The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Sweaters & Outerwear

guide to sustainable sweaters and outerwear

My top tip for finding ethical winter wear?

Get it secondhand!

Winter wear, due to the quality and amount of materials used, can be an expensive investment, so if you’re budget conscious, balancing a few investment pieces with secondhand finds is your best bet.

I have a handful of cashmere and wool sweaters, a pair of snow boots, and a navy wool toggle coat all purchased for $30.00 or less from thrift shops. If thrifting isn’t your thing, try Ebay or Poshmark.

Still, sometimes you need to buy new.

Here are my picks for ethical, sustainable, and durable sweaters and outerwear…


Sizes XS-L.

Modern and minimalist cashmere and wool sweaters.


Sizes XXS-XL.

Wool, cashmere, and blended sweaters in classic and modern shapes.


Sustainable, alpaca sweaters made in Peru. This company is run by a guy who lives in Charlottesville; see photos from our shoot together here. (Backordered until March 2018 after a successful kickstarter)

Eileen Fisher

Sizes XXS-XL with Petite and Pluz size lines.

Sustainable and recycled natural fiber sweaters.

Thought Clothing

Sizes UK 8- UK 18.

Wool, hemp, and cotton sweaters and cardigans.

Krochet Kids

Sizes XS-L.

Fair trade sweaters, sweatshirts, and cardigans.

Indigenous Designs

Sizes XS-L.

Cotton, alpaca, and wool knitwear.

People Tree

Sizes XS-L.

Fair trade wool and organic cotton sweaters.


Sizes XS-XL

. Cotton french terry sweaters in modern shapes.


Sizes XXS-XL.

High tech winter gear made with recycled materials.


Sizes 00-12.

Wool and puffer coats made with high quality materials in regulated factories. I’m wearing their

Puffer Coat

in this post (Everlane sent a press sample to review).


Sizes UK 8-UK 18.

Dressy cotton and velvet coats.

Eileen Fisher

Sizes XS-XL.

Wool, alpaca, and puffer coats

Vaute Couture

Sizes XS-XXL.

Organic and recycled vegan coats.


I recommend Maggie’s Organics

My Everlane Puffer Coat Review

Size: Small

Typical Size: Small

I like this oversized puffer coat a lot. The arms are long enough, it doesn’t feel constricting in the shoulders, and it keeps me warm (using a military-approved, animal free down alternative). I tried this in 35 degree weather and felt quite comfortable. Plus, unlike my old puffer coat, the zipper isn’t broken! I would recommend this if you’re average height or taller (I’m 5’7″) and normally have issues with tight shoulders and too-short sleeves. The only thing I would change is the pockets – they would be better if they were slanted toward the side because my hands get cold easily and I always intend to use the pockets for added warmth. These are still useable, but not as comfortable as a slanted pocket would be.

guide to sustainable sweaters and outerwear

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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