Looking for ethical vegan coats to snuggle up in this winter? We found some really great ones!
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
It’s a sad fact that vegans seem to suffer most in winter. It’s not only that there are fewer outerwear options, since fur, leather and down are definitely huge no-no’s. But frankly, it’s sometimes hard to even look at people in the street.
For example, in countries like Italy, it’s still not a taboo to walk around in fur, and many people do just that. It can sometimes be painful to reflect on how many innocent animals were trapped in cages, living miserable lives until they were slaughtered, just to make clothing!
And the same goes for down. It’s rather ironic that in places like Canada, where you’d think people would be into animal protection and the environment since they’re surrounded by so much nature, horrendously cruel, unethical brands like Canada Goose abound. We’re talking about a company that not only slaughters countless geese for their down filled coats, but also kills wild animals like wolves and coyotes to line the hoods of their jackets. Sick!
No wonder lifelong vegetarian Rafferty Law – son of Jude Law and Sadie Frost, both PETA supporters – chose to star in a new PETA campaign. It proclaims: “Canada Goose – When Fashion Gets Really Ugly. Don’t buy Canada Goose cruelty.” We’d say: it doesn’t matter what brand we’re talking about. It’s worth avoiding all non-vegan coats if you care about animals!
But are vegan coats eco friendly?
People will sometimes argue that animal skins and down are more eco friendly because they biodegrade. Well, that’s a bit of a myth. Down is usually encapsulated in polyester ‘pillows’ in jackets, so it has no chance to ‘escape’ to biodegrade when discarded, for example.
As for fur, the back of fur is leather. And leather needs chemical tanning and other kinds of treatments to keep it from rotting. Depending on the chemicals used, it may biodegrade faster than, say, polyester – but leather is often also treated with the toxic heavy metal chromium to allow it to have some ‘give’. And let’s not forget that fur is often dyed with highly toxic chemicals.
But it’s also true that vegan ‘leathers’ and other vegan materials can be made from some nasty petrol-based threads.
What to look for in a vegan coat
So, what’s a good choice for someone seeking ethical vegan coats?
- Of course, plant-based fabrics, such as hemp, organic cotton or bamboo, are best, if you can find them. But if you ask me, if a coat is made from recycled fabric can be just as green. Sure, I know about microplastic pollution from laundering such garments, but honestly – how often do you actually wash your winter coat?
- Be sure you choose a brand with good ethics. Anything made in a sweatshop isn’t likely to last long, anyway. But even if it did, how would you feel about wearing a garment made by an exploited person every day?
- When you’re considering buying a coat, you should keep in mind it should last for many years. Coats aren’t like socks and underwear: these are investment pieces. Think about it. You’ll be wearing this over your clothes, day in, day out, for the entire season. Buy the best coat you can afford.
- You should also consider practicality. Will you be wearing this to work, or at weekends? How nasty or mild are winters where you live? Pockets are an essential – you’ll need them to stuff your hands into them when you’ve not got gloves, and of course, you’ll pile tissues into them should you get a cold.
For more great tips on how to buy a sustainable coat, just click here.
Ready to see some of the best ethical vegan coats for winter? Read on!
Sustainable Vegan Coats To Snuggle Up In
1. Faz Not Fur
Faz Not Fur’s ‘Skate Moss’ coat is so soft and fluffy, it has to be touched to be appreciated. Made in the label’s French atelier from a specially developed faux fur, it has a contrasting panel at the front. This ethical vegan coat has a cozy hood to keep the chill out, but there are plenty of other styles to choose from.
Pros: These vegan coats are all 100% PETA approved, and come in up-to-the-minute trendy styles
Cons: That price tag! Plus, though the coats are made to order from a small Parisian producer, the materials aren’t all that eco-friendly.
Ethical fashion brand Everlane has designed a chic mac that will protect you from the chill in serious style. It’s made from cotton and recycled polyester. It comes in six sizes and three colours, but the best part? It’s complete with functional updates like a water-resistant finish and lightweight lining, which makes it the perfect transitional layer.
Pros: This is one of those ethical vegan coats that’s great for those who don’t live in Arctic temperatures. It goes great with a pair of jeans.
