Vaute Couture founder Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart
Photo: Jon Cancelino
No one planned on Angelo, a baby lamb, being born. His mother had been raised to produce wool for clothing, but, along with several other sheep, had worn out her usefulness. Though pregnant, she was loaded onto a transport truck with the rest of her flock and sent for slaughter.

In the middle of the crowded transport truck, just a few short hours from being killed, baby Angelo was born. A woman shopping at an Italian market just a few doors down from the slaughterhouse approached the truck to get a closer look at the sheep as they were unloaded. She was shocked at seeing the newborn lamb and convinced the slaughterhouse manager to let her take him home. Today, Angelo lives at the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York, far away from the fate of his mother's flock.

Vaute Couture founder Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart shares this story to help explain her passionate support of all things vegan—even in fashion. Angelo's experience taught her that there's so much more going on behind the scenes of fashion than people are aware of and that every animal deserves a chance at life.

"Vegan isn't just what you eat," Leanne says. "It's also how you dress and live while hoping to harm less."

This basic premise is what led Leanne to launch Vaute Couture, her own line of vegan clothing. While conscientious fashion—being mindful of the earth (eco-friendly fashion) and human workers (fair trade, living wage, sweatshop-free)—is nothing new, consumers aren't as well acquainted with vegan fashion and the need to be mindful of animals.

As a result, there are several myths about vegan fashion that are leading to muddled definitions, false assumptions and general confusion about what it means to dress vegan. Are you falling victim to misinformation?

See Leanne dispel the 5 myths of vegan fashion