The 7 Best Eco-Friendly Coats and Jackets of 2022

Patagonia's Nano Puff hoody is our top choice.

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Rack of winter coats

Courtesy of Getty

Fast fashion is contributing to the steady decline of our planet. Synthetic fibers such nylon and polyester, which are widely used in coats, jackets and other outerwear, are known to contribute to the microplastic pollution, which has been found as far away as Antarctica by scientists. The fashion industry accounts for an estimated 10% 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. More manufacturers are turning to renewable energy to help cut planet-heating pollution, better materials, and more sustainable dying practices to help address the problem.

We’ve compiled this guide of the best eco-friendly coats and jackets for every budget and style.

Best Overall: Patagonia Nano Puff® Hoody

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Patagonia Women's Nano Puff® Hoody

Courtesy of Patagonia

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% carbon neutral by 2025. As of fall 2022, 87% of company's garments now use recycled materials, including our firm favorite on this list, the Nano Puff Hoody. 

The 100% recycled polyester shell of this cozy puffer jacket reduces carbon emissions by 59% over virgin polyester. It’s then packed full of PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco, synthetic down made from 100% 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.

Available in men's and women's sizes, 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 for Winter: Fjallraven Vidda Pro Wool Padded Jacket

Fjallraven Vidda Pro Wool Padded Jacket

Courtesy of Backcountry

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. It's available in both men's and women's sizes.

The water-resistant outer shell is made from their trademarked G-1000® Eco. This material is constructed from 65% recycled polyester and 35% organic cotton, both of which are alternatives to highly polluting fabrics commonly used across the industry. An 82% 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 company, which means you won’t find this chemical anywhere in their product line.

Best Dress Coat: Christy Dawn The Primrose Coat

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Christy Dawn Primrose Coat

Christy Dawn

Embrace harmony with the planet and a drop-dead gorgeous aesthetic with this coat from sustainable fashion brand Christy Dawn. Full-length with bell sleeves and loop-button closure, 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 its products, Christy Dawn not only prevents unused fabric from going into landfill, but also ensures that each item it makes is practically one-of-a-kind. As such, there are rarely more than a handful of items from each piece of leftover material, so items may go out of stock quickly.

Best Reversible: Frank And Oak Printed Skyline Maxi Bomber

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Frank and Oak Printed Skyline Maxi Bomber

Frank and Oak

This lovely reversible coat has a smooth look on one side and diamond-shaped quilting with a floral print on the other side. Both sides have a set of pockets, and the jacket can be machine washed. The Skyline Maxi is designed to be worn either alone or under another coat. It’s crafted from recycled polyester and filled with a vegan down-alternative call Thermore Ecodown, which is made from recycled plastic bottles. 

Frank and Oak is a Certified B Corporation, and is also working to make all its packaging materials recyclable or biodegradable.

Best Raincoat: Tentree Nimbus Short Rain Jacket

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Tentree Nimbus Short Rain Jacket

Courtesy of Tentree

We love this raincoat from Tentree because it has so many thoughtful details. Made from recycled polyester, its waterproof coating is free from PFCs, and the lining is BlueSign certified free from harmful chemicals. It has plenty of protected pockets to keep what you need to carry dry, with one interior chest pocket and two zippered front pockets. 

We also love that Tentree supports reforestation projects with every purchase, and is certified Climate Neutral.

Best for Travel: Nau Traveler Jacket

Nau Traveler Jacket

Courtesy of Nau

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.

Most Cozy: Outerknown Dorset Car Coat

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Outerknown Dorset Car Coat

Outerknown

If you want to make wearing a jacket feel more like wrapping yourself in a blanket, this fuzzy sherpa car coat should feel just right. It's a fun take on a classic silhouette. The fabric is 100% polyester made from recycled materials (like disposable plastic water bottles). The jacket has two outer pockets, and is cut to layer easily over other cold weather essentials, like sweatshirts and sweaters. 

Outerknown works with Fair Trade USA and the their labor standards are accredited by the Fair Labor Association.

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. For a dressy look, consider The Primrose Coat from Christy Dawn.

What to Consider When Shopping for Eco-Friendly Coats and Jackets

Do You Need a New One?

The most eco-friendly option is to use the clothes you already own until they wear out. Even those pieces of clothing you buy with the intention of keeping for the long haul come at their own environmental price. Before you buy new, consider checking out thrift shops, vintage stores, or online consignment sites to see if they have a coat or jacket that meets your needs.

Animal Materials

One of the first choices you’ll need to make when it’s time to shop for winter wear is if you prefer to avoid all animal products. On one hand, some vegans feel that it’s unethical to wear wool, silk, leather, down, or fur.

On the other hand, materials such as wool and down feathers are natural, can last a long time, and are biodegradable. Down in particular is a very common fill used in puffy winter jackets. Industry certifications, such as the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) and Responsible Wool Standard promise the highest possible welfare for animal-derived products. Swapping out animal products may mean choosing more fossil-fuel derived synthetic materials. 

Some of the garments on this list contain down. If you’re keen to avoid any animal products in your clothing, we’ve also published an article covering the best vegan coats.

Certifications

Weather or not your jacket has down or not, you can look for BlueSign and OEKO-TEX certifications. These certifications ensure that fabrics and textiles don’t contain toxic chemicals or dyes. If your garment uses natural materials, you can look for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which promises sustainable farming techniques for fibers like cotton. 

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.

View Article Sources
  1. Cunningham, EM, Ehlers, SM, Dick, JTA, Sigwart, JD, Linse, K, Dick, JJ and Kiriakoulakis, K. “High Abundances of Microplastic Pollution in DeepSea Sediments: Evidence from Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.” Environmental Science and Technology. ISSN 0013-936X

  2. How Much Do Our Wardrobes Cost to the Environment?The World Bank.