When autumn arrives and the cold creeps in, it’s time to start digging out our jumpers again. If you need to refresh your winter wardrobe, why not do it ethically? There are plenty of vegan-friendly coats, jackets, boots and shoes for different budgets – the trick is knowing where to find them
One of the best parts of winter is choosing a cosy coat, right? Shopping for vegan coats and jackets is easier than you might think, as various brands are swearing off animal-derived materials such as fur. Many popular brands use leather, down and wool in their outerwear, so if you’re shopping on the high street make sure you look out for these materials.
From practical parkas to trendy faux fur coats, you can find relatively low-cost vegan outerwear at stores like Debenhams, Oasis, River Island and Superdry. Double check the product information on high street retailers’ websites before buying, as their vegan-friendly items probably won’t be advertised as vegan. Sustainable brand Thought offers some reasonably priced coats and jackets for men and women, and Natural Collection has affordable ladies’ options too.
If you want to wrap up in a coat from a 100% vegan brand, this will usually cost more. However, products from brands like Hood Lamb are made with sustainable materials and will last longer than cheaper alternatives. Save the Duck produces some great-looking super-warm jackets that are good enough to get vegan mountaineer Kuntal Joisher to the summit of Everest.
Vegan Boots and Shoes
The go-to material for winter footwear is leather because it’s robust and goes with pretty much everything. Contrary to what many people think, leather isn’t a harmless by-product of the meat industry, which is why vegans opt for cruelty-free alternatives instead. Fortunately, you can keep your feet warm and dry in leather-like footwear that’s soft, supple and stylish to boot.
Shoe shopping on a budget? Koi Footwear has an impressive collection of fashionable vegan shoes and boots for women. Most high street brands such as Schuh, H&M and Marks and Spencer also sell wallet-friendly faux leather and suede footwear.
Be careful, though: some footwear may be made with imitation leather, but the adhesive is animal-based. If the shoes aren’t labelled clearly, you may have to directly contact the brand to confirm that no animal-derived materials have been used. PVC, polyurethane, rubber and fabric are materials commonly used in shoes which are suitable for vegans, but they’re not particularly eco-friendly.
For those who are able to spend a bit more on footwear, there are lots of vegan companies to choose from. Among the most popular brands are Beyond Skin, Vegetarian Shoes, Will’s Vegan Shoes, Noah, Bourgeois Boheme and Ethical Wares. Though not a fully vegan brand, Dr. Martens have an ever-growing range of vegan footwear for men and women.
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PAGE UPDATED MAY 2020