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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vegan Coat Picks

The "Pipistral" of Finisterre is a find.  The search for warm vegan winter coats has lasted for years.  Each year I google and bing and yahoo.  And nada.  Well, there may be a mountain of vegan coats out there, but it's really hard to tell if they are for zero degrees.  I do love that about the Land's End catalog.  They actually list the temps for which their clothes are designed.  I just kept admiring those "puffy long" coats that everyone else had.  The ones that kept you warm with goose feathers.  Except I didn't want the goose feathers.  Well, last season I stumbled upon this coat & immediately fell in love with it after watching the little video of it's attributes.  "Debbie" is the star of the video, and last year she donned some awesome red boots with this coat and it rocked.  She is super stylish, yet sensible.  I am so tired of clothes that don't work.  After living in a Latin country for awhile where the clothes fell apart after one wearing, and then always buying "cheaply" made clothing here, I kind of made a mantra to at least try to get sensible stuff.  Stuff isn't always "cheaper" if it breaks or falls apart after a few uses.  This coat ROCKS!  And it all packs up in one of it's pockets!  Warmer than down in wet weather because there are no feathers to retain moisture.  This one is filled with a whoppping 170g Primaloft Eco in the body and 130g for the sleeves and hood.  Check the video to see how you pack the whole coat away in it's hood to make a great pillow!

Pipistral Mk II
Follow link to see the Pipistral Vegan Winter Coat.
170g Primaloft Eco Body/130g hoods & sleeves.
Whole coat packs away in the hood to make a pillow.

Then there is an AMAZING company "Vaute Couture" which just started making "Real" winter coats for vegans.  Now, I did know about these last year  and I totally flinched at the prices.  They were much too "pretty" for my immediate need and too much money.  That was, however, before I knew about the Secret Stash link that puts you in a clearance zone.  So the coats in their clearance zone are affordable, and I would urge everyone to at least check it out.  The owner is vegan and just a lovely gal.  I ended up getting a sweatshirt from her that I had seen on the PETA giveaway and had some communications with her.  She is a doll and working for a great cause.  Give her your business if you can!  They have a myriad of styles to fit any girl's wishes.  Here is an interview with Mai-ly Hilgart  (the goddess behind the coats) on the style section of the "Oprah" website.  And Mai-ly is from Chicago so she is no stranger to brutal weather.

At the end of the season I ran into this jacket (but women's version), the Cloudveil "Enclosure" Jacket. Now the version the man talks about here is an older model and has 200 gm Primaloft.  I was really fixated on the numbers of Primaloft because I wanted something for FRIGID temps.  You see, I started my year off a little offguard.  I was asked to help with a few dog rescues in East  St. Louis and do a little filming with a flipcam.  One of the gals was expecting a baby any day and it wasn't really the best idea for her to be on her belly in below zero weather, in abandoned homes, filming puppies.  I had zero truly warm clothes and froze my butt off every single time I went out.  I wore my hubby's coat sometimes but the thing was more of a dress on me and hard to move around in.   I didn't have the right socks, shoes, coat, nothing!  So I kind of had a mission that I would never let myself get THAT cold again, if I could help it.  I found this coat on clearance and it is big & puffy but seems warm and has lots of pockets for camera, cell phone & keys.  I would put a polartec over it though if I were going to do anything really crazy, so the fabric wouldn't get destroyed by dogs, nails of old building, etc...!.  Anyway, it's not the most attractive, yet not the most unattractive and apparently you can pack the whole thing up in one of it's pockets.  So the functionality thing again.

<em>Cloudveil</em> - <em>Cloudveil Enclosure</em> Jacket (Fall 2009) - Women's - ...
"Cloudveil" Enclosure Jacket (Vegan Coat)
The link is to the newer styles which are not 200 gm.
This is my "dog rescue" jacket.  Warm with tons of pockets and LOTS of mobility.

 "Hemp Hoodlamb" long vegan coat at The Hempest

And above another  awesome vegan dream.  A hemp coat made by the folks of Hemp Hoodlamb.  These prices vary depending on which style (longer or shorter) and which website.  The Hempest usually has a decent stock of Hoodlamb's products and this particular coat is $329.00.  But if you shop around after the cold season, you could probably snag it for a lot less if you shop around.

What are your favorite warm vegan coats????  I am sure there are so many out there but I am talking WARM!!  Cute & Durable are also both essentials.

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  1. I've been on my own vegan coat search for a while now, and you're the only one I've seen who has mentioned the Pipistral (which I only found by accident because somebody in another comment thread recommended another of Finisterre's jackets). It's funny that it's such a well-kept secret, but maybe that's because we tend not to think outside our borders. I haven't decided to get it yet, but after combing the catalogs of what feels like most US clothing retailers, it seems like it's the ONLY coat in existence that fits everything I'm looking for (warmth with length and hood, vegan, comes in small enough sizes), which is mind-boggling to me.

  2. Yeah, I don't think it shows up on a lot of search engines here. Plus, shipping can be a pain. However, sometimes they have free shipping to the States and if you get on their mailing list, they will alert you of sales as well. It' so hard with shopping for warm coats, because unless they tell you the density of the loft, and what is comprised of, you can't really discern what type of weather for which it's suitable. I am just super glad not to be freezing my butt off this winter. Plus, the super cool thing is that it will pack into it's own pocket. So if you are unsure of the weather, you can reduce it's size for travel. I think this year's model actually turns into a neat little pillow!