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Looking for ethical vegan coats to snuggle up in this winter? We found 12 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 seems 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 that proclaims, “Canada Goose – When Fashion Gets Really Ugly. Don’t buy Canada Goose cruelty.”
But…is it 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.
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’.
So, what’s the best choice? If you ask me, if a coat is made from recycled fabric, all the better. Sure, I know about microplastic pollution from laundering such garments, but honestly – how often do you wash your winter coat?
When I was compiling this list, it was quite a challenging task to find brands who didn’t use newly created nylon, modacrylic, or polyester to create their coats, so I went out on a limb and decided to include one that makes coats from recycled wool. This is normally wool that’s unravelled from old, unwanted wool garments and made into new ones. Some vegans don’t have a problem with wool at all – Stella McCartney’s family, for example, keeps sheep and they have them regularly shorn for their own health (apparently, they live to a ripe old age, too!). She uses that wool in some of her collections.
Others, on the other hand, side with PETA, saying that sheep are treated cruelly on most wool farms, or argue that animals shouldn’t be kept for human use at all. I think both kinds of vegans would agree that recycling wool may be a possible option.
One thing is for sure: vegan fashion doesn’t always mean eco-friendly fashion. But in my opinion, sometimes, you may have to decide: what’s the lesser of two evils? Recycled wool that may have exploited animals in the past, or new polyester that will ruin ecosystems in the future? How do you define ethical? Is it about being cruelty-free? Eco-friendly? Is it about treating workers right? All of the above?
Ultimately, it’s up to you. I’ve only included vegan coats that are made ethically here.
Which of these ethical vegan coats do you love?
12 Ethical Vegan Coats To Snuggle Up In This Winter
Sustainable favourite Frank and Oak make several ethical vegan coats for winter – but as I mentioned above, I thought I would include this one, which is made out of recycled wool, resulting in a graceful garment that’s perfect for wearing with everything from jeans to skirts. I also love that it comes in colours – I mean, isn’t winter dreary enough without wearing black and grey all the time?
Pros: This is a coat made of natural materials that will biodegrade
Cons: Is it fully vegan?
Ethical brand Everlane has designed a simple puffer that will protect you from the cold, with practicality. This long coat is made entirely from 100% recycled fabric and filled with 100% recycled, high-performance Primaloft insulation that’s just as warm as down. Its functionality is attested by the oversized button flap pockets, a drawstring hood, and a hidden drawstring waist for a more flattering cinch.
Pros: Eco friendly and warm as heck, especially with the hood up.
Cons: It’s for casual outfits only
This hip Budapest label provides a fashionista flair to the conventional quilted jacket. Their ‘Lenox’ jacket, made out of Nanushka’s signature vegan leather in an army-green hue, comes with a detachable hood, which makes it the perfect option for rainy or snowy days.
Pros: Super stylish and unique
Cons: Not sure how good this would be for the environment….
The Queen of vegan fashion comes up with a sumptuous Fur Free Fur mahogany coat that will not only keep you warm, but will make you stand out like no other throughout the entire winter. It’s a posh coat and bears a Fur Free Fur label on the outside, just in case anyone doubts it’s 100% cruelty free.
Pros: Gorgeous or what?! Plus it fits most sizes
Cons: Since it’s made from acetate, it’s not very eco-friendly
Price: Around $1700
Love the feeling of being cocooned in warmth on the coldest days? This black puffer jacket is for you! It was designed to mimic down without hurting animals. It’s waterproof, made from recycled polyester, and will provide you with all the warmth you’ll need during the cold winter months – even your head and ears will stay warm, thanks to the hood, and its huge outer pockets will keep your hands toasty.
Pros: Super warm, and we love the inside media pocket with a silicone hole for earphones, and hook for wires!
Cons: It’s really quite puffy – not the most flattering shape, but hey, it’s warm, and that’s what counts, right?
Not into puffer jackets? Luckily, there’s a wool-free style for you! The Evie Coat by Matt and Nat is ideal for the office. It comes in two colours, and its double-breasted collar and midi length are both classics, making this style one that will look great for years to come. And the best part? It’s made from 100% recycled polyester, making it eco-friendly, too! 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: Honestly, what’s not to love?
