetheart Bag

and brave as well as classic. The Emily that features primarily white immediately made me think of my grandmother, Eleanor. And the Sweetheart in orange I just love. At first sight, I was skeptical. But, upon closer inspection, I fell for it. I love the texture and the tassel and the fact that it’s so different – without screaming “Look at me, look at me!” Best of all, Gunas bags actually smell like leather. If you like that sort of thing. Rather, they emanate the scent of a new car. I know you know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, if you’re looking for something special, something you know is not likely to be seen repeatedly on the street, but is sure to invite compliments, go for Gunas. It’s worth the investment. Receive 10% off by entering the code HOLIDAY10 at checkout.

Shop here!

Elvis & Kresse Box Bag


Britain based Elvis & Kresse makes my heart melt. This duo is so astonishingly creative. They manufacture stunning lifestyle accessories by reengineering seemingly useless wastes, perhaps most amazingly, fire hoses. The innovative and pioneering Fire-Hose range is made exclusively from genuine decommissioned British fire brigade hoses that, after a distinguished career fighting fires, were otherwise destined for the junkyard. Oh, and their products are superbly chic. Men and women alike will love their range of bags, belts, cufflinks, keychains and more. And, beyond looking great and already doing great, 50% of profits from the line are donated to the Fire Fighters Charity. Now that’s some smokin’ hot news.

Featured here are the Box Bag and the Ladies Wallet,

Elvis & Kresse Ladies Wallet

both of which are on my personal wish list (hint, hint). How ’bout you?

Readers of this site will receive 10% off any purchase. Just enter EK1211 at checkout, either on their site (UK based) or on VogueVert (US carrier). I highly suggest grabbing at least one item to impress the pants off somebody special.

Definitely take a moment to read more about their good deeds and landfill-fighting mission here.

Shop here (UK)! Or here (USA)!


Brilliant alert! These shoes are remarkable. Visionary Monisha Raja embodies the vegan fashionista. Imagine the most beautiful woman, inside and out, thinking creatively and critically to develop the most spectacular footwear out there. A longtime designer, hired by some of the biggest brands in the biz, Raja put her talents to über good use, crafting the perfect pairs: they’re both uniquely gorgeous and completely compassionate.

Love Is Mighty Nightingales

Beyond being animal-free and animal-friendly, Raja offers something extra special; an authentic touch, a human element. Indeed, she employs nomadic Rabari women in the northwestern desert region of India, collaborating with skilled artisans on designs for high quality, handmade footwear. Raja recognized that the livelihood of these tribal communities was severely compromised by modern times, so she embraced their age-old techniques, simultaneously supporting their customs and skills while also helping to combat the all too common soulless soles. The result? LOVE IS MIGHTY.

Says Raja, “I believe style need not be sacrificed to fulfill a commitment to the rights and welfare of animals. Technology and nature give us abundant choices and I’m offering the consumer a choice. I have been working in the fashion industry for the past 18 years and [have been] a vegan for about the same amount of time. LOVE IS MIGHTY is a seamless extension of my lifestyle and I want to share it with the world.”

LIM’s FW11 collectionwas inspired by Indian birds.

Love Is Mighty Kites

The Nightingale pump features intricate embroideries, each pair constructed from reclaimed vintage tapestries showcasing the exquisite needlework indigenous to this community. I myself rock the Swan pump, and also have my heart set on scoring the Kites, for winter wear.

LIM utilizes biodegradable and environmentally conscious materials wherever possible and uses mostly natural fibres (jute, canvas, cottons) and organic vegetable dyes. Her fabulous faux leather is made from polyurethane. In case it isn’t abundantly obvious, Raja is all about fair trade, too.

Score yourself or someone you love a pair of these exceptionally extraordinary shoes and receive 15% off by entering LIM1231 at checkout. Code expires January 1st.

Shop here!

Cornelia Guest Lily Hobo in Black


Daughter of American fashion icon CZ Guest and polo champion Winston Frederick Churchill Guest, Cornelia Guest isn’t the first name that springs to mind when picturing vegan advocacy. But she should be. This Manhattan socialite has come a long way since her fur rocking days and, to prove it, for her birthday recently she donated all of her furs to help keep homeless people warm during the winter. Hand-in-hand with this, Guest also got naked, because she’d rather be bare than wear fur. More on that here.

Like most children, Guest grew up around animals and always adored her dogs and horses. Nowadays, she doesn’t see a difference between species. A dog is no more sacred than a doe, a horse no more sacred than a chicken, and so on and so forth. Guest now aligns herself with PETA and the Humane Society, backing both their respective efforts to uncover the ugly underside of the world’s food, fashion, entertainment and experimentation. She even participates in intellectual public discussions, defending PETA’s tactics at an extreme marketing panel held at the 92Y TriBeCa two weeks ago, alongside PETA SVP Dan Matthews.

