The 8 Best Eco-Friendly Coats and Jackets of 2021

Bundle up without the environmental burden

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The Rundown
"Don’t choose this jacket just for its eco-conscious manufacturing, it’s hugely versatile too."
"A classic point collar and front patch pockets add a modern edge to this snuggly coat."
"Inspired by the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, there’s no occasion Arc’teryx's Thorsen Parka won’t handle."
"The Vidda Pro Wool jacket will stave off even the chilliest of days, without leaving behind a heavy environmental footprint."
"This flattering down parka is made with a 100 percent recycled nylon shell and 100 percent recycled down insulation."
"Embrace harmony with the planet and a drop-dead gorgeous aesthetic thanks to this wool coat."
"This hooded jacket isn’t messing around when it comes to being eco-friendly."
"Lightweight and designed for mild conditions, this jacket is everything you need for your next trip. "

Fast fashion is contributing to the steady decline of our planet, but even those pieces of clothing you buy with the intention of keeping for the long haul come at their own environmental price. Synthetic fibers such nylon and polyester, which are widely used in coats, jackets and other outerwear, are known to contribute to the microplastic pollution of our oceans, having been found as far away as Antarctica by scientists

More frighteningly still, the fashion industry accounts for an estimated 10 percent of global carbon emissions, and contributes to major water pollution problems in the countries where manufacturing is concentrated.

Luckily, our wardrobes don’t have to quite literally cost us the Earth. The apparel industry is flourishing with brands finding a different path. Eco-friendly fashion doesn’t mean missing out on practicality or style. Recycled nylon and polyester, made from regenerated carpet or plastic bottles, can now be found replacing virgin materials, and more manufacturers are turning to renewable energy to help cut planet-heating pollution.

Industry certifications, such as the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) and Responsible Wool Standard also promise the highest possible welfare for animal-derived products such as down and wool, while others give a second lease of life to these materials by recycling them from other uses—which not only extends their lifespan, but minimizes their environmental footprint, too. If you’re keen to avoid any animal products in your clothing, we’ve also published an article covering the best vegan coats.

Picking out environmentally conscious brands and high-quality products is what we do best, so we’ve compiled this guide of the most eco-friendly coats and jackets for every budget and style.

Best Overall: Patagonia Nano Puff® Hoody

Patagonia Women's Nano Puff® Hoody

There’s one incontestable leader when it comes to eco-friendly outerwear and they likely need little introduction. Patagonia is making striking advances when it comes to sustainability in their range of activewear, with the company set to go 100 percent carbon neutral by 2025. Sixty eight percent of their lines now use recycled materials, including our firm favourite on this list, the Nano Puff Hoody. 

The 100 percent recycled polyester shell of this cozy puffer jacket reduces carbon emissions by 59 percent over virgin polyester. It’s then packed full of PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco, synthetic down made from 100 percent recycled post-consumer waste. What’s more, the company operates a guarantee on all purchases, and will even repair items for free to ensure they last for your lifetime, at least. 

Available in male and female styles, don’t choose this jacket just for its eco-conscious manufacturing. It’s a hugely versatile coat that’s guaranteed to become your go-to, whether you’re at home or out in the backcountry. 

Best Budget: Everlane The Wool Mackinaw Jacket

Everlane The Wool Mackinaw Jacket

Nothing says “the season’s must-have” like a 100 percent recycled and fully eco-friendly jacket, from the sustainable brand Everlane. A classic point collar and front patch pockets add a modern edge to this snuggly coat, which is made from a blend of 75 percent wool, 23 percent nylon and 2 percent other fibers. All are on their second lease of life and built to be both timeless and, most importantly, last. 

Sustainability isn’t the only thing this brand is passionate about. Everlane also includes transparent pricing diagrams on each of its product pages, so you know exactly what each step of the process costs to make, including their commitment to paying fair and just wages to their workers. As a result, Everlane products are significantly more affordable to the consumer because they’re not adding a huge margin on top of manufacturing costs.

Best Luxury: Arc’teryx Thorsen Parka

Arc’teryx Thorsen Parka

If there’s a company that excels at high-performance technical features all while oozing style, it’s got to be Arc’teryx. Inspired by the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, there’s pretty much no occasion their Thorsen Parka won’t handle. A GORE-TEX outer shell provides hefty protection against wind and rain, while the down insulation promises exceptional warmth-to-weight ratio and resilience. It’s also been certified according to the Responsible Down Standard, for extra ethical brownie points. 

As a company founded in the outdoors by people who love it, there’s a lot to like about its approach to the environment and how that impacts manufacturing. While Arc’teryx's products are expensive, they’re built to last, so an investment in this coat is an investment in the future, too. Additionally, the company is a founding signatory of the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, and is active in helping the fashion industry to meet the Paris Agreement targets.

