The 9 Best Eco-Friendly Winter Gloves of 2022

Stave off the cold with these sustainable handwarmers.

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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 percent 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

Pangaia Recycled Cashmere Gloves

Pangaia Recycled Cashmere Gloves

Pangaia

Using a combination of recycled and virgin wool fibers, these Pangaia gloves provide all the luxury of cashmere while minimizing its ecological impact.

Unlike sheep, cashmere goats tear up grass by the roots as they eat, contributing to desertification. New, sustainable pasture practices supported by the United Nations Development Programme are showing a path to restoring grasslands in cashmere-producing countries like Mongolia, but recycled materials also have a role to play in relieving the demand.

The Pangaia Recycled Cashmere Gloves are 50 percent recycled cashmere from both pre- and post-consumer sources, blending production scraps and discarded material with virgin Mongolian cashmere fibers. The non-recycled wool used in the Pangaia gloves adheres to the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), which uses third-party auditors to verify that animal welfare and land management standards are upheld throughout the supply chain.

Pangaia's eco-friendly practices extend beyond material sourcing and manufacturing as well, with every product purchase contributing to environmental funds that support NGOs dedicated to honey bee health and tree restoration.

Available in six different colors, Pangaia also has coordinating hats and scarves, making Recycled Cashmere Gloves one potential component in your coordinated winter wardrobe.

Best for Men

Icebreaker Unisex Merino Quantum Gloves

Icebreaker Unisex Merino Quantum Gloves

Icebreaker

Less itchy than other wool and naturally odor-resistant, merino wool terry is the perfect fabric for gloves that’ll last for many years to come. The Icebreaker Merino Quantum Gloves are winter ready, with a midweight thickness that combines merino wool with tech-friendly touches like touchscreen fingers and elastane for an easy fit.

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.

Best for Women

Tentree Purcell Mittens

Tentree Purcell Mittens

Tentree

These cute as a kitten mittens from Tentree are 50 percent merino wool and 50 percent polyester made from recycled plastic bottles, creating a soft, warm blend of woolly and fleecy. Featuring a classic winter knit pattern, the Tentree Purcell Mittens have a roomy interior and a ribbed cuff to hold firm on your wrists.

Even compared to other eco-friendly companies, Tentree is remarkably transparent about their manufacturing and materials. A certified B Corporation, meaning its held to high standards for social and environmental impact, Tentree receives additional third-party auditing from Greenstep, which provides data for each product on water use, landfill waste and CO2 emissions. You can even check out information on each one of the factories used in their manufacturing. In accordance with its name, Tentree plants ten trees for each product purchased, purchasing additional carbon credits to maintain a climate neutral certification.

Tentree's mittens also come in fleecy gray, a cable knit pattern, or with a forest silhouette design.

Best for Kids

Patagonia Kids' Synchilla Fleece Gloves

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 percent 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.

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 percent merino wool and 20 percent 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.

Best Organic Cotton

Rawganique HAYDN 100% Organic Cotton Gloves

Rawganique HAYDN 100% Organic Cotton Gloves

Rawganique

Claiming to be the world’s first 100 percent 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 percent 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.

Best for Skiing and Snowboarding

686 Infiloft Recon Glove

686 Infiloft

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.

Best Mittens

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.

Best Made in the USA

Baabaazuzu Sweater Mittens

Baabaazuzu Sweater Mittens

Baabaazuzu

Designed to look the way your grandmother might have made them, these mittens from USA brand Baabaazuzu are achieving something remarkable: one-of-a-kind sweater gloves that look adorable, while helping to reduce landfill waste at the same time. 

Each month Baabaazuzu salvages 3,000 pounds of unsold felted wool sweaters destined for the garbage heap, then transforms them into casual and super cozy mittens. You can even send in your favourite sweater to be upcycled into a brand new pair of mittens.

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick, Pangaia's Recycled Cashmere Gloves (view at Pangaia), swaps virgin wool for recycled cashmere to create the softest winter gloves you’ll find. For a more versatile option, which combines all the best parts of gloves and mittens, check out the Better Sweater Fleece Gloves from Patagonia (view at REI), 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.