Like it or not, it’s just about time to start breaking out those sweaters and boots and jackets. Yes, the perfection of summer in Chicago is almost over and cruel tendrils of icy winds off the lake are creeping around the corner. If you’re as depressed as I am, take heart in a little retail therapy. As ever, here are seven eco-conscious picks that will keep you warm from now until the first snow. Ew.
Everlane is a perennial favorite among conscious shoppers. Their “radically transparent” motto means that everything is upfront — from the location the clothes were made to the price of the labor. On top of that, the clothes are just plain cool: minimalist shapes in timeless styles meant to be worn for years. The Cocoon Coat is no exception, with its menswear-inspired silhouette and beautiful double-faced wool. Perfect for late October when temps really take a dip.
Primarily made of recycled fishing nets, this cool puffy bomber jacket (this chic shape doesn’t seem to be going anywhere) is just what you need when evenings get cooler. And the Ecoalf isn’t stopping at nets when it comes to materials used to create their urban-cool fashion — they also use plastic bottles, recycled cotton, tires, coffee grounds, fishing nets, wool, and even collected ocean plastic from Spain and Thailand (the Spanish company even outfitted the Galician soccer club in recycled kits).
Sometimes, you just need a vest. This cute red number features a slightly elongated back, offering a slimming cut and the ideal vehicle for layering (stick a sweater underneath and you’ve got the perfect outfit for apple picking, just saying). Swellas clothes are sourced from upcycled fabrics discarded by other brands, reducing textile waste and creating limited-edition products to boot. The company has also partnered with Operation Warm, and has provided brand new winter coats to more than 1.2 million children living in poverty across America. Seems like a good incentive to get a vest in another color, too…
For those morning runs when there’s a chill in the air, this cool packable jacket is just what you need. It’s made from a waterproof, windproof fabric that’s super-breathable, thanks to underarm mesh. The material is also fluorocarbon free, which is better for both you and the environment, since those chemicals never break down and might be hazardous to your health.
Oh how I love a good trench. The timeless style manages to make even the shortest among us look willowy and hip, and this wool number is no exception. Plus, it’s got a hood! Perfect for those mid-November days when the wind chill somehow already feels subzero. The 100 percent wool coat is sustainably and ethically sourced, and 2 percent of every purchase is donated to their Partners for Change.
This organic blend hemp-canvas coat is just what September ordered. Great for layering, it cinches at the waist to give you some shape and keep you from feeling like you’re an actual toad. And if you were wondering, this company is basically full of eco-warriors. Featuring tons of recycled and low-impact materials, Toad & Co. is committed to making the earth a little cleaner. Plus, they are partners with a number of environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club and The Conservation Alliance.
Technically, this is a verging-on-winter coat and not a fall coat, but the weather in Chicago is often so insane that you’ll need something this heavy halfway through October (but don’t worry, it could be 60 degrees again in three days). This mid-length coat is made from 100 percent organic cotton canvas and the interior is 70 percent recycled polyester fleece. It cinches at the waist and zips as well as buttons for a smooth look that will keep you toasty warm on your commute.
More from Make It Better:
- Best of 2018: Shopping
- Fashion Trends: 6 Western-Inspired Pieces for Summer and Fall
- Why You Really Need to Wear Sunglasses More Often — Plus 7 Pairs We Love
Jessica Suss is a native Chicagoan residing in Washington, D.C. She is currently getting her master’s degree in secondary English education at the University of Maryland. She enjoys petting other people’s dogs and is faithful to Lou Malnati’s alone. Jessica is also a supporter of MAZON and No Kid Hungry.