Woman wearing a chestnut colored a wool coat on a cold winters while walking her dog in the city.
November 2, 2023
 in 
Slow Fashion

10 Stylish and Sustainable Coat and Jacket Brands to Keep You Cozy This Fall and Winter

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he fall and winter seasons are fast approaching, and it’s that time when we need to pack away our light cotton tees and say hello to heavier layers. Jackets and coats are fashion staples for protecting ourselves from the harsh cold weather, and these coming months will be no exception.

We may already be starting our window shopping or splurging on stylish pieces that help us prepare for the chilly breeze. As tempting as it is to get the latest and trendiest pieces to complete our looks, fast fashion outerwear isn’t beneficial in the long run, as we’ll be leaving behind a big environmental footprint, not to mention a large dent in our bank accounts!

Businesses today are beginning to recognize their impact on our planet. There is now a wide range of options available for eco-friendly winter coats and jackets that will keep us warm and dry and contribute to promoting a sustainable lifestyle.

What exactly does “sustainability” mean? Are we talking about garments labeled “100% natural”? Are secondhand and thrifted items included in the list? Like our sustainable shoes, and ethical boot recommendations, some companies create ethical jackets and coats using nature-friendly materials that use reduced or zero-waste production methods.

In this article, we’ll talk about sustainable choices regarding jackets, coats, parkas, trenches, puffers, and other types of outerwear. Let’s check out 10 brands that are both fashionable and environmentally responsible.

First, let’s talk about the best sustainable materials for fall and winter.

Table of  Contents

Eco-friendly vs. synthetic fabrics

Synthetic fabrics are often made from non-renewable materials, like nylon and polyester.

The manufacturing process for these fibers involves extensive utilization of energy. Nylon production emits harmful greenhouse gasses like nitrous oxide. Polyester fabrication, on the other hand, uses a substantial amount of water and generates a huge amount of carbon emissions and non-renewable petrochemicals from the production of its raw materials through to the dyeing and finishing stages. 

On the brighter (and greener) side, the options for innovating sustainable fibers seem endless with good technology. These eco-friendly fabrics are derived from recycled, regenerative, biodegradable materials and use minimal resources. Linen, Piñatex, hemp, and lyocell are some of the frequently used materials with a low carbon footprint, don’t use toxic chemicals during production, and are easily compostable.

For jackets and coats, recycled polyester and cotton are great alternatives because they are mainly composed of recycled plastics instead of petrochemicals. Recycled polyester is also used for creating coats with a puffed-up texture and waterproof finish. 

Using recycled nylon, often reused and turned into deadstock fabric, is a major step towards being environmentally sustainable. 

Organic cotton is also an option, for it is a soft and stretchy (if the garment is knitted) material that does not use synthetic or toxic chemicals during production compared to regular cotton manufacturing.

But perhaps wool is the warmest and most preferred material for coats and jackets. Here, we’ll look into whether wool is a sustainable material.

Understanding wool choices

Wool is made up of fibers from the fleece or hair of various animals like sheep, goats, camels, rabbits, llamas, and alpacas, among others. It is a major textile material used in fall and winter garments because of its snug and fuzzy texture, durability, and warmth for the colder seasons.

Even though wool is seen as an eco-friendly source of yarn essential for making sustainable winter coats and jackets, it is often debated whether there is such a thing as cruelty-free and ethical wool. To be fully sustainable, wool fabric should have the following:

Transparent supply chain

Companies are starting to observe more hands-on breeding of wool-producing animals that promote a humane environment. They are now taking initiatives to breed their own flocks to ensure direct and transparent supply.

Ethical manufacturing conditions

Eco-friendly and ethical brands not only take care of the animals but also their workers. Above-average wages, health benefits to their workers, and fair working hours should be considered instead of just the volume produced.

Ability to decompose in just a few months

Wool’s end-of-life releases renewable atmospheric carbon instead of carbon from fossil fuels, which harms the environment. Wool is also 100% biodegradable and contains no microplastics added during production compared to its synthetic fiber counterparts.

Here are a variety of sustainable wool options for you to consider:

Organic wool

Organic wool production follows natural living standards. The animals live in a free-range environment, where insecticides and other chemicals are not used and are only given organic feeds. Organic farms also use manual shearing to prevent cuts from machine equipment. Shearing is done in the warm season to protect the animals from the cold. Animal safety is a primary concern for organic wool, so tail-docking and mulesing are prohibited.

Recycled wool

Recycling wool is a process done by companies to make better use of this high-quality fabric. It contributes to reducing landfill accumulation and chemical pollution. Wool is one of the most recycled materials worldwide because of its naturally occurring anti-microbial and anti-odor properties that help preserve its durability and purpose.

