Five of the best…eco friendly winter coats

| 27th September 2011
Whether you’re looking for a trench, a cape or a cocoon, Vanessa Jones has the skinny on the best eco-friendly outerwear around this winter

With October in sight and the temperature dropping, now is the time to start hunting around for the perfect winter coat.  But while the high street has plenty to offer, the plethora of polyester, cotton and lycra lining the rails mean that getting one that’s good for the environment as well isn’t an easy call.  Mystifyingly, even good old-fashioned English wool is hard to find  - particularly surprising given that its been keeping people warm for centuries. All is not lost, however, with a surfeit of eco-brands rising to the challenge of keeping us warm, chic and green simultaneously. So if you’re in the market for some eco-friendly outerwear but aren’t sure where to look, our round up of the best eco coats on the market is for you. The only difficulty is knowing which one to choose.

From Somewhere cocoon cape, £546
Why we love it:
Purveyors of recycled clothing since 1997; From Somewhere makes its pieces from proofs, swatches, production offcuts and roll ends. Not only is its chic grey cocoon cape totally on trend, it’s also made from 100 per cent wool and is cut along curvy lines which lends the often-androdynous cape, a feminine edge.
How to wear it: Pale grey goes with practically everything, so throw it on over suits, dresses or just jeans and a jumper. You might have to edit your choice of bag though: cross body shapes such as satchels are impossible with a cape and we should know: we’ve tried it.
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MaxJenny Origami jacket, £455
Why we love it:
Right now, Denmark’s MaxJenny is one of the most innovative print specialists around. Using fabric made from recycled PET plastic, her fantastically vibrant jacket offers a daring take on this season’s folk look. Thanks to its plastic orgins, it’s also waterproof, which means it will come in handy during an autumnal deluge.
How to wear it: This jacket is always going to be the main focus of any outfit so stick to simple shapes and basic colours underneath. If you’re feeling really brave, try wearing bright skinny jeans in a seasonal block colour teamed with a neutral sweater and the jacket on top for a bright and beautiful take on winter.
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Minna Peggy cape, £180
Why we love it:
Finnish designer Minna only uses local, recycled, organic and sustainable textiles and is loved for her ultra feminine, ultra pretty spin on eco fashion. The Peggy cape, made from end of the roll wool ends, is no different and comes complete with a quirky wolf brooch. What’s more, the inky or neutral shades it comes in make it a real forever piece that you can wear winter after winter.
How to wear: Team it with everything from denim to tailoring; it’s a real all round sartorial staple.
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Orla Kiely for People Tree trench coat, £150
Why we love it:
Everything People Tree does is Fairtrade and most of it is eco-friendly to boot, making it the number one destination for eco-conscious high street shoppers. Part of an Orla Kiely designed range, People Tree’s vibrant yellow trench is made with 100 per cent organic, Fairtrade certified cotton. What’s more, curry colours like mustard are one of this season’s biggest trends, so you’ll accrue serious style points.
How to wear it: Make like a Seventies stylista and team it with rust-red cords, or tone it down with dark denim and a chic white silk shirt.
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ASOS Africa belted trench coat, £75
Why we love it:
The ASOS Africa collection provides fair employment opportunities to underprivileged communities in Kenya and has produced some excellent – and ultra affordable – pieces. A beautiful classic trench, our chosen coat comes in a helpfully wearable shade and is a real modern classic that will see you effortlessly through the colder months and on into next spring.
How to wear it: The best thing about trench coats is their ability to look good with practically anything. Only one thing should be avoided and that’s skirts that poke out from under the hem of your coat so save midi and maxi skirts for non-trench days.
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