Where to Find Ethically Made Vegan Winterwear

Original photo by Roberto Trombetta on Flickr // vegan ethical fashion

Original photo by
Roberto Trombetta on Flickr

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a big ol’ master directory of ethically made winterwear, listing everything from thermal undies to big puffy parkas. And while it was a pretty comprehensive list, it was also not entirely relevant to me as a vegan: If I wanted to see which brands had products free of down or leather or wool, I had to click through and do my own investigation. Plus, it didn’t include a few all-vegan brands that I know produce their products ethically. I sighed and thought to myself, why not compile my own list of brands producing ethically made winter clothes without animal products? And thus, this list.

I’ve categorized this post by product type to help you find the specific items you need, so some brands are included in multiple sections. I’ve also marked fully vegan winterwear brands in case that’s important to you, and I’ve included what rating the company gets from Good On You, an app that evaluates brands’ ethics in terms of labor, the environment, and animal welfare. (Learn more here.) The app is fairly new and has mainly focused on Australian brands, so not all brands mentioned here are rated. That doesn’t mean they are not using ethical practices, however!

Let me know if I’ve missed your favorite brand!

Where to find ethically made vegan winter coats

Brave Gentleman (fully vegan)

Who they are and what they offer: Don’t let the name fool you: Brave Gentleman doesn’t just produce vegan clothing for men. According to its FAQ, the brand is “geared toward individuals who enjoy menswear aesthetics because there is a disproportionate emphasis on femme lifestyle products in the “eco”, “green” and “ethical” realm.” Fair enough! As of November 2018, the brand has just a few vegan jacket styles, but this tweed-y double-breasted overcoat is a great option if you’re looking for a classic overcoat style. (It’s also available in houndstooth, plaid, and solid colors.)

Why it’s ethical: Brave Gentleman ensures that workers receive a living wage and healthcare coverage. All styles are vegan, and the brand works to minimize pollution and use sustainable materials.

Good on You rating: Not yet rated

How to save: I haven’t seen Brave Gentleman offer sales, but I don’t follow this brand terribly closely. Checking BG out on social media might be your best bet.


Finisterre

Who they are and what they offer: Founded with the goal of producing sustainable garments for British surfers (yes, really), Finisterre has a few solid vegan options among its wool-heavy line. The packable Nimbus is available for both women and men, and many of the parkas are also free of animal products.

Why it’s ethical: The company uses eco-friendly materials like recycled polyester, and it was founded with sustainability as a key practice. It’s also a B Corp. Finisterre doesn’t use leather, fur, angora, or down.

Good on You rating: Good

How to save: Sign up for the mailing list for a discount, and be sure to check the sale sections.


Hoodlamb (fully vegan)

Hoodlamb's sustainably made vegan Nordic puffer

Image copyright Hoodlamb

Who they are and what they offer: This cheeky Amsterdam-based company relies on hemp — that darling of the sustainable fashion world — to create parkas, bombers, hoodies, sweaters, and more for both women and men. Need something über-warm to get you through a Nordic winter? Try one of the thigh-length puffers. Seeking something more casual to wear indoors to avoid cranking up the heat? Check out one of the long hoodies.

Why it’s ethical: Clean-growing hemp is the backbone of most products, and the company uses certified organic textiles in its shell fabric. All products are vegan, and Hoodlamb carefully chooses the factories that produce its garments (see more here).

Good on You rating: Great

How to save: Full-price items are not cheap, but sign up for the mailing list to get access to sales. You’ll find deep, deep discounts in the off-season.


Patagonia

Who they are and what they offer: This well-known activewear brand offers plenty of vegan options for men, women, and kids. The Nano Puff jacket protects you from winter and water; try the Snowbelle jacket for a versatile, 3-in-1 option.

Why it’s ethical: Patagonia is arguably a pioneer in the realm of ethical activewear; it uses eco-friendly materials, has a repair and reuse program, incorporates many sustainable practices, and is quite transparent about its supply chain and workers’ wages. It’s also a certified B Corp.

