The 7 Best Pairs of Eco-Friendly Winter Gloves

Stave off the cold with these sustainable gloves.

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Playing with gloves in the snow

Jasmin Merdan / Getty

When your breath starts appearing in the air, it's time to consider how you'll keep your hands warm. Nothing ruins skiing and snowball fighting season quite like cold fingers, so a warm and cozy pair of gloves can make or break a crisp winter's day.

But toasty fingers are just one consideration when shopping for a new pair of gloves, particularly since the United Nations estimates that the fashion industry generates between 2% and 8% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. This makes a pair of eco-friendly winter gloves a great investment, for both yourself and the environment, because buying textiles from companies who don't minimize their ecological impact is so last season.

The best eco-friendly winter gloves for you can come in many forms, with manufacturers employing a wide variety of recycled materials and organic textiles.

Best Overall

Icebreaker Unisex Merino Quantum Gloves

Icebreaker Unisex Merino Quantum Gloves

Icebreaker

Naturally odor-resistant, merino wool terry is a warm and natural fabric for gloves that’ll last for many years to come. The Icebreaker Merino Quantum Gloves are our top choice for most circumstances, with a mid-weight thickness that combines merino wool with tech-friendly touches like touchscreen fingers and elastane for an easy fit. We also like that they're machine washable.

Icebreaker sources its wool from 70 merino sheep growers across New Zealand (they even publish a map of the flocks), and regularly audit for animal welfare and eco-friendly practices, like free-roaming pastures. Nor are any of the sheep providing their merino wool subjected to mulesing: a surgical practice that can make a flock easier to maintain, but scars the animals.

But more than the eco-friendly materials, what will stand out about the Icebreaker Merino Quantum Gloves are their lightweight, non-itchy warmth, with enough breathability to keep your hands from getting clammy.

Price at time of publish: $50

Best Budget

Frank And Oak The Merino Wool Gloves

Frank And Oak The Merino Wool Gloves in Black

Frank And Oak

Another pair made from cruelty free Merino wool, Frank And Oak's gloves are among the more affordable options we found. They can reach further up the arm for added coverage, or be folded down at the cuff, but ether way the extra length can help you stay a little warmer. They're machine washable, and come in two colors—black or pink lilac.

Price at time of publish: $19

Best for Kids

Patagonia Kids' Synchilla Fleece Gloves

5
Patagonia Kids' Synchilla Fleece Gloves

Backcountry

Patagonia's fleece gloves are both warm and durable enough for kids who spend all winter outdoors. Made from 100% recycled polyester, the Kids' Synchilla Fleece Gloves are durably constructed, with a nylon microsuede palm for additional reinforcement. The double-faced fleece is soft on the inside, while the elasticized wrists keep out the cold. E-tips on the index finger and thumb also allow for easy scrolling without the risk of chilly fingers. Since kids love to lose things, the Synchilla gloves also have a built-in clasp for keeping the pair together.

Available in three sizes, the Kids' Synchilla Fleece Gloves run large, so kids can grow into them.

Price at time of publish: $35

Best for Biking

Isadore Merino Gloves

Isadore Merino Gloves

Isadore

Love winter cycling but hate frozen fingers? These merino gloves from cycling brand Isadore use a blend of 80% merino wool and 20% nylon, combining high durability with wool's capacity for keeping you warm even when damp. Designed by Slovakian pro cyclist Martin Velits, the Isadore Merino Gloves are fast drying, with touch screen fingertips and silicone dots across the palm for a reliable handlebar grip.

Isadore is both OEKO-TEX and bluesign certified, verifying its materials are harmless to human health and use sustainable practices throughout its supply chain. Isadore Merino Gloves are available in four sizes and come in compostable packaging.

Price at time of publish: $47

Best Organic Cotton

Rawganique HAYDN 100% Organic Cotton Gloves

Rawganique HAYDN 100% Organic Cotton Gloves

Rawganique

Claiming to be the world’s first 100% organic cotton gloves, Rawganique's HAYDN Organic Cotton Gloves are completely synthetic free, without polyester, elastic, or latex, making them both eco-conscious and a good pick for people with latex sensitivities.

HAYDN gloves are vegan, biodegradable, and made from 100% organic cotton. Suitable for year-round wear, Rawganique's gloves are thick enough for cool days, but should be supplemented with a pair of shell glove or mittens on frigid or damp days.

Rawganique's HAYDN Organic Cotton Gloves are available in five sizes and four styles, including an unbleached, dye-free white and three biodegradable "eco-dyed" colors.

Price at time of publish: $28

Best for Skiing and Snowboarding

686 Linear Under Cuff Glove

686 Linear Under Cuff Glove

686

Employing a 2-layer durable water repellent coating that's more eco-friendly than PFOA (a long-lasting environmental contaminant and carcinogen), 686 Infiloft Recon Gloves are both waterproof and breathable. The Recons are also excellent at keeping the snow out, with both an adjustable Velcro cuff and elastic wrist cord. Other thoughtful features important to snowboarders and skiiers include touchscreen-friendly fingertips, a wrist leash, and even a patch of soft fabric on the thumb, so you can wipe snow from your face without irritation.

686 is a climate neutral certified company, and purchasing its products support an array of charitable initiatives.

Price at time of publish: $65

Best Convertible

Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece Gloves

Patagonia Better Sweater™ Fleece Gloves

REI

Love wearing mittens but like the versatility of a glove? These fleece gloves with a sweater-knit exterior and fleecy interior are the perfect fingerless glove and mitten combo for kids and big kids alike. Built to keep out the cold, they feature elasticated wrists for trapping warm air in and are made from 100 recycled polyester spun from recycled plastic bottles.

Price at time of publish: $55

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick, Icebreaker's Merino Quantum Gloves, are made with ethically-sourced wool and can be machine washed. For a more versatile option, which combines all the best parts of gloves and mittens, check out the Better Sweater Fleece Gloves from Patagonia, which are cute, cozy, and perfect for every age.

What to Look for in Eco-Friendly Gloves

Materials

Keeping your fingers warm is the number one goal of winter gloves, which is why the type of material they’re made from is so crucial. Natural fabrics such as merino wool and cashmere offer excellent sustainable insulation and moisture wicking properties, which keeps your hands warm but not clammy. Synthetic materials, such as polyester, are also excellent for warmth as they’ve been designed to repel, rather than absorb moisture, as well as stopping the exit of warm air from the fabric, thus making your hands feel warmer.

Waterproof

Nothing is worse in winter than chilly and damp fingers, so avoid cotton if the weather is looking wet, or if your outdoor activities include playing with snow (or wiping out in it). While Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coatings are one option, providing waterproof warmth that will keep your hands dry, our wool picks take a different approach, keeping you warm even when they're a little damp. For normal winter activities, wool should provide enough insulation, but more intensive outdoor sports, such as skiing or waterboarding, will probably demand a specifically waterproof pair of gloves or mittens.

Why Trust Treehugger?

We researched dozens of eco-friendly winter gloves to put together this list, with a particular focus on those using organic or recycled materials. We also picked companies with a verifiably eco-friendly track record, with audits and third-party certifications demonstrating sustainable practices throughout the manufacturing process.

Steph Dyson is a travel writer and sustainability expert who’s committed to helping consumers reduce their environmental impact by being more conscious with their purchases. She believes that consuming less, and buying garments that are more durable and can last longer, are important ways in which each of us can reduce our environmental impact.