Staying warm during winter is essential. However, all those layers can come at a cost to the planet. Many of our coats and jackets come in materials made of animal hides, while other winter coats are made from synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester. The latter are essentially plastic fibers made from plastics that do not biodegrade and end up harming our environment.
Thankfully, you can switch to sustainable winter coats made of eco-friendly materials and stay warm during the chilly season without harming the planet. Read on as we go through our handpicked selection of some of the best sustainable winter coats you can shop for today.
Did you know that 35% of primary microplastics released globally into the ocean come from synthetic clothing alone?1
When we wash these winter coats, microplastics reach our waterways and oceans. When these microplastics end up in our oceans, they are ingested by aquatic animals leading to alterations in their feeding behavior, damage to their reproductive rates, and even death.
Sadly, reports say that the ratio of plastic to fish was 1:5 in 2014. That is one plastic bottle for every five fish. Switching to more sustainable fabrics can help reduce resource consumption and plastic waste, protect our aquatic animals, and save our planet.
In addition to the damage that synthetic materials cause our environment, many fast fashion manufacturers use unethical and unsustainable practices to make their coveted lines of winter coats.
When shopping for sustainable winter coats, it is important to take a holistic view and consider the type of materials used, animal welfare, sourcing, and manufacturing practices, and corporate responsibility. Here are a few things to consider when shopping for sustainable winter coats:
Winter coats typically have three layers: the outer shell, inside fill, and inner lining. All three layers help protect you from external factors like the wind while trapping heat.
While synthetics are excellent at protecting you from the cold, they do not protect our planet. In fact, plastics used in making these synthetics significantly contribute to microplastic pollution and global warming.
When shopping for sustainable and ethical winter coats, look for eco-friendly materials that are less environmentally harmful.
In addition, check out our guide to how to shop sustainably for more info on the fabric certifications to look out for. These include; GOTS-certified, Bluesign®, OEKO-Tex, Global Recycle Standard (GRS), Responsible Down Standard (RDS), Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), etc.
When picking out your next winter coat, choose to buy from sustainable clothing brands that reflect ethical and sustainable practices and fair labor.
In other words, you want to look out for winter coats that are ethically sourced. Do they uphold high labor and production standards throughout their supply chain?
You can look out for certifications like a Certified B Corp, Fair Trade (Fair Wear Foundation, Fair Labor Association, etc.).
Besides ethically sourced sustainable materials, brands taking steps to reduce their environmental impact also make our list. The use of renewable energy throughout their supply chain, plastic-free packaging, carbon offset programs, and so on all help set them up as worthy of the sustainable label.
Here's our list of some of the best sustainable and ethical winter coats to stay warm during the chilly season:
Made of 100% recycled polyester from recycled plastic bottles, these eco-friendly winter coats are warm and comfortable.
The ReNew Long Puffer is stylish and features a drawstring hood, oversized button flap pockets, and a hidden drawstring waist. Everlane dyes this winter coat with Bluesign-approved dyes, and you can pick up these lovely warm coats in different colors and sizes ranging from XXS-XL.
Everlane is an ethical fashion brand that makes a wide range of clothing, including denim, sweaters, shoes, and accessories. The brand features sustainable fabrics like 100% recycled polyester and 100% recycled high-performance PrimaLoft® insulation.
Everlane ensures that they make all their products in ethical factories and highlights where they manufacture each product in the product description.
Made with recycled fabrics, including 100% recycled polyester, these eco-friendly coats from Tentree are breathable, giving you increased comfort.
This jacket also has a non-toxic PFC-free DWR coating for better water resistance during winter. This jacket has seams near the head, neck, and shoulders to protect you from the snow and rain. It also has draw cords, straps, and belts for easy adjustments.
These ethical jackets come in sizes ranging from XS-XL.
Tentree is a sustainable fashion brand that offers durable outdoor apparel using eco-friendly materials. The brand offers everything from coats, jackets, tops, bottoms, dresses, jumpsuits, underwear, and so on.
