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The Best Ethical Coats & Jackets In The UK

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In the market for a new coat for autumn or winter? Here are eight of the best ethical coats and jackets available right now – from vegan-friendly coats to PFC-free coats and coats made from upcycled materials.

Winter is coming. While we’re all layering up in cosy hoodies and jumpers, it’s a good time to think about investing in a good coat that will take you through not just this autumn and winter but beyond that.

Admittedly, shopping ethically for a coat or jacket can feel overwhelming. Especially in a world where fast fashion reigns supreme. Add in a spot of greenwashing from unscrupulous brands, and it gets even harder.

To help you out, I’ve rounded up eight of the best ethical coats and jackets from sustainable brands – updated for 2023.

Once a tiny niche market, much like the ethical clothing market, options have been growing. Now there’s more choice than ever before.

While ethical coats can be a pricey purchase, 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! 

What To Look For When Buying An Ethical Coat or Jacket

Before we get started with the brands. Let me give you my top pointers for what to look for when shopping for ethical coats and jackets.

Firstly I would always recommend looking out for brands that use recycled or reclaimed fabrics, and/or organic fibres to help minimise your impact on the environment.

Secondly, I would recommend avoiding coats insulated with down due to animal welfare concerns – unless it is recycled down. Down is often plucked from ducks and geese, in a cruel practice, so is best avoided.

Thirdly to avoid human rights abuses, I would recommend buying from brands that commit to fair working conditions across their whole supply chains.

And lastly, I would recommend looking out for brands that are PFC-free. PFC stands for per- and poly-fluorinated chemicals. These are waterproofing chemicals that are used to weatherproof outdoor clothing and shoes.

This sounds innocuous enough, however, 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. There are lots of green alternatives that offer waterproofing, without the toxic footprint, so this should be prioritised. Want to know more about PFCs? Check out this great explainer.

Guide to Ethical Coats and Jackets

Person wearing a black padded jacket with a blue text box that reads your guide to ethical coats and jackets.

Use the quick links below to navigate to the sections about each brand, or keep scrolling for the full post:

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.

Picture Organic Clothing

Person wearing a blue picture organic padded jacket
  • Budget: ££ – £££
  • Caters for: men (S – XXL) and women (XS – L)
  • Vegan-friendly: check each item description
  • PFC-Free: yes
  • Available from: Wildbounds

French ethical outdoor clothing brand Picture Organic Clothing is committed to sustainable, conscious design. As such, all of its high-quality clothing is made from recycled, organic or responsibly sourced materials.

Rather than stopping there, Picture goes further. To minimise waste, any fabric waste is salvaged and used to line its range of performance jackets. We like this zero-waste approach to manufacturing.

This doesn’t make its clothing bland. You’ll find unique designs and bright colours that stand out from other retailers.

Designed for active outdoor lifestyles, by snowboarders themselves, these cosy jackets will keep you warm and dry despite the conditions.

And if you and your jacket get into a scrape, then it’s not game over. Rather than binning your jacket, you can take advantage of Picture’s lifetime repairability (available on its technical jackets). Here, Picture Organic Clothing will repair the seams, zippers, buttons and possible loss of accessories (patches, cords) during the lifetime of the product – free of charge – to help beat waste.


Person wearing a yellow insulated coat from sustainable brand BAM
  • Budget: £££
  • Caters for: men (sizes S – XXL) and women (UK sizes 6 – 18)
  • Vegan-friendly: yes
  • PFC-Free: yes
  • Available from: BAM

Ethical activewear specialist BAM has a great selection of ethical coats for both men and women that are well worth checking out.

In particular, these ’73 Zero’ insulated coats are made from recycled materials and are filled with recycled polyester insulation, making them vegan-friendly.

They’re quick-dry and will keep you cosy on even the coldest of days. Plus they’re available in a variety of colours – from bright shades to more muted ones depending on your preferences.

What’s more, BAM has collaborated with an organisation called Project Plan B. Here, ground-breaking technology recaptures the polyester from a garment so this jacket is 100% recyclable. In fact, it’s called the 73 Zero jacket because 73% of clothing ends up in landfill or incinerated, and BAM wants to get that to zero.

Finally, its PFC-free finish offers water repellency, without the chemical cocktail that’s damaging to the environment.


Person wearing green PFC jacket from Seasalt
  • Budget: ££ – £££
  • Caters for: men (S – XXL) and women (UK sizes 8 – 28)
  • Vegan-friendly: check each item description
  • PFC-free: yes
  • Available from: Seasalt

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, its lower pricing and more inclusive sizing, combined with the use of innovative sustainable waterproof fabrics on their coats make them better than most other high street choices.

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, Seasalt’s 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. These are finished with a PFC-free waterproofing treatment to keep you dry without a toxic footprint.