Good on You rating: Good

How to save: Check out the web specials section or shop for Patagonia projects at various outdoorsy stores. Moosejaw, REI, and Sierra Trading Post all sell Patagonia and have clearance/sale sections.


Save the Duck (fully vegan)

Who they are and what they offer: An Italian brand, Save the Duck makes down-alternative coats, jackets, and vests for women, men, and children. You’ll find both puffer styles and parkas in just about every color.

Why it’s ethical: Save the Duck uses no animal products and says its garments are “environmentally friendly.” (See below for more info.)

Good on You rating: Not good enough
(Save the Duck claims to use sustainable practices but hasn’t provided enough information for Good on You to fully evaluate those claims. I’m not sure I want to keep Save the Duck on this list, given those concerns, so let me know what you think.)

How to save: You’ll pay top dollar for brand-new items; sign up for the mailing list for the occasional sale. (Last Black Friday, discounts peaked at 40%.)


Vaute Couture (fully vegan)

Photo by Anthony TwoMoons for Vaute Couture; Belden coat

Photo by Anthony TwoMoons for Vaute Couture

Who they are and what they offer:  Founded by designer Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart, this fashion-forward brand made its name offering hand-sewn, ethically made vegan winterwear for women and men. The Belden is a classic women’s style, and I love the Charles for men. Vaute even makes gender-neutral styles! (I’ve also written more about Vaute Couture here.)

Why it’s ethical: This vegan brand relies on sustainable materials and ensures that all its products are made in the USA by employees making a living wage.

Good on You rating: Great

How to save: Check out the clearance section for discounts, and sign up for emails to get notified.

Note: Vaute Couture will be on hiatus after this season as Hilgart figures out what to do with the brand and tries to scale up. Read more here.


Where to find ethically made vegan winter boots

While many ethical footwear companies offer vegan boots, I’m only featuring styles that are specifically designed for winter. So you won’t find vegan dock boots, work boots, Chelsea boots, etc. on this list. As such, please consider this a curated, highly subjective list, and know that more options exist if you don’t need heavy-duty winter boots designed to keep out the snow, keep you warm, and keep you from slipping on ice!


Beyond Skin (fully vegan)

Who they are and what they offer: A vegan company offering dozens of styles for women, Beyond Skin‘s has baked ethics into its business philosophy. Serious vegan winter boot offerings are scarce, but check out the Misty vegan sheepskin boots (also available in black) if you want an Uggs-esque look. (Note that as of November 2018, Beyond Skin only offers women’s shoes but says it’ll be launching a men’s collection soon.)

Why it’s ethical: Beyond Skin strives to use recycled materials when possible and produces its shoes ethically in Spain.

Good on You rating: It’s a start

How to save: Check the sale section!


Bhava Studio (fully vegan)

Photo copyright Bhava Studio

Who they are and what they offer: This small, woman-owned vegan company produces a limited line of fashion-forward women’s shoes — including some extremely stylish winter boots. Check out these faux fur-lined combat-style winter boots and these winter platforms (!) in particular.

Why it’s ethical: Bhava uses recycled materials and organic cotton and manufactures its shoes in Europe under fair labor conditions. It’s also committed to promoting a healthier approach to fashion, focusing on the idea that less is more when it comes to your closet. Learn more here.

Good on You rating:  It’s a start

How to save: Use my referral link to sign up for Bhava’s rewards program — you’ll get $30 off your first purchase. Once you’ve joined the program, you can earn points by completing relatively simple tasks (liking Bhava on Facebook; completing your profile) and redeeming the points for gift cards. And be sure to follow Bhava on Instagram for access to special pre-order sales.


Jambu

Who they are and what they offer: Sporty shoes with a bit of style is the name of the game at Jambu. While winter boots don’t make up the majority of their line, you’ll still find a few vegan styles for the colder months. (Note that although Jambu does offer some men’s shoes, their selection is very limited — women will have better luck with this brand. )You’ll find all the vegan options here;  try the Evans boot if you’ve got light winters, and check out Lorna if you need serious warmth and traction.