Price: Around $350
Patagonia is one of the most known brands for outerwear, and while they are not 100% vegan, they do offer some 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
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
This reasonably priced puffer jacket by ethical Canadian brand Noize is the epitome of urban chic! Called the GWEYN, this is a casual, loose-fit puffer that shields you from even the most horrendous cold. It boasts a fixed oversized hood, contrast-colouring inside hood and body, knitted storm cuffs with thumbholes, and fleece-lined hand-warming pockets. It’s also windproof, water-resistant, and free of harmful chemicals.
Pros: It’s filled with high-quality polyester fiber derived from recycled water bottles, and is great for sub-zero temps.
Cons: This is for winter only – it’s so warm, it’s not a great coat for milder seasons.
Price: Around $150
Wear your ethics on your sleeve with EcoAlf’s Siberia Shiny Jacket! It’s ideal for outdoorsy types: it’s got a detachable hood, so you can remove it if you’re doing a sporty activity and get too hot, and it’s got big, deep pockets to allow you to take water and snacks on say, a cross-country skiing adventure.
Pros: Great for sports!
Cons: A bit to sporty to wear on other occasions, maybe
Price: Around $300
Save the Duck is a popular vegan brand that incorporates PLUMTECH® into its designs. This is a padding created to imitate all the fluffiness of down – but instead of killing animals, it uses 100% recycled plastic bottles to do so. Bonus: compared to traditional down, Save the Duck’s fabrics absorb high levels of humidity and dry very quickly.
My choice of their selection of vegan coats would be this faux fur bomber in blue. There’s something a bit…Cookie Monster about it! In a good way of course.
Pros: Fluffy, soft and warm
Cons: Only goes with jeans, trousers and yoga tights, really
Price: Around $300
We couldn’t make a list of ethical vegan coats without including a classic (faux) leather biker jacket! This one doesn’t hold up too well in sub-zero climates, but it’s perfect if you live in a place where winters could best be described as ‘chilly’. Feeling a bit cold? Just pop on a cozy scarf, and you’re good to go!
Pros: A great cut, and looks great with jeans
Cons: Not made from eco-friendly materials
12. Mara Hoffman
This one came as a bit of surprise to us! The designer best known for her beachwear has moved on to colder weather clothing. Cut with a cocoon silhouette and made with an oversized fit, this style features an asymmetric collar that can be fastened to a funnel neck, dropped shoulders, long diamond quilt sleeves, side seam hip pockets, full lining and concealed press button fastenings.
Pros: This is a gorgeous designer coat that’s made from eco-friendly materials, and will keep you warm in the coldest of winters
Cons: The price point isn’t for everyone, to say the least!
Price: Around $1000
13. For All Kind
For All Kind is about collective influence — the notion that we are all in this together and that every bit of effort toward positive change matters. So the more of us who shun using animal products for fashion, the better! We love their Weekend Puffer, below, which features PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Luxe Eco — the highest performing sustainable, synthetic down, made from 100% post-consumer recycled content. And the best part? This coat is actually 3 jackets in 1! Just change the zippers and reverse the coat and you can create three gorgeous styles that suit different weather conditions.
Pros: So many gorgeous styles to choose from! Parkas, bombers, Sherpa jackets…
Cons: Not all their coats are made with recycled materials
Price: Starting from around $250
Wuxly says they make the ‘world’s warmest’ coats, and I suppose they do – after all, they’re made in Canada, where it can certainly be freezing! But instead of using fur or down to keep you warm, the brand uses a vegan, ethical and sustainable material called Powder Fill Insulation.
Their Lynx jackets are a classic style that should serve to keep you warm for years to come. I really admire this brand for their transparency and commitment to the environment.
Pros: Sporty, classic look, and I love the hood!
Cons: Matches casual outfits only
Price: Around $250 Image credit here
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 collection and this faux fur jacket is a must-have! Made from 100% recycled fabrics, the very best quality faux-fur on the market and insulated with a super soft lining that is crafted from recycled bottles, it’s the perfect cruelty-free winter coat.
The raspberry faux-fur cuffs and inside hood give this jacket a pop of colour, but it’s also available in blue or plain. The jacket has two inside and two outside pockets and comes with a faux-fur hood, making it perfectly snug against harsher weather.
Pros: Versatile. Team it with some boots for an edgy vibe or pair with some stilettos for a night out
Cons: Not everyone rocks leopard print, however, Culthread have plenty other options for winter that are just as sustainable
Price: Around $610
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