If you live in an area that has cold winters, a good coat is a must. But not all coats are eco-friendly. Here are some tips for finding the right coat that matches your personal principles.
Avoid Harmful Chemicals
Winter jackets are often treated with various chemicals in order to waterproof them. Do your research to avoid any products with PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals). PFCs have been found even in the Artic due to evaporation from treated garments, and accumulate in the livers of polar bears and human blood. Review and reports by various groups such as Greenpeace can help you stay safe and also protect the environment.
Consider All the Components That Go into a Coat
The more elements that make up the coat, the less green and sustainable it is likely to be. A woolen winter coat or synthetic puffer coat make from recycled plastic, for example, is a lot less resource heavy than a fashionable sports jacket with buttons, zippers, snaps, lining, and so on.
These coats would also be less likely to be treated with chemicals to make them waterproof, and therefore less likely to pollute the environment or the water supply.
Wax coats are the number one choice for farmers and outdoors people in the UK, but they can lose their water- repellent qualities over time. Fortunately, you can re-wax them, keeping them going for years.
A Long-Lasting Coat
Look for durability and repairability. How tough is the coat, and how easy is it to repair if it does get damaged? How biodegradable is it if it really can’t be repaired? If the coat doesn’t keep you warm or remain waterproof, it could end up in landfill.
How Much Coat Do You Really Need?
Most coat owners don’t live in the Arctic tundra. If you spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter and wet for work or recreation, then it makes sense to opt for a “super coat” that will keep you warm in even the toughest conditions. Otherwise, you can afford to go with a less high-tech coat.