As we move towards the end of November, most of us are starting to feel the cold. If the sudden drop in temperature has caught you out and left you unprepared, it’s easy to head to the high street to pick up a few bargain jumpers and coats. But with polyester and cotton being the materials of choice, as well as a dubious ethical background for some, it can be difficult to keep your purchase eco friendly. Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways to grab yourself some warm and cosy winter clothing the green and ethical way.
Buy second hand
Just like buying any clothes, heading to your local charity or second hand shop is a great idea when looking for clothes to keep warm this winter. Buying second hand means offsetting the carbon generated through the manufacture and transport of a new garment. It also means a new home for an old, unwanted item which may otherwise end up in a landfill site. Charity shops are a great place for old, yet high quality woollen jumpers which are perfect for winter. You might also be lucky enough to find vintage jackets in good condition. Don’t be put off if one shop doesn’t have what you need, keep on looking, there’s always plenty to be found at a fraction of the price of buying brand new.
Hand-me-downs and swaps
Hand-me-downs may not be the most fashionable suggestion on the list, but are one of the quickest, cheapest and easiest ways to get hold of some warm clothes for winter. Hand-me-downs have always been popular amongst families, with clothing being passed down from sibling to sibling, but there’s no reason why you should stop once you grow up! A more contemporary and sociable alternative is clothes swapping, or swishing. Get a group of friends together and swap your unwanted clothes amongst yourselves, letting you all have some new items for free! Swishing parties operate on a larger scale, and can see you swapping clothes with people from all across your local area. Find out how I got on at a Swishing party here.
One of the best things about growing environmental awareness is the number of designers and brands producing eco friendly lines of clothing. There are plenty of ways to discover designers of new and beautiful eco friendly clothing online, especially those who produce warm and snuggly winter clothes. Some of my favourites include:
Smart- Katie Fleece Cape by People Tree
Image sourced: The People Tree
This swing jacket with ¾ length sleeves is great for snuggling up in and perfect for wearing on top of a jumper or other layers to keep you feeling seriously cosy. People Tree are an eco friendly fashion company who work hand in hand with fair trade farmers and the artisans who create their garments, ensuring beautiful, green and exploitation-free clothing at a reasonable price.
Casual- Bamboo High Neck Hoodie by Bam
Image sourced: Bam Bamboo Clothing
Bam produce a range of clothing made from bamboo fibres which is as technical and suited for outdoor activities as it is ethical and eco friendly. Bamboo fibres are quick and easy to grow and produce and require minimal land and water, making them the perfect alternative to cotton. The bamboo fibres in this high neck hoodie work to wick sweat away from the skin, keeping it dry, which helps you to trap air, keeping you warm. Bam, use bamboo fibres to create a wide range of practical eco friendly clothing for all weather are an environmentally-minded company who treat their farmers, workers and customers fairly, whilst also proving to be active in planting trees and supporting rainforest conservation charities Rainforest Foundation and Rainforest Concern.
Performance- Generator Alpine Jacket by Rab
Image sourced: Rab
Rab are thought of as an outdoor clothing company before a “green” clothing company, but there’s no reason why a piece of their kit can’t have a host of green credentials at the same time! If you’re looking for performance clothing to spend your autumn and winter in the great outdoors, a high quality insulated jacket is what you need. The Generator Jacket uses a form of insulation called Primaloft, designed to deliver all the insulating properties of down even when wet. This makes it practical, affordable and also fully vegan. The jacket makes a great outer layer in cold weather and a waterproof can easily be thrown over it in the case of a downpour! As with all Rab kit, the Generator Jacket is made to last, and many Rab customers find that products they buy have lasted upwards of 25 years. By using the care and repair service provided by Rab and making sure you take proper care of your winter clothing, you may find you need never buy another warm jacket.
Featured image sourced: Maarten Vissertagsclothingsustainable fabricswinter