This certified B Corporation uses innovative materials from Bluesign® certified facilities, which follow strict safety and environmental impact standards. The brand also has certifications for Fair Trade, WRAP, BSCI, and SA8000.
The brand plants ten trees with each piece of clothing you buy from Tentree. By 2030, the brand aims to plant one billion trees.
This sustainable winter coat from Reformation comes in 70% MWool® (a premium recycled wool) from the Italian mill Manteco. It features a collared neckline, adjustable waist tie, front button closure, and front pockets for a snug fit, in sizes ranging from S-XL.
Reformation, a pioneer of sustainable clothing, makes a wide range of stylish women's items, including leather and denim jackets, blazers, bombers, coats, and other clothing items.
Most of their lines are wool coats, while others contain recycled or regenerative cotton and deadstock fabrics. They also offer sustainable leather jackets.
This sustainable brand is committed to an ethical supply chain. The brand has a factory list and compliance with international standards for fair labor conditions. By 2025, the brand targets sourcing 100% of its fabrics from regenerative, recycled, or renewable sources.
Made with recycled polyester, recycled materials, and a durable, water-resistant coating, this winter coat is perfect for snowy days. It comes with a two-way zipper and adjustable toggles at the front and back of the hood to give you a customizable fit.
It also has hand pockets, an accessible chest pocket, and a media pocket to store those headphone cords.
Thanks to its Primaloft™ PowerPlume® insulation, this coat is easily one of the warmest coats you will ever wear. It comes in sizes ranging from XS-XL.
Frank And Oak offer some of the warmest winter parkas for both men and women. They also offer other types of clothing, including coats, jackets, puffers, etc.
The brand uses eco-friendly materials, including recycled fibers, GOTS-certified organic cotton, cruelty-free wool, and eco-friendly dyes.
Frank And Oak is a certified B corporation ensuring its workers are protected. This brand also packages its ethical coats in recycled paper kraft boxes and composable polybags.
If you're an adventurous guy looking for the perfect sustainable outerwear to give you that perfect level of warmth, this is one coat you will love.
Made with 85% recycled nylon for its outer shell and 88% recycled polyester for its lining, this jacket is your ideal partner as you hit the trails. The insulated 60g PrimaLoft® P.U.R.E. Black synthetic fill gives this jacket the perfect warmth you need.
And for functionality, it features a Reverse coil center front zipper with a cord pull tab and a Zipper chest for the perfect fit and comfort. These ethical winter coats come in a black, dark sky, and cargo green colors in S-XXL sizes.
prAna offers a wide range of sustainable clothing items, including winter coats and jackets for both men and women.
The brand uses natural materials like TENCEL Lyocell and organic cotton and recycled materials like recycled polyester, nylon, and wool.
Many of their fabrics come with a bluesign® approved certification. Their clothing is also Fair Trade certified, and they work with factories that meet strict standards when it comes to child labor, work hours, and safety. They also have a supply chain list to give you an insight into who they work with.
prAna encourages people to participate in the Clothing for Positive Change (C4PC), a move that promotes making environmentally committed clothes.
Made with 100% recycled materials (recycled polyester from plastic bottles), this Double-breasted oversized cocoon sherpa coat is so comfortable; you won't want to take them off so soon.
It is well-layered with front pockets and wide lapels for a comfortable and stylish fit. It has a soft feel both on you and on the planet, and it is available in sizes ranging from XS-XL.
Outerknown offers a wide range of clothing items, including coats, jackets, socks, and sustainable swimwear.
The brand uses recycled materials and only a few virgin materials. They also use natural materials like organic cotton and hemp.
Outerknown follows fair labor standards being one of the first brands to pursue the Fair Labor Association (FLA). Through Fair Trade USA, Outerknown has invested in the livelihood of thousands of workers.
The brand also prioritizes sustainable living, and through the Outerworn program, customers can buy and sell preloved clothing. By 2030, the brand aims to use 100% renewable energy and set up recycling and repair programs.
