The winter coat: an item of clothing you are likely to wear every day from pretty much August (especially if you’re in London) until March.
It needs to be smart, warm, durable and gentle on both the planet and people.
Before we give you our recommendations, you might be wondering what you should do with your old outerwear. Nearly 60 per cent of all clothes thrown away ended up in landfill. They take up space for years to come, allowing greenhouse gases and chemicals to filter into surrounding air and soil.
If your coat is a bit worn out and you are looking to buy new, you might first want to consider if someone else might be able to get more life out of it.
Every year, charities like Wrap Up, Calling London and Only a Pavement Away accept donations of old coats to keep people sleeping rough warm during the winter. There are hundreds of organisations out there doing this important work so maybe give it a search to find one in your area before condemning your unwanted outerwear to landfill.
In case you don’t have time to search for the coat to end all coats, we’ve done some of the legwork for you. If you already have ‘The One’, by all means, stick to it – we all need to be thinking about how much we consume.
BUT IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING NEW, THIS LIST MIGHT BE FOR YOU:
1. Patagonia, €134-246
Not much about the look of activist brand Patagonia‘s puffer jacket has changed over the last 10 years, but how it is made certainly has. The company has slowly altered the production of the Nano Puff to cut carbon emissions, fabric waste and improve its supply chain.
Even better? If you don’t want to buy new, you can buy or trade used Patagonia gear on the Worn Wear section of its website.
2. The R Collective, €351
The R Collective reuses excess materials from luxury brands and manufacturers to create its womenswear range. Materials are almost all eco-friendly and the brand ensures that everyone working in its supply chain is paid a living wage.
The Hove Coat is made from upcycled wool and was created in collaboration with Redress Design Award winner Wen Pan.
3. Tentree, €267
As the name suggests, for every item you buy Tentree plants 10 trees. So far over 50 million trees have been planted. The brand also uses renewable energy in its supply chain to cut down carbon emissions and its clothes are mostly made from eco-friendly materials.
This jacket is made from 100 per cent recycled polyester and will keep you warm and dry from the city streets to the your outdoor adventures.
4. Secondhand, anywhere from €1 and up
This is not necessarily a brand recommendation, but shopping secondhand is another top sustainable option. Resale sites like Depop, Vinted, and for the luxury lovers, The RealReal, have thousands of different brands to choose from.
Shopping for pre-loved items prolongs the life of our clothing, cutting down on textile waste and making sure the materials that made your coat are used for as long as possible. Try out Vinted, Depop or The Real Real.
5. Outerknown, €206
US brand, Outerknown was started by professional surfer Kelly Slater. The legendary sportsman set up the company five years ago with the aim of making a “radical commitment to sustainability”.
100 per cent of the brand’s swimming trunks are made with recycled or renewable fibres and 90 per cent of the other materials for their clothing are made from organic, recycled or regenerated fibres. Like this fluffy Woodland Sherpa coat, created using polyester made from factory scraps and recycled wool.
6. Lucy & Yak, €50
Lucy & Yak pays its tailors four times the minimum wage in India and invests in its factories to ensure they are clean and air conditioned. The factories are also solar powered.
All of the brand’s fabrics have a sustainability certification and packaging is either biodegradable, reusable or recycled.
The company’s new Olly Worker Jacket is a coordination dream as it comes in the same colours as skirts, trousers and Lucy & Yak’s famous dungarees.