Finding a chic yet cozy winter coat is the ultimate struggle for those who live in colder climates. Finding one that is also cruelty-free only adds another layer of difficulty. By rejecting traditional, non-vegan textiles such as wool, fur, leather, and goose down, the following seven fashion labels are part of a growing global movement that offers inspiring and innovative fashion options that are 100-percent free of animals. With these brands, the burden of choosing between style and ethics is no longer an issue.
Frank and Oak
Former men’s fashion boutique Frank and Oak is ramping up its sustainability offerings with a new, limited-edition Performance outerwear collection that is vegan and created with recycled fabrics using low-impact production methods. The eight designs for men and women emphasize comfort with parkas, puffers, and snuggly, oversized cocoon coats. Each one comprises a water-repellent and wind-resistant outer shell made from a polyester sourced from recycled plastic bottles, and cruelty-free recycled 3M Thinsulate featherless insulation that manages to keep your body toasty even in sub-zero temperatures.
Save The Duck
Milan, Italy-based brand Save The Duck is recognized for its colorful, quilted jackets that are completely animal-free. The company created its own proprietary technology to replace goose feathers with a warmer and more breathable material that is stuffed into hooded snow jackets, hooded parkas, quilted coats, fleece jackets, and vests. Styles from the Recy fabric line use 100-percent recycled polyester fibers, and many of the coats are designed specifically for frequent travellers; they are light, comfortable, and easily foldable to take wherever you go.
Not into the puff and excess bulk that typically dominate retail shops this time of year, but instead want to look classy while staying warm? This much-loved New York City label was the first vegan brand to show at New York Fashion Week, and is known for its cutting-edge, sustainable designs. All VAUTE coats are made locally in the city’s Garment District. Though not producing new styles this season, VAUTE still has a number of inspired designs for sale, such as winter parkas filled with a down alternative from recycled fibers, and double-breasted peacoats crafted from organic cotton instead of wool. The brand also affirms that that each coat is windproof, water resistant, and “shockingly warm.”
This cruelty-free Canadian brand—created by former professional football linebacker James Yurichuk—screams urban cool more than Arctic expedition, but is designed specifically for harsh conditions and temperatures as low as negative-22 degrees (it is from Canada, after all). Its unisex vests, parkas, versa jackets (a fall/winter hybrid), and bomber jackets utilize fabrics with a low environmental impact and stringent fair-labor practices. Since the brand’s launch in 2012, it claims to have saved more than 21,500 animals from harm compared to clothing made with goose down. The jackets come in a variety of colors with black or lumberjack-style interiors. Plus, Wuxly’s Trade-Up Program allows you to save up to $275 on one of its parkas if you trade in your old fur-trimmed or down-filled jacket.
The jackets from this Montreal-based cruelty-free winter-wear brand are oh-so-fashionable with details such as contrasting colors, high-quality faux fur trim, and vegan leather accents. The vast selection includes long coats with multi-pocket details, insulated parkas with faux-fur trim, mid-length army-style jackets with drawstring waists, and vegan leather biker jackets. With this many options, you could have a coat for every occasion. The best part: all styles run under $250.
This Amsterdam-based brand uses natural, hand-harvested hemp plants sourced from family-run farms in Northern China to create its sleek-yet-cozy jackets. Hoodlamb asserts that hemp-based fabric is the best material to use because of its environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient composition, durability, and comfort. Its popular Nordic Parka features a soft, thick Thermore Ecodown lining, a goose-less down, and is coated in a waterproof material called Hempulose made from hemp husks. Basically, it offers the snug comfort of a sleeping bag, which is appreciated during a time of year when most people just want to stay in bed.
Vegetarian designer Stella McCartney creates runway-ready looks that aim to be ethical and sustainable. The brand is working on phasing out its wool and silk fabrics and moving toward becoming fully vegan by partnering with companies to create animal-free alternatives. So far, Stella has pioneered a “skin-free” leather, bioengineered silk, and “alter-suede” and “alter-shearling” fabrics that could pass as the real thing. The brand’s outerwear selection includes vegan shearling short jackets, oversized fur-free coats, and vegan leather biker jackets with faux-fur trim. When you can arrive at a party wrapped in a luxurious, oversized, fur-free champagne waistcoat, there’s really no need for coat check.
Nicole Axworthy is the News Editor of VegNews who is coveting a number of these fashion-forward winter coats.
Photo courtesy of Hoodlamb.
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