Toronto design startup Manon recently launched its first line of cruelty-free winter coats featuring 100-percent vegan cashmere. Manon founder Katharine Bozek spent three years and $100,000 in personal investments to create the collection of nine classic-cut coats, such as the Camiel, a camel-colored, double-breasted vintage officer style coat with gold monogrammed buttons and braid detail; and the Arlee, a black straight-cut top coat with red satin trim detail and oversized gold buttons. The coats include a three-layer barrier system: a 22-ounce vegan cashmere outer layer, 3.5 ounces of Thinsulate insulation, and flannel-backed satin lining. “The vegan cashmere is our branded fabric that looks and feels like cashmere, but to meet our vegan requirements is man-made and is a custom blend of synthetic and natural fibers,” Bozek told VegNews. “[It is] pure opulence! So many people have said, ‘Wow I never thought it would look and feel like this.’ Honestly, it is the warmest coat I have ever owned and you really have to see and feel the fabric to appreciate it.” As a way of inspiring others to follow their dreams, as Bozek did, the designer stitches a message in each coat, such as “I am beautiful,” “I am amazing,” and “Follow your joy.” Manon—which is raising funds via Kickstarter to scale production—currently has four additional samples in development for next season, as well as designs for men’s dress coats and parkas, which feature vegan fur, faux down, and a five-layer barrier system.

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