Ethically-sourced wool

Ethically sourced wool like alpaca, Merino, and cashmere needs certifications from third-party authorities and organizations. These seals of approval confirm that the producing animals are being raised in favorable conditions, workers are fairly treated, and the farms comply with health and environmental safety standards. Some globally recognized certifications are Certified Humane, Certified Animal Welfare, the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), ZQ Merino Standard, Climate Beneficial Wool, and Certified Organic Wool.

Key factors when selecting a sustainable coat or jacket

Woman standing in a city center looking in front and wearing beige wool coat.

Winter and fall clothing may have a hefty price tag, but a good quality piece will give you decades of wear. Aside from the price, it is essential to consider the level of durability and protection it provides the wearer. Here are some of the things we need to consider when looking for sustainable outerwear or organic coats and jackets:

Durability

Eco-friendly jackets must be durable to defend you from harsh weather conditions. They need to be well-stitched with quality finishes. Sustainable winter coats should be able to safeguard your body temperature as well. Extreme cold and gusting winds can be unbearable when you opt for cheap material. By providing proper insulation, a good jacket means that you’ll no longer need to wear additional layers under it. This will save money as you won’t need to buy extra layers. It will also save you from doing so much laundry! 

Timeless style

When investing in ethical wool coats and sustainable winter jackets, choose classic ones that never go out of style. Opt for items that pair well with your existing fall and winter wardrobe, such as a lightweight micro fleece jacket that is not too hot and not too cold and can be worn for multiple seasons all year round.

Sustainability certifications

Some sustainable jackets and coats may have labels reading Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) and Global Recycled Standard (GRS) for recycled materials, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) for organic farms that yield wool produce, and Bluesign-approved certifications for products that abide by eco-friendly, safety standards in manufacturing and production processes from extraction to finished apparel.

By researching and checking the brand, we can be assured that the well-being of animals and workers is observed with sustainable management policies that are pro-worker and environment-conscious.

10 Stylish and Sustainable Coat and Jacket Brands We Recommend 

To keep you cozy this fall and winter with a clear conscience, we’ve compiled the 10 most stylish and sustainable coat and jacket brands for you.

Amour Vert

A Woman out in nature wearing a n olive green sustainable wool coat by Amour Vert.

Amour Vert was created by a San Francisco-based couple in 2010. Their products have a French-inspired design. They are manufactured sustainably using recycled materials, undergo fiber and fabric certification, and utilize compostable packaging with every order. Because the brand believes in a circular fashion, it has a separate resale marketplace for pre-loved clothing under ReAmour.

Sizes available: XS-XL

Price range: $80–$530

Material: Amour Vert uses GRS-certified recycled polyester, organic cotton, and leather-like organically grown and harvested cacti. It offers regenerated wool for fall, which recycles and renews zero-waste wool into new garments. Some available jackets and coats use ethical wool from non-mulesed Merino mills in Italy and Australia.

Types of coats/jackets: Women’s sustainable jackets and coats in twill, wool cardigans, and puffer jackets.

Cotopaxi

A woman modeling a sustainable down puffer jacket by the brand Cotopaxi.

The brand is named after one of the world’s highest-active volcanoes. Owner Davis Smith grew up in Ecuador, witnessing the unequal opportunities there. These inspired him to build a company set up for the greater good. Now, Cotopaxi is a climate-neutral certified B Corp that prioritizes sustainability for the planet, ethical sourcing that treats workers right, and transparency in the supply chain while producing durable packs and gears.

Sizes available: XXS-4XL

Price range: $70–$350

Material: Repurposed fabric using leftovers from other companies’ production, recycled materials for fleece coats and jackets, and cruelty-free Responsible Down Standard (RDS)-certified insulation for down jackets.

Types of coats/jackets: Cotopaxi offers women’s, men’s, and kids’ selections of down jackets, pants, overalls, vests, parkas, insulated hooded and non-hooded jackets, vests and pullovers, reversible vests, and hooded jackets.

Everlane

A close-up of a person wearing one of the Everlane brand's sustainable jackets made with recycled polyester.

Everlane started in 2010 as an online retail store for menswear. It aims to offer quality garments and educate purchasers about product manufacturing, from sourcing sustainable materials to factory processes to final fabrics that reduce environmental impact. It has pledged its commitment to the Paris Agreement, which aims to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030 and be net zero by 2050. So far, the company has secured various sustainability certifications, started its initiative to eliminate all new plastic from its supply chain in 2021, and moved to organic cotton use by 2023.