In using her celebrity status for good-doing,

Cornelia Guest Hillary Satchel in Camel

embarking on this angelic course has also seen Guest break into business enterprises that openly promote her philanthropic and compassionate recalibration. Think handbags and baked goods. More on the latter in a later gift guide, the former are some of the more stylish cow-caring (AKA leather-free) carriers I’ve seen. While the selection is still growing, it shows promise and hints at even more great things to come. So far my favorites are her Hillary Satchel, an absolute staple, and her Willow Messenger Clutch. I always love black, but pictured here are a couple more interesting renditions than my more limited palette preferences. And, while my short frame can be overwhelmed by too big a bag, for the taller ladies out there, her Lily Hobo is really pretty. The lovely Guest proudly carries this sexy bag herself. You can find these bags going like (vegan) hotcakes at Bloomingdale’s.

Shop here for handbags.

John Bartlett Tiny Tim Slouchy Pullover in Black


You may recognize the name, because John Bartlett has long been a part of the fashion scene, presenting at runway shows, sitting on the CFDA and, most recently, awarded a $25,000 grant to create an eco clothing line to showcase at the tents next season. Bartlett’s a classic talent who last year made it his personal mission to design completely vegan. (He’s adamantly anti-fur, which we LOVE.) So, in addition to his diet, anything and everything you see on his site is cruelty-free, as it should be.

Bartlett’s designs are wonderfully whimsical. Take the Tiny Tim Collection, which is inspired by his late three-legged pit bull rescue of the same name. 10% of proceeds from every sale go to the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund, a nonprofit that supports independent rescue shelters saving dogs from kill shelters across the country. The goal? To find every dog a happy and healthy forever home. Translation? Shop his site liberally.

Spend $200 or more and you’ll receive a complimentary tote bag. Also, receive $5 off the Deconstructed Tiny Tim Tees (for guys and girls) in black and antique white, which happen to be JB’s bestsellers. Simply enter JBPO27 at checkout. Code expires January 2nd.

Shop here!

Deux Lux Bowery Mini Messenger


Deux Lux has become my handbag savior. Just because I kicked the crap, AKA leather, doesn’t mean my keen eye for style and great taste have waned any. I love fashion and design as much as the next New Yorker. Minus the hedonist, animals-are-expendable mentality. That’s why I’m so stoked about Deux Lux. This skinless brand “gets it.” No hippie packs or pouches here. Oh no. Deux Lux is all about lustrous, supple and chic bags for the woman willing to sacrifice neither animal lives nor aesthetics. That’s my kind of company and my kind of female.

A few of my favorites include their Bowery Weekend Duffle, with its attractive weave, which is also super sturdy for a few days away. The handheld Bowery Duffle, a more modestly-sized version of its big sister, so to speak, is a compliment-magnet. I know from personal experience. It’s also utilitarian,

Deux Lux Felix Cosmetic Bag in Steel

perfect for lugging around all of your daytime necessities and effortlessly transforming for evening. I’m also a fan of their cross body messenger bags. These are not only lovely to look at, but ideal for traveling to big cities with heavy pickpocket risk. I adore the Bowery Mini Messenger in bisque and can totally see this beauty on the shoulder of an elegant woman strolling Barcelona’s Las Ramblas. Last but not least, their Felix line is super flirty and fun. It takes a certain taste to go for all this sparkle, but even I, someone more taken by simple solids, am craving the Felix Toiletries Bag in steel, and I think the Felix Zip Wallet in Gold is superb for a New Years Eve out on the town. Why not make your resolution to buy better and boycott exploiting innocent creatures? You’ll thank me later.

Shop here!


Beyond Skin from Compassion Couture

Launched not too long ago by sisters Tracey and Jill Spiritus, this lovely little e-boutique offers a host of cruelty-free and eco-friendly shoes, bags, wallets and more. Among the brands featured are Beyond Skin, Cri De Coeur, Matt & Nat and Novacas. Given that Beyond Skin is based in the UK and Novacas is based in Portugal, I recommend ordering at least these two brands specifically from a stateside retailer, to save time and money.

The Beyond Skin Corrine bootie is my favorite item on the site right now. They’re gorgeously sleek and appear perfect for pairing with skinny jeans. But, alas, the smallest size available is too big for my pixie feet. Hence, I implore someone to purchase these beauties in light of my plight. Any takers? I’ve witnessed them in real life and, let me tell you, it was a bummer to walk away empty-handed (empty-footed?).

Another brand I’m loving is Cri De Coeur, which literally translates to “cry from the heart.” Makes sense, given the fact that this is something sensitive vegans do from time to time when faced with the overwhelming pain and suffering dealt to the animal lot. Cri De Coeur is known for city-chic shoes and handbags and edgy but wearable designs. Featured on CC is the Charlie bag in Ash, a great carry-all for a girl on the go.

Like what you’re reading and seeing? Good. Now receive 15% off when you enter PompOnline15 at checkout. I’d say Christmas came early this year…

Shop here!


