People living down under are about to brace themselves for the cold weather. However, for those who are practicing an ethical way of living, there is no such thing as a time-out or ‘cheat day’ from an ethical lifestyle. One doesn’t just practice ethical living only when it is convenient. The commitment goes all year round– including the winter season.
While winter outwear is dominated by animal-based textiles such as leather, wool and to a lesser extent animal fur, there are ethical wardrobe options out there for vegans and vegetarians and those who want sustainably-sourced animal-based textiles during the colder months.
Below is a list of ethical and sustainable fashion brands to check out if you’re in need of a winter jacket and coat and don’t have the time or patience to shop second-hand:
For easy, convenient one-stop-shop kind of ethical and sustainable shopping, we recommend US-based Made Trade.
Made Trade stocks a wide range of conscious fashion and homewares including a good selection of responsibly made winter coats and jackets by leading ethical brands (think Tonle, Anchal Project, Soluna Collective) that are super stylish and suits a variety of fashion tastes.
They’ve carefully reviewed, validated and curated winter wear in line with high ethical and sustainable standards so you whether you’re after a vegan coat, a long wrap, a cozy poncho or sweater, you can rest assured that you’ll find clothing to suit your diverse size and shape, has minimal impact on the planet and maximises benefits to the makers.
Browse Made Trade here.
Patagonia’s mission is to offer female and male adventurers high-quality sustainable outdoor clothing that enhances their experiences of the natural environment rather than diminish it. As pioneers of sustainable apparel, American brand Patagonia has established itself as the market leader for consciously made winter and outdoor wear made from a wide range of innovative fabrics, such as recycled nylon, recycled polyester fleece and organic cotton that have all been tested to meet their strict performance standards.
There are so many styles to choose from – ski jackets, snow vests, puff jackets, stylish parkas, waterproof rain coats, you name it, they have it – that it will take some time deciding on the exact style and color, but once you do you won’t need to invest the time again since the garment has been made to last and to give you peace of mind, Patagonia even offers an ‘ironclad guarantee’.
Australian fashion label Cue has been in business since 1968 and has been committed to local manufacturing throughout the entire time. Accredited by Ethical Clothing in Australia (ECA), Cue is the largest manufacturer of fashion apparel in Australia. Because of this, they are able to respond immediately to trends while supporting local industry.
Their collection of high-quality winter jackets and coats featuring exclusive prints and distinctive tailoring are for the modern, independent woman and corporate fashionista. Whether you’re after an ethically made utility jacket, cropped cape or faux fur coat, you can’t go past Cue for stylish ethical knits and outerwear.
Thought Clothing has given a lot of thought on how their fashion business works. From responsible production where people are paid fair wages down to the packaging of their products, this UK-based ethical fashion label is the real ‘green’ deal, incorporating trendy yet classic designs and gorgeous prints with the use of natural, organic and recycled fabrics in their collection.
Thought’s wide range of stylish winter coats, knitwear and light jackets feature sustainable materials such as sustainably-sourced wool, organic cotton and modal. There are so many beautiful styles, eye-catching prints and patterns, and weather-ready layers to choose from that ‘beige’ is one adjective you won’t ever need to describe this unique ethical brand.
Kathmandu produced its first down-type jacket a hundred years ago for an Everest expedition and since then, the outdoor apparel company continues to push its boundaries to ensure it meets the needs of the eco-conscious modern traveler. It manufactures high-quality outerwear, jackets and coats made from durable materials that protect from the wind, rain, snow and cold such as merino wool, duck down and feather and recycled polyester just to name a few.
There are many all-weather jackets and coat options for men and women including insulated down jacket, merino jackets, fleece jumpers, waterproof rain jackets, softshell vests and more.
To learn more about Kathmandu’s commitment to sustainability, read our in-depth post about the brand here.
American sustainable fashion brand Reformation has a cult following for good reason; it offers a wide range of eco-friendly styles that celebrate the feminine figure; its collections are responsibly and ethically produced, and its appealing photo shoots make sustainable fashion look trendy and cool AF.
Reformation’s outerwear collection includes sustainably made wool coats, pea coats, kick-ass biker and bomber jackets, puffer jackets and classic trench coats made from recycled materials, deadstock fabrics, tencel, organic cotton, you name the sustainable material, they’re incorporating it.