Sizes available: XXS-XL

Price range: $38–$398

Material: Everlane features recycled materials in its outerwear with the ReNew, ReKnit, ReWool, and ReCashmere collections. It utilizes 100% recycled polyester and nylon for technical outerwear. It has partnered with Italian mills to wash and comb worn cashmere and wool to produce new yarns. Virgin wool products are made from non-mulesed sources and enforce ethical standards in procuring alpaca wool when needed.

Types of coats/jackets: For women: Organic cotton anoraks and parkas, ReWool coats, jackets, trench coats, long coats, ReNew anorak jackets, and ReWool shirt jackets. For men: ReTrack hoodies, ReNew short puffer jackets and long parkas, bomber jackets, chino blazers, canvas jackets, and fleece pullovers. They offer half-zip and full-zip variations.

Frank And Oak

A woman modeling a caramel colored sustainable wool coat  by Frank And Oak.

The company was founded in 2012 in Montreal and offers thoughtfully designed and produced apparel for men and women. Now a certified B Corp, Frank And Oak has eliminated the use of virgin polyester and utilizes 100% carbon-neutral deliveries. All products are made with cruelty-free, organic, biodegradable, or recyclable fiber and have low-impact technological processes.

Sizes available: XS-XL

Price range: $123–$449

Material: For eco-friendly coats and jackets, the company uses recycled polyester and recycled lining, recycled wool, non-mulesed Merino wool, ethically sourced yak wool, sea wool made from oyster shell composites, and post-consumer recycled cotton.

Types of coats/jackets: Frank And Oak offers ethical outerwear for both men and women, including skyline jackets, anorak rainwear, wool coats, puffer coats, and parkas.

Naadam

Woman and man modeling the same olive colored sustainable puffer jacket by Naadam brand.

Naadam is a New York-based company founded by a couple of friends in 2013 who went on a trip to Mongolia and saw how cashmere farmers were unfairly treated. The company eliminated unfair middle traders and worked directly with the herders. Its sustainable coats are made of cashmere wool sourced through combing instead of shearing. Its suppliers provide their animals with veterinary care and use anti-desertification programs to re-grass. They promote nonprofit work to locals. All these are ensured while providing traceable, renewable, and recycled cashmere products.

Sizes available: 12-month to 8-year-old for kids; XXS-XXL for men and women; and XS-XL for pets. Their extended sizing line carries up to 3XL.

Price range: $250—$695

Material: Cashmere in 100% pure, lightweight, modal, chunky, fancy, and luxe. Naadam also has cashmino, a combination of Merino wool cashmere and Naia silky cashmere sourced from sustainable wood pulp, where almost all resources, including water, are recovered and recycled.

Types of coats/jackets: Biodegradable puffer coats, sweater jackets, puffer jackets and coats, hooded raincoats, long puffer coats, and tailored coats for men and women. For kids, Naadam offers cashmere cardigans, pullovers, and hoodie sets. 

Outerknown

A woman modeling sustainable coat by Outerknown brand against blue backdrop.

Professional surfer Kelly Slater and designer John Moore founded Outerknown in 2015 to provide stylish, sustainable clothing. The California-based, Fair-Trade-certified company contributes not only to helping the planet but also to its workers’ livelihoods. 

The company works closely with responsible sourcing for the fibers used and Regenerative Organic CertifiedTM (ROCTM) farming practices. Outerknown also supports circular fashion with its pre-loved line OuterWorn. It has recycled 400 lbs of wool sweaters so far in 2023 alone.

Sizes available: XS-XXL

Price range: $168–$448

Material: Fair trade coats and jackets are made of organic cotton, recycled nylon, recycled polyester, recycled consumer fabrics from plastic bottles, recycled wool, wood pulp Lyocell made from sustainably harvested eucalyptus trees, and recycled polyamide from fishing nets, carpets, and waste from manufacturing factories.

Types of coats/jackets: Utilitarian coats, hooded jackets, truckers, blazers, hooded puffers, shirt jackets, cloud weave jackets, blanket jackets, hoodies, and coats for men and women.

Patagonia

Woman modeling warm sustainable puffer jacket in black by Patagonia brand.

Established in 1973, Patagonia manufactures outdoor clothing in over 10 countries worldwide. Now, it sells eco-friendly outerwear and food items in Patagonia Provisions, and it buys and sells Patagonia apparel in Worn Wear. Along with every purchase, 1% is pledged to go into environmental preservation and restoration efforts. Patagonia actively promotes a transparent supply chain and corporate responsibility, connects people with the environment, and funds future generations of sustainable businesses.

Sizes available: 3 mos-3XL for babies and kids, men and women.

Price range: $109–$999

Material: Patagonia’s sustainable jackets and coats are made from organic hemp, Netplus recycled fishing nets, organic cotton, recycled content, reclaimed from down products, recycled polyester, and wool, PFC-free DWR finish or water-repellent shells that do not contain harmful chemicals.

