In the market for a new coat for autumn or winter?  The good news is I have been doing some research and I have eight ethical coats and jackets for your perusal today, for both men and women.

The bad news is that, much like the ethical clothing market, the ethical coat and jacket market is small. Teeny tiny small.  The other bad news is that ethical coats don’t come cheap.  If you get change from £200 then you are doing well, however there are a couple of brands doing great things at lower price points, so don’t despair too much.

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

Quick Links for Ethical Jackets and Coats

If you are in a hurry, here are the quick links to the coats and jackets we’ve deemed most ethical. If you have time, then read on to find out why these brands are the ones to consider.

In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links. This income helps keep this site running.

Guide to Ethical Coats and Jackets

The price range key for this guide is:

 £ = Under £50 | ££ = £50 – 100 | £££ = £100+

If you’re confused by any of the terminology, such as GOTS Certified, do see my handy guide on what to look for when shopping for ethical clothing.  It covers topics such as what fabrics to look for and explains what all the different eco-labels mean.

Finisterre

ethical padded jacket

Caters for: men and women

Size range: 8 – 16 for women, and XS – XXL for men

Budget: £££

If your style is outdoorsy then Finisterre offers classic outdoor 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.

In terms of ethics, Finisterre’s waterproof jackets and coats are made from fully recycled materials.  They have also completely eradicated harmful fluorocarbons from our water repellent and waterproofing fabrics. That means that you can expect the highest level of downpour protection without compromising the environment.

Finisterre ensures similarly high sustainability standards with their insulated jackets. These are down-free, and instead of feathers use recycled synthetic fills to ensure high insulating performance even when wet.

Gudrun Sjödén

gudrun sjoden ethical coat

Caters for: women

Size range: 6 – 24

Budget: £££

If you are looking for something cosy and colourful, then do have a browse at Gudrun Sjödén.  Their jackets are ethically made from both recycled polyester and recycled down for a super sustainable and incredibly warm coat.  There are different colour options available if bright isn’t your thing.  And all of their ethical coats are PFC-free.

If you’re new to the issues of PFC then PFC stands for per- and poly-fluorinated chemicals. These are waterproofing chemicals that is used to weatherproof clothing and shoes. For some PFCs there is evidence that they cause harm to both the hormonal and reproductive systems in both humans and animals, as well as being carcinogenic. What’s more, these chemicals accumulate in the environment. As such, they’re often referred to as forever chemicals, because of how persistent they are in the environment. Greenpeace has written more on the issues of PFCs if you wish to find out more.

Komodo

komodo ethical coats

Caters for: women

Size range: S – L

Budget: £££

Like People Tree and Seasalt, Komodo* are one of the longest-running ethical retailers going.  Their ethical coat range is again stylish, rather than outdoorsy. 

If style over performance is what you are looking for, then good news. Komodo is committed to the use of premium quality certified organic, natural, and eco fibres.  They have also expanded into innovative fabrics, such as green PU coating and recycled PET, from plastic bottles, to give performance without comprising the environment.  What’s more, most of their products are vegan and all are cruelty-free.

Nomads

nomads ethical coat

Caters for: women

Size range: 8 – 20

Budget: £££

Again, if style rather than technical perfomance is key, then Nomads* is another place to check out.  Nomads follow the guidelines and ideals of Fair Trade throughout all of its business relations with suppliers in India, and with its customers back home. It forms long term trading relationships and buys direct from the producers themselves, ensuring that profit goes directly to the primary source and is not gained by middle men or contractors.

This beautiful diamond hand-loomed coat (£145) looks stylishly cozy.  It also reminds me so much of that Zara coat everyone seemed to be wearing a few years ago!  

Patagonia

patagonia ethical jacket

Caters for: men and women

Size range: XS – XL (womens) and XS – XXL (mens)

Budget: £££

Patagonia* also has a solid reputation as an ethical retailer. Where to start?  Firstly, Patagonia rejects fast fashion by creating high-quality, long-lasting products, and offers a repair and reuse program.

Secondly, all of their cotton is certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), and it is bluesign® certified for some of its fabrics. What this means is that Patagonia uses only approved chemicals and components according to bluesign certification. 

