Style & Design I write about fashion and lifestyle for Forbes Finds.
Canada Goose (GOOS) stock has grown an impressive 175% in the past year, underscoring the consumers’ love affair with this jacket style. Since its inception, the brand continues to capitalize on its main product offering – its signature parka jacket. However, the brand’s success has a drawn a rather large group of critics. While demand for down-filled jackets does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon, modern consumers increasingly are questioning the ethics of the feather industry.
Among the cruelty-free fashion movement’s critics, the main argument against the use of synthetic fibers is their inability to biodegrade. However, following PrimaLoft’s October 2018 announcement of its first 100% recyclable, biodegradable, PrimaLoft Bio, it is clear that the industry is making innovative strides. One day, down alternatives might join its cruelty-free fur counterparts in the mass movement to create a more ethically and environmentally-minded fashion industry.
Here are five down-alternative jackets to stay comfortable and chic throughout the colder season ahead.
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Hoodlamb was born out of a desire to create a truly sustainable, functional, and fashionable apparel label. The Amsterdam-based brand creates all of its products out of hemp seeds. Unlike animal-based or cotton textiles, hemp is a carbon negative material – meaning that its growth ultimately reduces the carbon emissions released into the atmosphere.
Through this durable fabric, the label creates clothes with the intention to serve both its customers and all other living beings on the planet. Hoodlamb is committed to fighting fashion’s throwaway culture, providing consumers with more sustainably-sourced products that can stand the test of time. Unlike the fast-fashion industry, Hoodlamb believes that consumers should shop with a quality over quantity mindsets. Buyers should look at their wardrobe staple items as investments pieces rather than vanity items with ephemeral lifespans. For sustainability and simplicity’s sake, it makes sense to pay more upfront for a garment that will continuously make you look and feel great for years to come.
In addition to their environmental efforts, the brand also is committed to promoting animal welfare. HoodLamb believes cruelty-free fashion is the way of the future and uses all animal-free materials to create its products.
With its signature parka-style jackets, Hoodlamb deliberately positions its products as more ethical alternatives to similar offerings from brands such as Canada Goose. Correspondingly, “Charmed” star Sarah Jeffery wore the brand’s parka in a recent campaign for peta2, the group’s youth program, encouraging consumers to embrace alternative-down apparel options.
The brand currently sells a variety of eco-down outerwear, knitwear, and organic hemp-cotton blend tee shirts via its website and select retail locations.
Shop Now: $259
Shop Now: $199
Founded in 1978, the upscale outerwear label believes that sustainability is the ultimate luxury. Through the brand’s cruelty-free, on-trend designs, Noize’s designs demonstrate that one should not have to sacrifice their values for the sake of style. With their emphasis on innovation and the usage of technologically-advanced textiles, the brand believes science enables us to combat the fashion industry’s negative environmental impact and reduce cruelty throughout every stage of its production supply chains.
Noize makes it part of the brand’s mission to combat the use of fur in the fashion industry, crafting its products out of high-quality faux fur, vegan leather, and down alternative materials. Made out of synthetic fibers, eco-conscious polyurethane (PU), and polyester materials, respectively, the brand makes garments that can withstand the elements, keeping you warm all winter long.
Noize acknowledges that some shoppers are skeptical as to whether down-alternative jackets can keep them as warm as the real thing. To put their concerns at ease, the brand makes it clear that, while their jackets are not laboratory-tested, every Canadian winter serves as an experiment in its own right. Season after season, the jackets continually withstand the region’s frigid temperatures and brisk seasonal climate. Noize’s products are wind and water resistant.
Shop Now: $349
Shop Now: $178
Save The Duck
Since 1914, the Forest family has been committed to providing consumers with water-resistant outerwear. In 2010, the third-generation owners of the Forest company founded Save The Duck. The brand prides itself on creating both functional and cruelty-free fashion items. Accordingly, using all animal-free materials is part of the brand’s DNA. As an alternative to bird-based down, the outerwear label fills its jackets with its exclusive PLUMTECH fabric.
Unlike its conventional polyester down alternatives, the textile’s padded design maintains its lightweight feel while mimicking the texture of soft animal feathers. Accordingly, the fabric was designed with the customer’s comfort in mind. With its breathable and insulating fibers, PLUMTECH enables the brand to leverage science to create both functional and fashionable jackets.
While the brand has a functional-fashion ethos and product range, Save The Duck ultimately positions itself as a luxury lifestyle brand. In January 2p18, the outerwear label partnered with streetwear brand, DYNE to create a cruelty-free line of jackets, sweats, and tees for the Fall/Winter 2018 season – further underscoring the brand’s cultural relevance.
Save The Duck’s merchandise can be found both on its website and at both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce retailers worldwide.