There's no doubt that's a challenge, but Hilgart prefers to think of it as an opportunity: "I wouldn't be doing fashion if I wasn't going to innovate for this industry," she says. "That's exactly why I'm here. I know I'm the one to do this, so I'm putting everything into it." And just because the word "vegan" is tacked on to her clothing line doesn't mean that's the only thing that makes it special."I focus on creating something for the person who could care less about why I made it and how," Hilgart says. "I'm not just preaching to the choir of vegans, but making things that someone who loves fur will be blown away by."
And just because it's unique doesn't mean it's unaffordable. Vegan fashion comes at many different price points, from $30 for a bag to more than $1,000 for a coat. Hilgart recommends opting for investment pieces that you can wear year after year.
"People often forget they can care—that they can interact with the world as a conscious participant," she says. "You can think about the things you eat and buy and wear, and it's not a sacrifice. You can actively participate in the world the way you want to."