What’s more, a high proportion of Patagonia’s materials are made from recycled fabrics, including polyester, nylon, and wool.  Patagonia also belongs to both the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and 1% For The Planet.

As such, 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

Caters for: women

Size range: 8 – 16

Budget: £££

If your style is less outdoorsy, then People Tree* always has great ethical offerings.  This Yvette fleece coat (£119) for example makes for a good choice.  This is a transitional piece for autumn and spring, and the snuggly fleece nature of it would be like a perpetual hug.

People Tree is one of the original ethical clothing retailers, and their ethical standards are second to none.  They were the first fashion company to be awarded the World Fair Trade Organisation product label. These certifications guarantee People Tree’s dedication and compliance to the principles of fair trade, covering fair wages, good working conditions, transparency, environmental best practice, and gender equality. 

Seasalt Ethical Coats

Seasalt jackets

Caters for: men and women

Size range: 8 – 28 for women and S – XXL for men

Budget: ££ – £££

If you’re looking for solid wet weather coats, then Seasalt* is well worth a look. As one of the original ethical retailers – and the first to achieve Soil Association Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification back in 2005 – it has since branched out into having a high street presence. Whilst I don’t consider Seasalt as the pinnacle of ethical clothing, their lower pricing and more inclusive sizing, combined with the use of innovative waterproof fabrics on their coats makes them a great choice.

These fabrics include Tide Cycle® – a fabric woven from recycled polyester fibres made with plastic bottles. It’s waterproof, breathable, hardwearing, easy to care for and extremely soft to the touch. Production requires less energy than virgin polyester and it helps reduce the amount of plastic heading for landfill and the oceans.

Meanwhile, their unique Tin Cloth® fabric is inspired by traditional oilskins. Here coats and jackets are crafted from natural fabrics like hard wearing organic cotton canvas, linen and ripstop cotton, for a more natural choice. 

Thought Clothing

thought ethical autumn coat

Caters for: women

Size range: 6 – 18

Budget: £££

Finally, Thought* is another great place to look for stylish non-outdoorsy ethical coat options.  They source natural, sustainable yarns that use less water, fewer pesticides, and create less CO2.  And then they upcycle their leftover fabric at the source so to reduce waste and create new products.

This Hartley organic jacket (£79.90) is another autumn and spring coat, but it is pretty darned stylish.  Also look out for water-resistant jackets, made from recycled PET plastic (the kind of plastic drinks bottles are made from).  These make great options for keeping folded up in your bag for any wet weather emergencies.

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

Your budget might not stretch as far as one of these coats.  I would therefore 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 then commit to wearing it for as long as possible.

I have used outdoor retailers before to buy coats. The trouble with outdoor retailers is that ethical ones are few and far between.  Whilst I can’t endorse any particular retailers, I have noticed that some coats and jackets from these retailers do come with a lifetime warranty. This gives you some reassurance that if your coat develops a fault then the company will fix or replace the coat. 

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.  I then wore it for seven consecutive winters.  I was quite sad when it came to an irreparable end.  It felt like a part of me!  See my top eBay buying tips if you’re not sure where to start.

I have less luck with charity shops when it comes to coats, but perhaps you might have better luck than me!  Alternatively, try these eight places to shop secondhand online.

What Else Can I Do?

To make the ethical fashion movement more inclusive to all, then it’s important to take action beyond your wallet.

Sustainable fashion lacks diverse representation.  Particularly in terms of race and of the LGBTQ+ community.  However, there is also a lack of a range of sizes, and a lack of variety of styles, as well as issues of affordability.  These issues are leaving a large swath of potential would-be customers behind.

Things that you can do to help engender change include asking High St brands who make their clothes (see Fashion Revolution for their great resources).  This will help press for transparency and sustainability on the High Street.  You can also support brands that align with your values.  This means purchasing from them if you are able to, but can also mean liking, commenting, and sharing their social media posts to help boost their exposure.

Hope you found this guide useful. Do also check out my guides to ethical rucksacks and ethical hats, which might come in handy!

Main image used c/o Finisterre

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