updated Jan 2021
As much as I want to wear my chic wool jackets all through the winter, they’re just not warm enough in the Canadian climate. After I invested in a warm puffer coat and water-resistant boots, I was finally able to walk outside during the harshest winter days without turning into a popsicle.
Last week at the mall, I saw people lining up outside a couple of high-end retailers specializing in winter coats. I thought I’d create this guide to give you ethical and sustainable options. Although high-quality winter jackets are never going to be cheap, at least the brands listed below are reasonable (under a grand).
For those who want to avoid the use of down stuffing in their puffer jackets, I’ve noted when brands are vegan-friendly. Some brands use synthetic stuffing instead of down, while others recycled or ethically-sourced down. Check the materials of each product to make sure you’re comfortable with them. Even items within the same brand will differ in composition.
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This Canadian label’s¬†winter coats and jackets¬†are made from partially recycled polyesters and free of animal-derived materials. A certified B Corp, Frank and Oak use plenty of natural and recycled fibres. Their warmest jacket, The Nova, is designed to climb glaciers.
Everlane, everyone’s favourite affordable ethical fashion brand, has been incorporating more¬†sustainable materials. Their Re:Down Collection¬†uses 100% recycled down and feathers, and their Re:New Collection¬†uses 100% recycled materials. My pick is the Renew Long Puffer, which is made from 100% recycled polyester for both the shell and stuffing.
Patagonia is one of the pioneers of sustainable fashion. Their winter parkas are Fair Trade Certified sewn using 100% recycled down and partial to 100% recycled fibres. I own an older version of their Jackson Glacier Down Parka and it has been keeping me warm for the last three winters.
Nanushka’s iconic puffer jacket started the boxy oversized puffer trend on Instagram. you can even get a matching puffer belt bag. They’re part of this Budapest brand’s vegan leather collection, so they use no animal-derived materials, but note that the synthetic materials they use are not recycled.
Ecoalf¬†is a certified B Corp and uses partial to 100% recycled fibres and most jackets seem to have no animal-derived materials. If their stuffing is PrimaLoft Black, it includes 50% down. Ecoalf pledges to be down-free by 2020.
6. G-Star RAW
G-Star sources materials in a responsible way and work with manufactures to ensure a responsible supply chain. They do use down for their stuffing, and most of the synthetic material they use doesn’t seem to be recycled. This jacket is sustainable, however, using 100% recycled polyester and synthetic stuffing (no down).
7. The Curated
One of my all-time favourite ethical fashion brands now makes¬†winter outerwear. Available in coat and jacket length, they’re filled with 100% ethical down, made in a family-owned ethical factory in China.
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