Known for its mission to bring ‘radical transparency’ into its supply chain, Everlane has partnered with top factories around the world to produce high-quality, reasonably-priced garments and ensure safe working conditions for those in the supply chain.
Every step they make is shared openly with their customers, starting with what the business calls the ‘true cost’ of all the products where the brand transparently itemises costs of materials and labour.
We’ve covered the pros and cons of Everlane in great detail here and while the jury is out on whether this brand is truly ‘ethical’ (transparency doesn’t necessarily equate to ethical as fair fashion advocates often point out) there is no doubt that the brand continues to evolve, incorporating more sustainable fabrics such as recycled wool and recycled nylon than it originally did; and sticking to classic shapes and silhouettes is in itself sustainable since wearing an Everlane coat or jacket will make you look good, no matter what the weather or occasion is.
Outerwear is an American label founded by legendary pro-surfer Kelly Slater that offers an understated yet fashionable range of outerwear for men and women made from eco-friendly fabrics such as recycled polyester, organic cotton and wool.
Choose from fleece, puffer, denim or trucker jackets and with every purchase you make, you support a sustainable company that bases all its decisions on the welfare of people and the planet – from seed to supplier to circular design.
Founded by the talented London of College fashion graduate Sandra Sandor, Nanushka‘s effortless combination of simplicity, craftsmanship and modern flair makes this brand a standout when it comes to sustainably-designed jackets and coats for women.
Manufactured in Europe, the high-end collections are made by skilled garment technicians in either Hungary or Serbia, keeping the brand’s footprint minimal.Making use of materials that can combine function with beauty, heritage with technology (such as wool, silk, cashmere and vegan leather) without losing their vision to build a sustainable future, Nanushka’s collection of design-led apparel that have been produced with expert craftsmanship and creativity results in a product that is timeless, super stylish and unique.
One peek at the lust-worthy and dreamy collections and you’ll understand why male and female customers alike cherish their Nanushka pieces and some of the world’s fanciest department stores stock the label.
As you may have guessed, Hemp Tailor champions hemp fabric, a sustainable material that can be both carbon negative and lasts for an ultra long time– talk about sustainability! The brand’s goal is to push the fashion industry to be better and more ethical, by offering ethically-made sustainable outerwear, knit sweaters and cardigans made from traditional eco-friendly fabrics such as hemp and organic cotton.
A leader in fair trade fashion, Indigenous works with, empowers and features the beautifully crafted garments by artisans in Peru. Every article of handcrafted clothing is entirely organic, natural and feels luxurious on the skin.
Their functional winter wardrobe collection features organic cotton jackets and coats are ethically and expertly made using time-honored skills using natural fibers such as organic Pima cotton fleece and free-range alpaca.
For sustainably-made super luxurious coats and jackets, Stella McCartney is the ethical designer label for you. Creating on-trend winter wear that features low-impact fabrics such as organic cotton, sustainable viscose and other cruelty-free fabrics, Stella McCartney’s gorgeous coats and jackets are fur-free and animal skin-free – but will still keep you warm and help you stand out throughout the winter season.
Disclosure: This list was curated based on the writer’s research. It does not fully take into account all the ethical considerations that are unique to each individual. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to do your own research paying particular attention to the supply chain and your own particular set of ethics. You can also check out online tools and apps that provide product reviews and brand ratings here. This list also includes affiliate links. Click here to read more about our policies.
- Vogue Paris Issues a Fashion Mandate: Cruelty Is Out, Cruelty-Free Is In
- 15 Celebrities and Famous People on Plant-Based Food, Veganism and Cruelty-Free Living
- 10 Plant-Based Influencers and Bloggers to Follow for Veganuary Inspiration
- 5 Ethical Fashion Books Newbies Must Read
- 10 Sustainable and Ethical Fashion Podcasts to Tune Into
- Going Plant-Based in 2020: Everything You Need to Know
- A Guide to High-Performance Vegan Running Shoes
- Vegan Resort Wear: Eco-Friendly Vegan Fashion That Meets My Style Aesthetics
Feature image by Nanushka.