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 cozy bomber jacket that will protect you from the cold in style. This short vegan coat is made from 100% recycled fibres, and it comes in three colours: grey, cream and green. It’s super soft, and comes with deep pockets to shove your hands in, should they get a bit frosty.
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, and price point is decent.
Cons: You should probably get a microplastic particle filter for when you wash this. Recycled polyester is still polyester, and that means microplastic shedding.
Price: Around $120
Looking for the perfect casual jacket that’s super light, but warm enough to carry you through until summer? Mango has released its latest sustainable fashion range, and we love this quilted bomber! The midi design makes it perfect to throw over a tracksuit or jumper, while the press fastening hugs it to your body, trapping the warmth inside.
It was made using recycled fibres and processes that are kinder to the planet, thus reducing their environmental impact. This is a jacket you can feel good about buying, even if it’s from a high street brand. And it’s one of the cheaper jackets on this list – who doesn’t love an ethical bargain?
Pros: It’s water-repellent and ultra-light. Plus, at under $100, this is one of the best ethical vegan coats for those on a budget.
Cons: It does come from a fast fashion brand, which some may reject in principle
Price: Around $85.00
The Queen of vegan fashion has come up with a line of sumptuous Fur Free Fur vegan 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 vegan coats, expertly designed and crafted. We love that they bear a Fur Free Fur label on the outside, just in case anyone doubts they’re 100% cruelty free. Plus, they’re made of EcoPel, which is a kind of sustainable fabric made from upcycled plastic bottles.
Pros: Gorgeous or what?! Vegan coats don’t get more stylish than this. Plus these are ultra warm.
Cons: The price tag isn’t for everyone, to say the least!
Price: Prices start around $1,700
The parka is making a comeback, thanks to a love for all things 90s. 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 an inside media pocket with a hole for earphones. 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 may say the design is more practical than fashion-forward
Not into puffer jackets? Luckily, there’s a wool-free vegan style for you! The Claresa vegan coat by Matt and Nat is ideal 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!
Pros: This is a classic style that will be ‘in’ for years to come. I love the fact that the threads are recycled.
Cons: You can have any colour, as long as it’s charcoal. Pity it doesn’t come in more colours, no?
Price: Around $350
Have you ever wondered if there’s such a thing as the world’s warmest jacket? Well, wonder no more! LifeLab’s MegaWarm jacket uses the brand’s WarmLife infrared technology combined with a minimalist style. And the end result? A jacket that’s scientifically proven to keep you the warmest! The coat is even warmer than those made by the cruel brand Canada Goose, and is 55% lighter.
Pros: This sustainable vegan coat keeps you super warm!
Cons: It’s only available in grey so far, which may not be to everyone’s taste, and it isn’t really form-fitting
Price: Around $693
Patagonia is one of the most known brands for outerwear, and while they are not 100% vegan, they do offer some ethical vegan coats that are made of recycled nylon and polyester. This coat is lightweight and has beautifully quilted details that make it even more beautiful, modern and feminine. All you need to do now is to choose your favourite colour!
Pros: Classic, feminine fit, eco-friendly materials. Plus, it comes in 7 colours. Wow!
Cons: Strict vegans may not be happy buying from a non-vegan company. But that being said, Patagonia does loads to help save the planet, like this.
Price: Around $250
Inspired by the classic biker, this oversized Dakota vegan leather jacket is a stylish vegan option for when the weather calls for additional layers. It features oversized lapels, an asymmetrical front zipper and silver hardware. If you start to feel the chill, just cinch in the waist and buckle up the cuffs.
Pros: This is one of those ethical vegan coats that will look great for decades.
Cons: It’s not the warmest coat for freezing temps
Price: Around $140
When faux fur looks this good, it’s a surprise anyone still buys real fur! Culthread are giving us some serious winter vibes with their latest ethical vegan coats collection, and this faux fur Elgin vegan jacket is a must-have! Made from 100% recycled fabrics, it’s insulated with a super soft lining that has been crafted from recycled bottles. We’re loving that faux fur lined hood, too!
Pros: Versatile. Team it with some boots for an edgy vibe, or pair with some stilettos for a night out
Cons: Not everyone feels comfortable wearing white – especially if you live in a polluted city
Price: Around $610
Since its launch, Maison Atia has shaken the faux fur market with their creations that empower women to feel confident and look chic with the feel of real fur – minus the cruelty!
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. Fashionable, ethical and kind to the planet – 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 shock some, but it’s for sure an investment coat!
Price: Around $985
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 3: Faz not fur Image 2: PETA