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Fast fashion is contributing to the steady decline of our planet, but even those pieces of clothing you buy with the intention of keeping for the long haul come at their own environmental price. Synthetic fibers such nylon and polyester, which are widely used in coats, jackets and other outerwear, are known to contribute to the microplastic pollution of our oceans, having been found as far away as Antarctica by scientists.
More frighteningly still, the fashion industry accounts for an estimated 10 percent of global carbon emissions, and contributes to major water pollution problems in the countries where manufacturing is concentrated.
Luckily, our wardrobes don’t have to quite literally cost us the Earth. The apparel industry is flourishing with brands finding a different path. Eco-friendly fashion doesn’t mean missing out on practicality or style. Recycled nylon and polyester, made from regenerated carpet or plastic bottles, can now be found replacing virgin materials, and more manufacturers are turning to renewable energy to help cut planet-heating pollution.
Industry certifications, such as the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) and Responsible Wool Standard also promise the highest possible welfare for animal-derived products such as down and wool, while others give a second lease of life to these materials by recycling them from other uses—which not only extends their lifespan, but minimizes their environmental footprint, too. If you’re keen to avoid any animal products in your clothing, we’ve also published an article covering the best vegan coats.
Picking out environmentally conscious brands and high-quality products is what we do best, so we’ve compiled this guide of the most eco-friendly coats and jackets for every budget and style.
For practicality and a guarantee that you’re sourcing from a brand fundamentally committed to saving our planet, opt for our number one choice, the Nano Puff Hoody (view at Patagonia). Getting versatility and eco-friendly manufacturing down to a T, this coat will perform, whatever the occasion.
Alternatively, for a gorgeous and truly one-of-a-kind option, choose The Vera Coat (view at Christy Dawn). Lovingly made from deadstock, you’re keeping fabric out of landfill, while looking stunning at the same time.
Why Trust Treehugger?
Steph Dyson is a long-time advocate for slow fashion, with a focus on durable, lasting materials whose carbon footprint decreases with their longevity. A fan of the outdoors, she’s trialled numerous activewear brands, as well as enjoyed looking sleek in more stylish, eco-friendly choices around town.