ethical padded jacket

Ethical Coats & Jackets for Autumn and Beyond

In the market for a new coat for autumn?  The good news is I have been doing some research and I have eight ethical coats for your perusal today.

The bad news is that the ethical coat and jacket market is small. Teeny tiny small.  And that ethical coats don’t come cheap.  If you get change of £200 then you are dong well.

With ethical fashion, the goal of course isn’t to replace clothing every year, as fast fashion would dictate, but to invest in quality items that you would be happy to wear year after year.  Think cost per wear!   I appreciate this isn’t great when your current coat or jacket is on it’s last legs and you don’t have £200 spare, but we’ll come on to that after the coats:

Finisterre

ethical padded jacket

If your style is outdoorsy then Finisterre offer classic outdoors wear.  This Alto jacket (£195) has a recycled polyester outer shell, and is insulated with recycled fabrics.  It’s wind and water resistant and will keep you cosy well into winter.

finisterre ethical parka coat

Meanwhile, the stylish Solus Parka (£225) looks like something you could take on all the world has to throw at you in it.  Built to last, and waterproof, it’s again filled with recycled insulation to keep you cosy on cold autumn and winter days.

Patagonia

patagonia ethical jacket

Patagonia also have a solid reputation as an ethical retailer, and this Radalie Parka (£160) is another good bet for the colder weather ahead.  Water repellent, with a 100% recycled nylon outer shell, it’s insulated with 92% recycled polyester.

People Tree
people tree ethical coat

If your style is less outdoorsy, then People Tree’s offering is this Yvette fleece coat (£119).  This is a transitional piece for autumn and spring, and the snuggly fleece nature of it would be like a perpetual hug.

Thought Clothing

Thought has a couple of stylish non outdoorsy options.  This Hartley organic jacket (£79.90) is another autumn and spring coat, but it is pretty darned stylish.
thought ethical autumn coat

If you’re after something more practical to beat the rain showers then this water resistant number (£44.90) made from recycled PET might do the trick.  It’s not lined, so wouldn’t keep you warm.  It would be more something you keep folded up in your bag for any wet weather emergencies:.
thought ethical waterproof coat

Komodo

komodo ethical coats

Komodo are one of the longest running of the ethical retailers.  Their seasonal ethical coats offering is this Elda Jacket, which I have found currently on sale at Ethical Superstore for £139.96, down from £175.

Nomads

Finally, Nomads autumnal offering is this beautiful diamond hand loomed coat (£145) which looks stylishly cosy.   It also reminds me so much of that Zara coat everyone seemed to be wearing last year.
nomads ethical coat

What if your budget doesn’t allow for an ethical purchase?

If your budget doesn’t stretch that as far as one of these coats, then I would recommend opting out of the fast fashion model that dictates that you should buy a new coat every year.  Instead find the best quality coat you love at a price you can afford.  Look for a style that won’t date, in a dark shade (light coloured coats are stain magnets, trust me!) and commit to wearing it for as long as possible.

Last year I needed a good outdoors jacket for braving the school run in all weathers, but my maternity leave budget didn’t stretch very far.  I bought a simple cosy water and wind proof (and dark brown!) coat that was 50% off in the sale from an outdoor retailer.

The trouble with outdoor retailers is that ethical ones are few and far between.  I’m not going to endorse the specific retailer I bought from as I doubt it was the single most ethical purchase I’ve ever made.  What swayed me was that the jacket came with a lifetime warranty.  If I’m going to buy something I want it to last a long time, so this gave me some reassurance that if it develops a fault the company will fix or replace the coat.  It seems sturdy, looks good as new going into it’s second year of wearing, and looks like it will go the distance, so fingers crossed!

Alternatively, if you want to stay resolutely ethical on a small budget then eBay is also a great place to look.  My previous coat was one that I’d picked up secondhand on eBay seven years ago, and wore for seven consecutive winters.  I was quite sad when it came to an irreparable end – it felt like a part of me!

I have less luck with charity shops when it comes to coats, but perhaps you might have better luck than me!

11 comments

  1. Ooh some lovely picks here. For the first time in a long time I don’t need a new coat, but great window shopping :-)
    I picked up a Finisterre bargain in their summer sale & cant wait for some proper cold days!
    I also wanted to flag up Protected Species, in case you hadn’t come across them. My parka was easily the most money I have ever spent on an item of clothing (& prices have gone up since) but it is so beautifully made & the contact I had with them so fantastic I would recommend to anybody who is willing and able to invest. So far from frumpy, and the first time I haven’t felt the need to have a separate waterproof coat for big rain & other “nice” coat for dryer days!

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  2. I love the nomads one… I’m very tempted but maternity pay won’t stretch that far!! My current coat has done me 7 winters and we’re about to enter the eighth…it’s sad that I’m in the minority!

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    • I think there’s something quite comforting about digging out your winter coat each winter – like rediscovering a forgotten favourite album or meeting up with an old friend after a prolonged absence! I’ve never really understood the new coat every year thing. And yes, that Nomads one. A thing of beauty indeed!

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  3. I just got one of the coats from Komodo, not the one you mention but I can happily say it is the cosiest coat ever! I can’t wait for the weather to turn cold. I also own a finisterre coat, the alto in green and it has seen me through winters here but also trips to Iceland and Sweden, it’s a nice warm one too. I think your advice here is brilliant. Oh and thanks to the other commenter on protected species, never heard of them before.

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  4. Seasalt also make coats, mine is almost ten years old and looks like new & still keeps me dry & warm in the Cornish wind & rain. Also have a Finisterre coat I bought in the sale which is so toasty.

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  5. That Nomads coat is incredible. What do you think of Seasalt? I’m looking for something durable and lasting and I’ve seen them listed as ethical in some places and their ethical policy seems pretty sound (although I’m no expert). However, they seem to be missing from a lot of ethical lists too – is there a reason for this?

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    • Hi Phoebe, I find their pieces very durable. Some of their pieces are organic (although not certified I don’t think) and they used to have a locally made project. However in recent times I’ve become less certain of their ethics. They don’t really engage with the ethical community, and don’t mention anything about their ethics in any of their catalogues, social media, etc. You would think if they were ethical they would be shouting about it? Ethical Consumer aren’t so sure either – http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/scoredetails.aspx?ProductId=530536

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  6. I don’t need a new coat at the moment, but it’s great to have a list of ethical companies to look at the next time I do. Could I also mention Howie’s for coats and jackets… They are still quite pricey but they often have good sale offers – I’ve bought jeans and T=shirts from them in the past, which have been good quality.

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