Why it’s ethical: Jambu has an impressive variety of animal-free shoes for all seasons, and they say their manufacturers in China are “strictly monitored.” (I can’t find much information on their overall sustainability practices, and I’m a little skeptical about their manufacturing. I’m not 100% sure they belong on this list and will reach out to the brand for more details.)

Good on You rating: Not rated yet

How to save: Check the sale section for deals. (Also, fellow vegan blogger Amey is a Jambu ambassador and frequently offers special discount codes — check out her vegan Jambu reviews for details!)


Kamik

Kamik vegan winter bootsWho they are and what they offer: A family-owned Canadian brand, Kamik sells winter boots (along with rain boots and sandals) for men, women, and kids. A vegan filter makes it easy to find animal-friendly options; there are plenty of vegan winter boots for women this season. Options range from these no-nonsense tall snow boots to this fun pair — they look like moon boots to me! (I own an older style and really like them — they’re cute without being too trendy, and they have nice sturdy treads perfect for icy conditions.)

Why it’s ethical: Kamik is working toward a zero-waste production facility, uses recycled materials in their boots, and makes the majority of their products in North America. Plus, they offer a recycling program so your old and well-loved footwear doesn’t end up in a landfill.

Good on You rating: Not yet rated

How to save: Subscribe to their email to get deals or check the banner near the top of the page for special sales. You can sometimes also find marked-down boots on Amazon.


Vegetarian Shoes (fully vegan)

Who they are and what they offer: An OG vegan shoe brand based in the UK, Vegetarian Shoes offers plenty of styles for men and women — including a few winter-appropriate options. The unisex Ice Patrol style is a great no-nonsense option, or try the Caribou if you live in gentler climes.

Why it’s ethical: Vegetarian Shoes uses no animal products and ensures that workers are treated fairly. That said, I haven’t been able to find much information about the products and materials they use — I need to look into this a little more!

Good on You rating: Not yet rated

How to save: Check the sale section!


Where to find ethically made vegan winter sweaters/jumpers

American Giant

Who they are and what they offer: American-grown cotton and American-made garments for both men and women are at the center of American Giant‘s business model. Check them out if you’re in the market for casual apparel — think sturdy pullovers, heavy-duty (yet stylish) moto sweaters, and cozy hoodies. The company offers free returns on any item at any point in time for any reason, a quality guarantee that demonstrates how strongly they stand behind their products.

Why it’s ethical: Everything is made in the USA, and the vast majority of products are made of cotton. (American Giant just introduced a merino-blend sweater.)

Good on You rating: Not yet rated

How to save: Discounts are rare, but sign up for the mailing list so you get first dibs on their yearly sale. New customers can also score 15% off with my referral link.


PACT Apparel

Who they are and what they offer: My favorite source for fair-trade, organic cotton basics (think hoodiessocks, and undies) for men, women, and kids, PACT also recently introduced a line of sweaters. This cable-knit tunic sweater looks lovely and cozy, but I really like the oval cardigan. In fact, I recently took advantage of a sale to buy it at half price. The thistle heather color is just gorgeous!

Why it’s ethical: Organic cotton, fair-trade practices, and no animal products make PACT one of the best options out there.

Good on You rating: Great

How to save: Use my referral link and get 20% off your first order! Then sign up for PACT’s mailing list for frequent discounts, like the aforementioned half off a single item.


Vaute Couture (fully vegan)

Who they are and what they offer:  Founded by designer Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart, this fashion-forward brand made its name offering hand-sewn, ethically made vegan winterwear for women and men. Although Vaute primarily offers coats and jackets, you can find a smattering of beautiful sweaters too. This cabled aran knit style is beautiful, as is this cocoon-like cardigan. (I’ve also written more about Vaute Couture here.)

Why it’s ethical: This vegan brand relies on sustainable materials and ensures that all its products are made in the USA by employees making a living wage. Most sweaters are made of recycled materials.

