Gallery: 36 Eco-Fashion Predictions for 2016

LEANNE MAI-LY HILGART (DESIGNER, VAUTE)

I was that weird kid raising money for the local animal shelter and setting up recycling programs in grade school, then drinking that beany soy milk from the Chinese market when I went vegan, so there’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing how far things have come, and feel the momentum of where we’re going.

For the past couple decades, it’s been something to see more people question what they purchase and consume led by social norms and pressures traditions, magazines, and advertising create.

And then in the past five years, it’s been amazing to see compassionate and healthy living start to accelerate and become more popular, where a vegan restaurant in Los Angeles (shoutout to the beautiful Gracias Madres!) is booked solid on a Tuesday night with mostly people who probably aren’t entirely vegan, but who are becoming more conscientious of what they’re eating and how it affects their bodies, the animals, and the Earth.

When I attended the Farm Sanctuary Gala this year at the Plaza Hotel, where Jon and Tracey Stewart announced their new animal sanctuary, I sat there really taken aback by what a mile marker this was for how far things have come and are going.

Thoughtful living and thoughtful business is becoming a priority, and after the Rana Plaza factory collapse, people are starting to think past food to apparel and how it affects the world. as well.

After food is fashion, which affects so much of the world’s resources, as well as workers’ and animals’ lives.

I’m so excited to see this conversation of ethical fashion continue to grow and tip and bring in more voices and more people who are excited to make a difference with what they buy and wear.

For Vaute, after bootstrapping for six years, we had our first investor fundraise in 2015 as one of the first private fashion companies to raise money publicly, made possible by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 and 2013, and CircleUp.com.

This meant I could reach many female investors and conscientious investors who want to make a difference with their finances and have an inspired vision for the future of fashion.

We were able to hire some key team members to keep up better with demand, develop vegan eco-conscious locally made sweaters in a waste-free process, test out two retail markets, and also launch gowns made of recycled plastic bottles.

This year, we’re gearing up to do our Series A raise and ready to set a new standard in fashion with the right partners.

It’s exciting times!

ECO-FASHION ORACLES

1. Marie-Claire Daveu (Kering)

2. Simone Cipriani (Ethical Fashion Initiative)

3. Livia Firth (Eco-Age, Green Carpet Challenge)

4. Lewis Perkins (Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute)

5. Amy Hall (Eileen Fisher)

6. Kathleen Talbot (Reformation)

7. Christina Sewell (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

8. Kirsten Brodde (Greenpeace)

9. Jason Kibbey (Sustainable Apparel Coalition)

10. Judy Gearhart (International Labor Rights Forum)

11. Orsola de Castro (Fashion Revolution, Estethica, From Somewhere, Reclaim to Wear)

12. Christina Dean (Redress)

13. Nicole Rycroft (Canopy)

14. Andrew Morgan (The True Cost)

15. Leah Borromeo (Dirty White Gold)

16. Sass Brown (Eco-Fashion Talk)

17. Anthony Lilore (Restore Clothing, Save the Garment Center)

18. Carmen Artigas

19. Shannon Whitehead (Factory45)

20. Deanna Clark (Fashion Institute of Technology)

21. Marci Zaroff (MetaWear, Portico Brands, Thread: Driving Fashion Forward)

22. Giusy Bettoni (C.L.A.S.S.)

23. John Patrick (Organic)

24. Safia Minney (People Tree)

25. Javier Goyeneche (Ecoalf)

26. Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart (Vaute)

27. Francisca Pineda (Bhava, Ethical Fashion Academy)

28. Karen Stewart and Howard Brown (Stewart + Brown)

29. Rebecca Burgess (Fibershed)

30. Maxine Bédat (Zady)

31. Rachel Kibbe (Helpsy)

32. David Dietz (Modavanti)

33. Jill Heller (The Pure Thread)

34. Suzanne McKenzie (Able Made)

35. Bianca Alexander (Conscious Living TV)

36. Amy DuFault (Pratt Institute’s Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator)

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