As the thermometer begins its slow dive towards “glacial” once again, it’s time to dig out our winter gear, including those awesome bits of outerwear that will keep us toasty all season long. For some of us, it also means that we will be looking for new clothing to help battle winter’s onslaught, which inevitably leads to a trip to the mall, or if you’re anything like me and loathe shopping centers, purchasing online.
Naturally, if we’re cold in wintertime, animals will be too, and it’s best to ensure that they keep their coats to themselves! If you’re in the market for a new coat, jacket, parka, or other style of winter gear for either yourself or as a gift for another, please ensure that you’re shopping vegan—A gift of ethical, compassionate clothing is a gift from the heart, and is not only a beautiful present for the recipient, but for the animals who are spared an ugly fate just for the sake of human fashion. In the near future, we will be publishing posts about why we should avoid wool, leather, silk, down, and other materials that have been harvested from animals to be used for winter jackets, as well as clothing, shoes and accessories, but since the mercury is dropping as I type this, let’s focus on the pressing matter of warm winter gear.
Many people seem to have the misconception that buying vegan clothing means that they’re giving up on style, and will end up being wrapped in lengths of hemp burlap.
Not so, good friends! There are super-chic coats and jackets out there that are entirely cruelty-free and vegan, and don’t skimp a whit on style. Vaute Couture is a company that has created jaw-dropping, gorgeous coats and jackets in a variety of styles for both men and women, with variations that can suit just about anyone’s taste. I’ve fallen in love with their “Belden” coat, and the men’s selection is just as luscious as the women’s.
Hoodlamb is another brand to checkout, they have a great selection of winter outerwear for men, women, children, and even pets! As you may have guessed by the name, their line of jackets are made from hemp, which is touted as the strongest natural fiber on the planet. This quality makes hemp fabric well suited for jacket shells that have to withstand the elements of winter.
ModCloth is one online store that meticulously lists all of the fabrics that make up their stylish wares, and by using their search feature you can identify which trendy coats are vegan-friendly. They even have a Coat Warmth Scale to help you pick a jacket that will work for your local climate.
Another mistaken belief is that materials such as wool and down are far warmer than any manufactured product on the market. This is absolutely not true.
Synthetics used for winter outerwear provide spectacular warmth, insulation, water protection (for those days when slush and sleet are attacking from every angle), and come in just about any colour imaginable. Polar fleece is soft, water-resistant and warm, and is used both as a lining, and as outer shells for many coats and jackets. It keeps you warm even when it’s wet, and is well regarded as being a great vegan alternative to wool.
If you’re shopping at the mall, look for “primaloft” in puffy jackets: it’s a synthetic microfibre filler that helps you retain body heat while being deliciously lightweight. If it’s warm enough to keep military personnel toasty in arctic temperatures, it’ll do wonders for sub-zero city wear.
Stay warm, shop compassionately, and remember that every vegan item purchased sends a message to production companies that cruelty-free is the way to go.