Good on You rating: Great

How to save: Check out the clearance section for discounts, and sign up for emails to get notified.

Note: Vaute Couture will be on hiatus after this season as Hilgart figures out what to do with the brand and tries to scale up. Read more here.


Where to find ethically made vegan winter hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, and more

Hoodlamb (fully vegan)

Hoodlamb's sustainably made vegan infinity scarf

Image copyright Hoodlamb

Who they are and what they offer: This cheeky Amsterdam-based company relies on hemp — that darling of the sustainable fashion world — to create parkas, bombers, hoodies, sweaters, and more for both women and men. Happily, they also offer some lovely accessories, including a few for children. I love me an infinity scarf, and this faux fur-lined hat looks so cozy. Shopping for kiddos? They’d look adorable in this cute beanie!

Why it’s ethical: Clean-growing hemp is the backbone of most products, and the company uses certified organic textiles in its shell fabric. All products are vegan, and Hoodlamb carefully chooses the factories that produce its garments (see more here).

Good on You rating: Great

How to save: Full-price items are not cheap, but sign up for the mailing list to get access to sales. You’ll find deep, deep discounts in the off-season.


Where to find ethically made vegan socks and vegan base layers for winter

Why lump vegan base layers and vegan winter socks together? For one, they serve a similar purpose in my mind. But also… there just aren’t a lot of ethical companies making vegan versions of these items! Yes, you can find vegan socks pretty easily, but few are what I’d call winter-specific. Honestly, I usually just double up on my socks if I really need to keep warm in the winter! 

PACT Apparel

Who they are and what they offer: PACT offers fair-trade, organic cotton basics (think hoodiessocks, and undies) for men, women, and kids. I think you could also get away with using their leggings as base layers.

Why it’s ethical: Organic cotton, fair-trade practices, and no animal products make PACT one of the best options out there.

Good on You rating: Great

How to save: Use my referral link and get 20% off your first order! Then sign up for PACT’s mailing list for frequent discounts, like the aforementioned half off a single item.


Patagonia

Who they are and what they offer: This well-known activewear brand produces some of the best base layers for vegans looking to avoid wool. Patagonia’s Capilene base layers come in myriad weights, styles, and sizes for women, men, and children and use a recycled polyester fabric to keep you cozy. Just be sure to avoid the Capilene Air line — that one is blended with merino (boo!).

Why it’s ethical: Patagonia is arguably a pioneer in the realm of ethical activewear; it uses eco-friendly materials, has a repair and reuse program, incorporates many sustainable practices, and is quite transparent about its supply chain and workers’ wages. It’s also a certified B Corp.

Good on You rating: Good

How to save: Check out the web specials section or shop for Patagonia projects at various outdoorsy stores. Moosejaw, REI, and Sierra Trading Post all sell Patagonia and have clearance/sale sections.


A few notes and thoughts
  • I think there’s a real discussion to be had about the ethics of recycled wool vs. synthetics. Read any list of recommendations for winterwear and wool gets rave reviews: It wicks away moisture, it keeps in heat without getting you sweaty, and it doesn’t trap stinkiness. As an ethical vegan, though, I haven’t worn wool in years because the industry is absolutely horrendous from an animal welfare perspective. But to be honest, the alternatives — synthetics or cotton — don’t quite measure up. Cotton tends to get a bit sweaty, while synthetics are produced at quite a cost to the environment (as is non-organic cotton). Recycled or secondhand wool may be the way to go if you’re comfortable with that option, though I’m still not quite comfortable with it for myself.
  • Many of the points above also apply to recycled down. Patagonia offers a recycled down collection, but I personally don’t feel comfortable using it.
  • This is a very truncated list — I will add more to it as I do more research!

Bear in mind that I am just one person trawling the internet, so I’m sure I’ve left some brands out! Please leave a comment if I’ve missed your favorite ethical vegan brand and I’ll add it to the list.

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Where to find ethically made vegan outerwear // govegga.com

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