People on a glacier wearing Cotopaxi jackets
  • Budget: £ – £££
  • Caters for: men (sizes S – XL) and women (sizes XS – L)
  • Vegan-friendly: Check individual item descriptions
  • PFC-free: It’s complicated. Some products are PFC-free, but as Cotopaxi utilise remnant fabric sourced from other manufacturers some lines do contain PFCs. The team is working to make all products PFC-free.
  • Available from: Ellis Brigham

Cotopaxi is all about ‘gear for good’. This outdoor brand has rigorous ethical manufacturing standards and is certified climate-neutral. It even offers a grant scheme that supports organisations fighting global poverty.

When it comes to its ethical coats, Cotopaxi prioritises the use of recycled, reclaimed and repurposed fabrics. It often makes use of leftover fabrics discarded by other manufacturers for a zero-waste approach to manufacturing. The result is a vibrant patchwork-style design distinctive to Cotopaxi.

With a retro-inspired aesthetic – channelling the best bits of the 80s – coupled with modern design standards, these timeless jackets are ones that you will reach for year after year.


Person wearing a green padded jacket from Passenger clothing
  • Budget: ££ – £££
  • Caters for: Women (UK sizes 8 – 16)
  • Vegan-friendly: Check individual item descriptions
  • PFC-free: Yes
  • Available from: John Lewis

British outdoors brand Passenger makes eco-conscious outdoor clothing for all of life’s adventures. 

Its wide range of ethical coats and jackets are all made from responsible materials, such as recycled polyester, and insulated with vegan-friendly recycled insulation. These are then all finished with PFC-free water-repellent coatings as standard.

What’s also to love is that Passenger plants a tree with every order placed. Passenger additionally donates each month to The Rainforest Trust, to protect existing trees and soils all over the world. Each month Passenger protects a minimum of 65 acres with each donation.


Person wearing a patagonia ethical puffer jacket
  • Budget: £££
  • Caters for: men (XS – XXL) and women (XS – XL)
  • Vegan-friendly: Check individual item descriptions
  • PFC-Free: Not always. Many products are, but some still are coated with PFCs. Patagonia aims to produce all of its water-repellent finishes without PFCs by 2024.
  • Available from: Ellis Brigham

As one of the original ethical outdoor retailers, Patagonia is another top choice for more sustainable coats and jackets. 

Firstly, Patagonia rejects fast fashion by creating high-quality, long-lasting products. To support this, it offers a free repair service, as well as advice on carrying out your own repairs to help make your Patagonia pieces last as long as possible.

Patagonia also prioritises sustainable fabrics. This means a high proportion of Patagonia’s materials are made from recycled fabrics – including polyester, nylon, and wool – whilst all of its cotton is certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).


Person wearing a Komodo ethical coat
  • Budget: ££ £££
  • Caters for: Men ( S – XL) and women (UK size 8 – 16)
  • Vegan-friendly: yes
  • PFC-free: no information available
  • Available from: Immaculate Vegan

One of the first ethical clothing brands – running since 1988 – Komodo sells ethically sourced, organic fashion that’s every bit as stylish as ethical.

Unlike some of the other brands featured in this post, Komodo’s ethical coat range is stylish, rather than outdoorsy.

Some coats and jackets are made from vegan-friendly natural fibres. Meanwhile, some of the more water-resistant coats are made using innovative vegan fabrics, such as green PU coatings and recycled plastic bottles.

The brand is also both GOTS-certified and a member of the Soil Association. These certifications mean Komodo’s cotton is certified organic. What’s more, Komodo no longer uses single-use plastic in its supply chain.

And as a member of 1% for the Planet, Komodo donates to the Sumatran Orangutan Society. This charity is restoring natural rainforests and ecosystems, through the purchase and repurposing of palm oil plantations.

Get 10% off your first order when you sign up for the Immaculate Vegan newsletter.

Thought Clothing

thought ethical autumn coat
  • Budget: £ – £££
  • Caters for: Men (XS – 3XL) and women (UK sizes 6 – 20)
  • Vegan-friendly: check individual item descriptions
  • PFC-free: No information available
  • Available from: John Lewis

Finally, Thought is another great place to look for stylish non-outdoorsy ethical coat options for men and women.

This sustainable brand sources natural, eco-friendly yarns that use less water, fewer pesticides, and create fewer carbon emissions. And then Thought upcycles its leftover fabric at the source to reduce waste and create new products.

Thought also makes its clothes from start to finish in the same country. This prevents them from being shipped from country to country, for example, to add buttons or zips, which is a common practice within the fashion industry.

What If Your Budget Doesn’t Stretch This Far?

Coats are always an investment purchase, and some of these ethical coats are expensive – as they should be if everyone within the supply chain is getting paid a living wage. 

If these coats don’t fit within your budget, 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, and look after it so that it lasts as long as possible.

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, or other online secondhand clothing sites, are great places to look and pick up a sustainable bargain. 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 nine 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.

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 can, but it 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!

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