People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is giving Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (née Kate Middleton) a birthday present, with an ethical twist. As the royal rings in her 33rd year on Friday, she’ll receive a luxury faux-wool coat from Vaute, courtesy of the animal-rights group. Made in Chicago, the hoodless “Emily” derives its warmth from WonderFelt, a fabric produced in the United States from post-consumer plastic bottles. It’s also lined with weather-resistant ripstop nylon (also recycled) and insulated with Primaloft Eco (ditto), allowing the topper to achieve the look and feel of boiled wool, without involving actual sheep.
Photo by Balarama Heller
Named for vegan actress Emily Deschanel, who has been spotted wearing Vaute on the set of her hit TV show, Bones, the Emily has Kate written all over it. Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, Vaute’s founder, describes the coat as “sexy, understated, and so versatile,” with a “structured London look” that borrows its edge from the moto-jacket-inspired zipper.
To accompany the gift, PETA will be sending along a letter detailing its recent exposé of the widespread abuse that allegedly takes place in U.S. and Australia’s wool industries. (The latter supplies more than 90 percent of the world’s merino wool.)
“Fashion is about more than looking good—it’s also a statement about who you are and what you stand for,” says PETA president and PETA U.K. founder Ingrid E. Newkirk in a statement. “By wearing her new vegan coat, the duchess will be setting a great example and sending women the message that they can have top-notch style without hurting animals.”