Best for Winter: Fjallraven Vidda Pro Wool Padded Jacket

Fjallraven Vidda Pro Wool Padded Jacket

You might not know how to pronounce it, but we can guarantee you’ll be hearing this company’s name a lot in the future. Swedish brand Fjällräven specializes in cold weather clothing to survive the extremes of a Scandinavian winter—and their Vidda Pro Wool jacket will stave off even the chilliest of days, without leaving behind a heavy environmental footprint.

The water-resistant outer shell is made from their trademarked G-1000® Eco. This material is constructed from 65 percent recycled polyester and 35 percent organic cotton, both of which are alternatives to highly polluting fabrics commonly used across the industry. An 82 percent wool filling, sourced as surplus wool from suppliers in Italy or from local farms in Sweden, mixed with a bioplastic made from corn starch, add to the list of this jacket’s eco-credentials. Wool is exceptionally warm and moisture-wicking, too. 

What’s more, while fluorocarbons may be favored by the outdoor industry for their dirt and water resistance, they don’t break down in nature and are a suspected carcinogen. Fjällräven is a committed fluorocarbon-free zone, which means you won’t find this chemical anywhere in their product line.

Best Down: Nau Windward Insulated Button Up Parka

Nau WINDWARD INSULATED BUTTON UP PARKA

Eco-conscious and strikingly stylish are words that you may think don’t go readily together. But we’ve got proof that jackets can be both beautiful to wear and beautiful for the planet: the Windward parka. Available in two sleek colors (we love Caviar), this flattering down parka brings a 100 percent recycled nylon shell and 100 percent recycled down insulation to the table—and boy does it look good! 

Nau’s commitment to sustainability is so great they’ve narrowed it down to only ten materials that are eco-friendly enough to be incorporated into their clothing, all of which have been backed up by industry-leading certifications. You can guarantee that the clothes you buy are legitimately environmentally conscious; this company certainly isn’t a participant in the corporate greenwashing that’s rife within the fashion industry.

Best Wool: Christy Dawn The Vera Coat

Christy Dawn The Vera Coat

Embrace harmony with the planet and a drop-dead gorgeous aesthetic thanks to this wool coat from sustainable fashion brand Christy Dawn. Full-length with notch lapels for subtle styling, this coat is a truly show stopping addition to your eco-friendly wardrobe, whether dressed down with a casual outfit or worn to impress with business wear.  

Part of the appeal of this brand is their use of deadstock, a term that refers to fabrics left over by other fashion houses, who overestimated their needs. By using only these types of fabrics from which to craft their products, Christy Dawn not only prevents unused fabric from going into landfill, but they also ensure that each item they make is practically one-of-a-kind. As such, they rarely make more than a handful of items from each piece of leftover material, so this is exclusive fashion that’s both affordable and ethical.

Best Hooded: Outerknown Evolution Hooded Jacket

Outerknown Evolution Hooded Jacket

Looking for a midweight jacket that’ll have your back in even the most unsettled weather? This hooded coat isn’t messing around when it comes to being eco-friendly. One hundred percent recycled, it uses a ECONYL® shell made from fabric scraps, carpet flooring, and industrial plastics that are regenerated into a wam and water-resistant outer. 

For insulation, recycled polyester made from plastic bottles prevent the need for virgin synthetics, while the yarn used to bring this sustainable masterpiece together is woven from repurposed fishing nets. On a brand level, an impressive 90 percent of all materials they use are recycled, while they’re Fair Labor Association accredited — which means ethical social practices are assured also.

Best for Travel: Nau Traveler Jacket

Nau Traveler Jacket

Lightweight and perfectly designed for mild conditions, this jacket in a utilitarian, topcoat style promises to be everything you need on your next urban adventure. One hundred percent recycled nylon has been crafted into a tailored, oversized jacket with a whole host of pockets for storing everything you need for sightseeing or exploring. 

A quirky luggage tag on one sleeve ensures you’re prepared for take-off, while the two color shades — in dark frond or yellow — allow you to pick the one that best suits your personality and mood.

Final Verdict

For practicality and a guarantee that you’re sourcing from a brand fundamentally committed to saving our planet, opt for our number one choice, the Nano Puff Hoody (view at Patagonia). Getting versatility and eco-friendly manufacturing down to a T, this coat will perform, whatever the occasion.

Alternatively, for a gorgeous and truly one-of-a-kind option, choose The Vera Coat (view at Christy Dawn). Lovingly made from deadstock, you’re keeping fabric out of landfill, while looking stunning at the same time.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Steph Dyson is a long-time advocate for slow fashion, with a focus on durable, lasting materials whose carbon footprint decreases with their longevity. A fan of the outdoors, she’s trialled numerous activewear brands, as well as enjoyed looking sleek in more stylish, eco-friendly choices around town.