WeWood DATE Watch in Beige, Army & Brown

Completely absent of artificial and toxic materials, you won’t find a more natural timepiece than the WeWood watch. As the site says, “It respects your skin as you respect nature by choosing it.” Not only wholly organic in its wooden DNA, but also, each timepiece plants a tree through American Forests. Think about it. By giving a WeWood watch, you’re stimulating the economy and supporting the environment. What greater gift is there than the air we breathe? Never forget that fact while you’re wearing this lightweight (exceptionally lightweight!) reminder on your wrist. Thank you, trees. Thank you, WeWood. Win-win.

Available in a number of styles, to suit every mood. And every woman. WeWood offers a classic analog round face watch (known as DATE), which comes in a range of colors (AKA wood grains and combinations), as well as a more contemporary rectangular face analog watch (known as JUPITER). From black to blonde to multicolored, there really is a timepiece to match every occasion and outfit. I sport the beige and army green round face DATE. Love it.

Shop here!


"Skinny Bitch" by Kim Barnouin & Rory Freedman

Let’s hear it for the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Skinny Bitch. Please excuse the profanity, but, I assure you its offense is microscopic in comparison to the offenses carried out every day in the animal agriculture industry. No joke.

It’s been whispered that no book has done more for the vegan movement than this short and sweet polemic. The Bitch was my initial inspiration to ditch dairy and eggs, and it’s evident I’m not alone. Somewhat disguised as a weight loss guide, it actually opens your eyes to the bigger things at play, though shedding unnecessary LBS is certainly within the purview of positive outcomes accompanying an animal-free lifestyle. (I refuse to say “diet,” because this is an eating overhaul, not some silly little fad.)

The brains behind this essential read, Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin slap on their foulest mouths and rightly badmouth the shitty stuff. Combating modern media, billboards and other advertising, the duo offers practical but oft overlooked advice. And, it’s an easy read. 198 pages including recipes, menus and additional resources. It’s a page-turner, I promise. They let you know how to replace protein and ensure you get calcium, and of course call out soft drinks for what they actually are: “liquid satan.”

If you or someone you know is on a path of self-destruction diet-wise, this book is for you/them. It’s simple and straightforward. It’s uncomplicated and unfussy. Most of all, it’s honest. Even those folks who think they’re maintaining a healthy lifestyle may not be. Consider the BS food pyramid set forth by the powers that be. You think public health trumps special interests and profits? Hell no. Think again, girls. Open your eyes and start taking control of the way you eat and exercise. This book is the quintessential go-to to get started. Also check out Skinny Bitch in the Kitch for additional delicious and healthful recipes.

Buy the Bitch here! Buy the Kitch here! Buy for that Bastard in your life here!


Four words: get behind this brand. OlsenHaus is a

Olsen Haus Saint Simon-Grace

true trailblazer when it comes to paving the way towards a more soulful sole. Seriously, though, this compassionate company has its priorities straight. There’s no sacrifice of style, but neither is there sacrifice of life. OlsenHaus proves that high fashion and happy animals can go hand in hand, rather than the all to common – and altogether uncreative – strategy that typically translates to an inverse relationship between fashion and animals, where fashion > animals. We are surrounded by corporations turning a blind eye, whereas OlsenHaus stares this stark situation straight in the eye and demands an alternative means to achieving aesthetic success. Begun by Elizabeth Olsen, this woman has the industry insight as well as the confidence and talent to put her high-heeled foot down and do things differently.

On her site you can find an array of flats, heels, wedges and boots, as well as the OH philosophy and a bit of info regarding what it takes to manufacture the things we eat and wear on a regular basis. Like I said, Olsen doesn’t back down, standing strong by her moral mission and refusing to operate alongside the status quo. So says the site, “We believe in a higher level of consciousness with peace and light for all beings.” You’d be surprised how few food, fashion, experiment and entertainment animals experience natural light… Just sayin’.

Once again, my feet fail to fit some of the best brands, but perhaps one day they’ll take pity on me and make a size 5. Until then, I will just have to ogle my favorite footwear, among them OlsenHaus’ eclectic collection.

Shop here!

Sparrow Project Tote Bag


The Sparrow Project is a self-proclaimed publicity experiment that promotes projects for social change by braiding art, activism, education, subversion and song. Founded by two longtime animal rights and environmental activists, Sparrow is an outlet for the limitless creativity and possibilities for change within all of us. They work to get marginalized voices access to the press, access to publishing and to extend their reach to a wider audience. The pals have in the past worked with individuals such as Ayinde Howell of IEatGrass and Daphne Cheng of Vérité Catering.

Beyond their lofty and significant mission, they also sell stuff. Attractive, useful and smart stuff. Peep this link to see their tees, totes and more. This bag has sold out more than a few times, so, if you’re into it, snag it while it’s still in stock! I carry mine all the time…

Shop here!



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