Types of coats/jackets: 3-in-1 parkas, hooded jackets, Alpine suits, storm, glacier, snow jackets, waterproof GORE-TEX jackets, reversible, odor-control jackets, helmet-compatible jackets, and puffers. For kids, they have the Grow-Fit feature that allows extended wear for growing children.

Reformation

Woman modeling jacket made with sustainable materials in brown color by Reformation brand against emerald green backdrop.

Reformation started as a vintage clothing brand in 2009 before producing its own garments, focusing on sustainability and conscious environmental practices. In 2015, the company used RefScale, a measure to track eco and carbon footprint, along with RefRecycling, its resale program to promote circularity. The company also partnered with the Los Angeles government to donate masks to essential workers during the pandemic. 

Reformation has received its Climate-Neutral certification and continues to reduce excessive use of natural resources. FactoryForward initiative was implemented to help supply chain partners make the production 100% ethical and zero-waste by 2025.

Sizes available: XS-3XL and inclusive XSP-XLP for petite plus sizing.

Price range: $105–$840

Material: Renewable plant-based materials like lyocell, recycled cotton, deadstock and vintage, recycled cashmere and wool, regenerative cotton and wool for traceable sweaters, low-impact alpaca yarns, regenerated nylon from ocean waste, and recycled polyester.

Types of coats/jackets: Reformation has different eco-friendly jacket lines for women; leather coats and trenches; down parkas, waist and wrap coats; cropped, bomber, and shirt jackets; snap and half-zip pullovers; wool cardigans, and sweater sets. 

Thought

Woman smiling while modeling form fitting sustainable puffer jacket by Thought brand.

The company began its production of natural and sustainable fabrics in 1995 and has developed into manufacturing low-environmental impact and high-quality, ethical coats and other clothing pieces for women. 

In 2022, Thought demonstrated its GOTS, GRS, and FairTrade certifications with responsibly sourced collections. It also promotes circular fashion by educating, skill-sharing, and supporting TRAID. This UK-based pre-loved clothing charity helps minimize the impact of unused garments.

Sizes available: 6-18

Price range: $125–$264

Material: Organic cotton, hemp, recycled fibers, seacell, recycled polyester, wool, bamboo. Tencel recycles 99% of its chemicals, and Lenzing ecovero uses less energy from fossil and water. 

Types of coats/jackets: Twill and velvet jackets, showerproof coats, waterproof jackets, recycled polyester and wool coats, puffers, and waterproof parkas.

Girlfriend Collective

Close-up of woman modeling beautiful red puffer jacket by sustainable jacket brand Girlfriend Collective.

Quang and Ellie Dinh founded Girlfriend Collective in 2017. The Seattle-based company now promotes athleisure collections that can be worn yearly and have a low environmental impact. Its factory is SA8000-certified, which keeps workers safe, healthy, and fairly compensated. With a sustainability report that’s viewable online, you’ll see how many plastic bottles are recycled and how much CO2 emission is prevented. Their ReGirlfriend initiative also accepts the recycling of old products and encourages circular fashion.

Sizes available: Inclusive sizing for women with sizes XXS up to 6XL

Price range: $92–$158

Material: The Girlfriend Collective outerwear is made up of recycled heavyweight jersey and fleece from 100% recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets. Their recycled fabric is also Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified and recyclable, fully extending its lifespan.

Types of coats/jackets: Recycled fleece bomber jackets, hoodies, and vests; half-zip and full-zip jackets; and packable hooded and non-hooded puffers that integrate activewear clothing features like elastic cuffs, adjustable hem, and butter-smooth lining.

Let’s choose wisely while staying warm and fashionable

Being aware of the advantages eco-friendly fabrics offer over synthetic ones does not necessarily mean discarding all synthetic garments and replacing them with more ethical ones. Educating ourselves with the correct information and learning which material can save resources and reduce our environmental impact, we are already on the right path towards living sustainably.

Whether purchasing ethical jackets or puffers, sustainable wool coats made of alpaca or sheep wool, or organic winter coats and parkas, we ensure that the shops we buy coats and jackets from are committed to ethics and corporate responsibility to contribute to reducing wastage and carbon footprint. Who knows, you might even enjoy thrifting for pre-loved and reusing outerwear pieces more than buying new ones!

Our support for sustainable jacket brands does not limit our options – we may even find it difficult to choose because of the variety of styles, colors, and textures, not to mention the fabric content! Making conscious choices when shopping for fall and winter apparel is already a step to promoting fair trade, recognizing ethical sourcing practices, and, ultimately, saving the planet.