Shrimps AW16 (image: Shrimps)
If there’s one item that can make or break your winter season it’s a coat. From coats that go with everything, to a walking duvet, or a jaw-dropping statement, it’s all about the outerwear at this time of year. If you’ve got issues with fur, you’re not sure about leather and you’ve seen that PETA video about how duck down is extracted for puffer/down jackets (it’s not pretty) then winter coats can be a minefield littered with disappointments. However, you don’t have to sacrifice style for ethics – this is the 21st century people, we can do both.
Vaute Couture – parka
‘V’ is for vegan here so you know you’re on safe ground with this New York brand that uses innovative, high-tech, sustainable textiles, cut and sewn in NYC’s garment district ‘with love.’ If you thought fashion could do better than skinning and killing then this brand is living proof, with its ethical principles and cool, contemporary aesthetic. The 100% recycled parkas are our favourite, complete with Artic-ready insulation and ribbed sleeves to keep out the draughts.
Shrimps – faux fur
Shrimps AW16 (image: Shrimps)
Launched in 2013, Shrimps is the work of designer Hannah Weiland, a London College of Fashion graduate with a talent for combining textures and colours with bold flamboyancy. The label is renowned for its faux fur and has taken this fabric to new levels, making it much more covetable than the real thing. Beautifully made and innovatively styled – a perfect representation of how fashion can be both cool and kind.
Rejina Pyo – Josephine trench
Rejina Pyo AW16
London based label Rejina Pyo regularly produces pieces that blur the boundaries between art and fashion. The Josephine jacket, crafted entirely in beaten silver, is too cool (and cruelty free). We love the cinched waist and the enormous circular buckle, as well as the ever so exaggerated silhouette. The perfect coat for the British winter, bright even on a dull day.
Save The Duck
The agony behind a down coat is one of the fashion’s industry’s shameful secrets but thankfully Save The Duck is here to change all that. Instead of resorting to ripping feathers from ducks they use modern tech to fill their their coats and make them ultra cosy (they use PLUMTECH, a man made fabric that imitates the fluffiness of down). The coats are lightweight, warm and come in literally every colour you can think of. This juicy orange shade is a winner.
Stella McCartney – Fur Free Fur
Did you know that, thanks to farms in countries like China, fur has now become so widely available that it’s sometimes cheaper for brands to use than real fur? No, us neither. But Stella McCartney’s Fur Free Fur campaign is all about highlighting this disturbing new trend. Everything from the fur trim on a high street shop parka, to a pom pom on a key ring or hat could now be the real thing. We hate the idea of contributing to this cruel industry without even realising it. There are plenty of lower cost brands offering exceptional faux (see above) but if you’ve got the cash to splash Stella McCartney also has an incredibly glamorous range. Stella is also a great option for coats made from wool obtained by methods that won’t make you feel like a monster.