Getting a winter coat that fits your needs, your budget and your ethics can seem intimidating. Fortunately, there are companies specializing in this and The Fur-Bearers have some additional tips to help you find the perfect animal-free winter coat!
The number of companies selling animal-free products is growing in North America. A few of our favourites include Canadian brands Wuxly Movement and Noize Outerwear. Vaute Couture, which is based in New York City but ships to Canada, is also entirely animal free. An addition to this list from our supporters is Save The Duck, which offers entirely animal-free outerwear.
If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint and impact on the environment, buying used clothing – including outerwear – is one avenue worth exploring. Used clothing stores can be found in virtually any major city and in many other communities across Canada. But it isn’t just warehouse-style stores or small thrift shops that have outerwear that may fit your needs, remember to check surplus stores and used sports equipment stores, too. You can even check Kijiji or other online trade communities for a winter jacket (but make sure you’re being safe and using reasonable caution).
What To Look For
Fur is pretty easy to pick out on the trim of a jacket, even if sometimes it’s difficult to differentiate between faux and real furs. The quickest way to tell if fur is faux or real is to check the base of the fibres and see if you can identify a skin (real) or a synthetic material of some kind (faux). But if you want to be mindful of all animal products, here are a few things to keep in mind whether you’re buying used or new:
- Down. Some companies continue to use down feathers from various bird species as an insulator or filler in jackets. Unlike fur, down must be listed on the label of product in which it’s used. Check labels to see what filling or insulator is on the jacket you’re considering.
- Leather. Look for leather on tags, zippers and pockets. It does not need to be labelled.
- Other types of skin/fur: sheepskin, suede, wool, silk, cashmere and angora all have to be labelled on clothing products so long as they represent 5% “or more by mass of the total fibre mass of the article”.
Making these choices can come down to affordability and accessibility, privileges not everyone has. However, making a compassionate choice means doing the least harm you can, and the animals thank you for that. Did we miss your favourite fur-free or animal-free outerwear brand? Let us know! Comment on our social media pages or email info@TheFurBearers.com.