Cons: We wish the cotton was organic…
Price: Around $230
It’s official – oversized coats are the hottest look for this season. And no one does them better than the Queen of ethical fashion! Stella McCartney has come up with a line of cozy oversized coats that will not only keep you warm, but will make you stand out like no other throughout the entire winter.
These are posh, warm, voluminous ethical coats, expertly designed and crafted from recycled polyester.
Pros: These coats are ultra warm. And we love that there’s a label on the outside that says ‘Fur Free Fur’, in case anyone thinks you might be wearing a dead animal.
Cons: The price tag isn’t for everyone, to say the least!
Price: Prices start around $4,700
The puffer coat is a modern classic. And this one by Frand and Oak is extremely warm and stylish, not to mention waterproof.
Its shell and lining are made from 100% recycled polyester, and then it’s filled with featherless Primaloft™ PowerPlume® insulation. It’s pretty much got the warmth of down, but without all the nasty bird killing.
We also love that there are loads of extras, like integrated carrying straps to wear the coat as a backpack while indoors.
This coat is designed to keep you warm at temperatures ranging from -10ºC to -25ºC (14ºF to -13ºF). Oh, and forget the dry cleaner: this is fully machine washable!
Pros: We love all the design extras, like deep pockets, and an added hood, just in case it rains or snows. It’s perfect for colder climates.
Cons: Some have complained the arms are not long enough and so longer gloves are needed.
Since its launch, Maison Atia has shaken the faux fur market with their sustainable vegan coats. They empower women to feel confident and look chic with the feel of real fur – minus the cruelty! In fact, Maison Atia loves animals so much, they’ll save a puppy by paying for its upkeep at an animal shelter with every purchase.
Maison Atia also aims to be as zero-waste as possible, using all the leftover fabric from its coat production to create chic accessories to match. For what they can’t use, they work with FabScrap to recycled all leftovers. But that’s not all! They make their outerwear from Koba, which consumes up to 30% less energy and produces up to 63% less greenhouse gas than conventional synthetics.
Fashionable, ethical, kind to the planet and animals – what more could you want from ethical vegan coats?
Pros: Loving the bright colours this style comes in – blue, yellow, green… So much more cheerful than the usual season greys and blacks!
Cons: The price tag may be high for some, but it’s a great investment!
Price: Around $850
Not into puffer jackets? Luckily, there’s a wool-free vegan style for you! The Claresa by Matt and Nat is one of the best ethical vegan coats for the elegant woman. It’s a long sleeved, double-breasted vegan wool coat with a large notched lapel collar and princess seams. Even the lining has been given some ethical consideration – it’s made from recycled bottles. Woohoo!
See more Matt and Nat coats here.
Pros: This is a classic style that will be ‘in’ for years to come.
Cons: You can have any colour, as long as it’s charcoal. Pity it doesn’t come in more colours, no?
Price: Around $350
Inspired by the classic biker, this oversized vegan leather jacket is a stylish option for when the weather calls for coziness. It features shearling trim, an oversized collar and two deep, warm pockets.
Pros: This is one of those ethical vegan coats that will keep you really toasty. In fact, it’s guaranteed to do so in conditions up to -15°C/5°F.
Cons: The vegan leather is polyurethane. That’s ok, since it’s better than leather. But it’s still not one of the most sustainable vegan coats.
Price: Around $200
If you’re going to wear a puffer, sometimes, the bigger, the better!
Noize are giving us some serious winter vibes with their latest ethical vegan coats collection, and this jacket is a must-have! Made from 100% recycled plastics, it’s insulated with a super soft lining that has been crafted from recycled bottles. We’re loving that it comes in 4 different colours!
Pros: This is one of those sustainable vegan coats that’s perfect for everyday wear.
Cons: Not everyone feels comfortable wearing white – especially if you live in a polluted city. That being said, this is easily washed.
Price: Around $190
Wear your ethics on your sleeve with EcoAlf’s Long Lenox coat. It’s ideal for those who really feel the cold, as it comes with a high collar, hood, and long zipper. It’s calf-hitting length means your legs will be just as protected from the chill as your torso.
This ethical vegan coat was made from recycled polyester, making it sustainable. warm and ultra light. We also love that you can choose from four earthy shades.
Pros: You’ll seriously feel like you’re enveloped in the warmest, snuggliest cocoon ever!
Cons: Not the most flattering shape.
Price: Around $429
Main image and image 2: Faz not fur