As much as I want to wear my chic wool jackets all winter, they’re just not warm enough in the Canadian climate. After I invested in a warm puffer coat and water-resistant boots some years ago, I was finally able to walk outside on the coldest days without turning into a popsicle.
Here are 8 ethical and sustainable brands that make puffer coats and jackets. Although high-quality winter jackets are never going to be cheap, at least the brands listed below are reasonable (under a grand).
For those who want to avoid the use of down stuffing in their puffer jackets, I’ve noted when brands are vegan. Some brands use synthetic stuffing instead of down, while others use recycled or ethically sourced down. Check the materials of each product to make sure you’re comfortable with them. Even items within the same brand will differ in composition.
For fall outerwear, see this list of 12 Ethical & Sustainable Fall Jacket and Coat Brands.
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Canadian clothing brand Frank and Oak's sustainable winter coats and jackets are made from partially recycled polyesters and free of animal-derived materials. A certified B Corp, Frank and Oak use plenty of natural and recycled fibres.
Patagonia is one of the pioneers of sustainable fashion. Their winter parkas are Fair Trade Certified sewn using 100% recycled down and partial to 100% recycled fibres. I own an older version of their Jackson Glacier Down Parka, and it has been keeping me warm for the last few winters.
Nanushka's iconic puffer jacket started the boxy oversized puffer trend. They're part of this Budapest brand's vegan leather collection, so they use no animal-derived materials. Some of the synthetic materials used are recycled.
Ecoalf is a certified B Corp and uses partial to 100% recycled fibres and most jackets seem to have no animal-derived materials. If their stuffing is PrimaLoft Black, it includes 50% down.
6. G-Star RAW
G-Star sources materials in a responsible way and works with manufacturers to ensure a responsible supply chain. They do use down for their stuffing, and most of the synthetic material they use doesn't seem to be recycled. They note when they use 100% recycled polyester and synthetic stuffing (no down).
7. The Curated
One of my favourite slow fashion brands now makes sustainable winter outerwear. Available in coat and jacket length, they're filled with 100% ethical down, made in a family-owned ethical factory in China.
Canadian retailer Simons has a sustainable section called Vision for eco-friendly clothing and home decor. Vision's sustainable coat selection has some affordable puffer jackets made from recycled polyester, responsible down, and other eco-friendly materials. I couldn't find that much information about the factories, but Simons has a page about their business practices that briefly talks about their supply chain.
Remember, you can always buy winter coats secondhand at your local consignment or thrift store, or online marketplaces.