This contemporary and cozy jacket from Patagonia makes our list of sustainable winter coats for many reasons. Made with Recycled Down (duck and goose down feather reclaimed from down products) for its outer shell and recycled polyester for its lining, this winter jacket is made to shield you from moisture and wind while keeping you warm. The lining fabric is also bluesign® approved.
Its Shawl collar and asymmetrical overlay construction also give this winter coat a modern fit while making it easy for you to move around when getting outdoors to enjoy the brisk winter air. Sizes range from S-XL, and alongside this pick, Patagonia also offers a wide range of warm winter coats for both men and women in various sizes.
Patagonia is a sustainable fashion brand famous for making some of the best sustainable outdoor wear.
Apart from using 100% recycled and natural materials like organic cotton, Patagonia keeps things transparent across its supply chains, being Fair Trade Certified™ sewn. With loads of other lines like shells and puffers, Patagonia uses PrimaLoft® gold insulation eco, which comprises 55% recycled content. The brand is also working towards being carbon-neutral by 2025.
Patagonia founded 1% for the Planet and, through two environmental non-profit organizations, channels its profits towards fighting climate change.
One thing we love about these sustainable coats from Thought is the details. This sustainable coat is made from 100% organic cotton and 100% recycled polyester and is designed to keep you warm while repelling water and wind.
They make the lining from recycled plastic bottles, keeping plastic waste out of landfills.
And those details - you can alter the fit of this eco-friendly clothing thanks to its two-way zip, detachable hood, poppers, and adjustable waist. This storm blue winter coat comes in sizes ranging from 6 to 18.
Thought is an eco-friendly clothing brand offering a wide range of contemporary designs for the modern woman and man.
The brand uses organic materials like organic cotton, ethically sourced wool, bamboo, and TENCEL.
For sourcing and manufacturing, Thought follows high industry standards. They source yarns that use less water, CO2, and pesticides. The brand upcycles leftover fabrics to reduce waste while its products come in recyclable packaging, 100% biodegradable garment bags, organic cotton labels, and vegan glue.
Thought commits to reducing its environmental impact and contributing towards ethical and environmental issues. The brand is a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), which promotes respect for workers’ rights.
If you're thinking of a casual oversized style, you may love this coat from Langerchen. This coat is made with 60% organic cotton and 40% recycled nylon on the outer part, and 100% recycled polyester on the inner, which is super comfortable for cold winter days. You also get an additional shoulder pad for extra cold protection. You can get this coat in different colors and sizes ranging from XS-XL.
Langerchen is a sustainable German brand that offers eco-friendly outerwear using the most sustainable materials. The brand also prioritizes fair working conditions and the reduction of its environmental footprint to the smallest.
Interestingly, this brand runs its own factory in China, creating eco-friendly materials like organic wool, organic cotton, and recycled materials as part of its own manufacturing process.
These puffer winter coats from Bernardo are super warm and stylish thanks to their bluesign® approved 100% recycled Eco Plume™ insulation.
It has a high collar with a hidden hood and knit inserts. You won't need a scarf to warm your neck thanks to its high collar. These puffer coats also have a zipper at the wrist and related pockets to keep your hand warm.
Bernardo is a sustainable brand that specializes in offering outerwear for women. The brand offers puffers, quilted coats, jackets, vests, long coats, etc.
Most of their clothing comes in recycled polyester and nylon. Besides using recycled fabrics, the brand also uses recycled packaging, hang tags, and labels.
With tons of sustainable coats available in the market from some brilliant sustainable brands available in the market, you can keep yourself warm during the snowy season while protecting the planet.
Most of these sustainable winter coats come in eco-friendly materials and are made under ethical working conditions. You can go through our list above to shop for sustainable winter coats today, all so we can brave the cold toward a more sustainable future.
De Falco, F., Di Pace, E., Cocca, M. et al. The contribution of washing processes of synthetic clothes to microplastic pollution. Sci Rep 9, 6633 (2019).
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.