As the temperatures start to rapidly decline, it's time to think about winter gear for your head and that starts with warm & cozy sustainable winter hats. A new sustainable winter coat, boots and upcycled mittens are also a must but a stylish sustainable hat can make those frigid temperatures look really good!
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Choosing sustainable winter hats can be tricky - Here's what to look for:
When it comes to ethical fashion there are three main criteria we take into mind: the fabric and materials used, ethical sourcing, and corporate responsibility. These three criteria cover both how natural resources are used and how the workers are treated. It's about embracing slow fashion and avoiding the worst fast fashion brands as much as possible.
When choosing an eco-friendly winter hat or beanie look for sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, organic bamboo, linen, hemp, ethical wool, or recycled and upcycled brands, with certifications to verify the origins of these fabrics.
Some of the best certifications include Fair Trade, the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the Organic Content Standard (OCS), USDA-Certified Organic, the Recycled Claim Standard, the SCS Recycled Content Certification, Bluesign, the Better Cotton Standard, and OEKO-TEX® 100.
Top Picks for Sustainable Winter Hats
Encircled is one of the best slow fashion brands and offers all the cold-weather accessories you could invest in this fall, including their ethical beanies which are non-negotiable. I love this Canadian brand for so many reasons, style, comfort, quality, and price. They check all the boxes! They offer sustainable style basics to help you build a minimalist wardrobe that will keep you warm as the temperature plummet! You can wear this like you see it in the photo above or pull it forward on your forehead for a little extra warmth.
Encircled's fabrics and materials
All their clothes are impeccably made using sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, linen, modal, Lyocell, and bamboo rayon. Their eco-friendly winter hats are chunky knit, sure to keep you warm, and made using soft and durable recycled cotton yarn, "it's a hat you can feel good about while feeling good in it."
Encircled's ethical sourcing
Locally-made, consciously crafted with STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified fabrics. All their factories are local only 60km from their Toronto studio. On their website, you can learn about all the women that make their ethical clothing. I simply love the transparency of this company!
Encircled's corporate responsibility
Encircled is a certified B Corporation which means they are legally required to consider the impact of their business decisions on their workers, suppliers, community, the environment, and customers. Their sewing studios save all scrap fabric and upcycle it into accessories. $23
This lux-eco brand is like the who's who of sustainable fashion houses. Eileen Fisher is well known for her timeless pieces, she started this brand back in 1984 with $350 in savings. Today, her collection of sustainable clothing, shoes, and accessories is coveted by many of us. If you are looking for sustainable basics like tanks and tees or invest pieces like the perfect LBD you will find it here.
EF carries some of the best sustainable winter hats and beanies made from recycled cashmere and wool. They come in a selection of bold vivid colors, it's a slouchy hat; not too tight and so warm and won't mess up your hair too much!
Eileen's fabrics and materials
You will find a fabulous selection of organic fabrics like cotton and linen. All of their organic cotton is grown in Mexico with a third-generation cotton farmer. No synthetic fertilizers, synthetic herbicides, or synthetic pesticides here!
Along with organic cotton, you will also find responsible wool, recycled cashmere, and nylon. When it comes to dyeing the clothes, they are Bluedesign Certified and their entire supply chain is traceable, which is both impressive and really hard to achieve, which is one of the reasons why Eileen Fisher makes it to the top of so many sustainable clothing lists.
Eileen's ethical sourcing
Ethical sourcing is taken to the next level with your farm to factory initiative. It's called the mapped supply chain and allows consumers to see a list of their suppliers firsthand. They also work closely with NGOs to end human trafficking and slavery in the fashion industry.
Eileen's corporate responsibility
Zero Waste Fashion is what they are all about! I love their Renew program, it's a take-back program where old garments can be sent back, then re-sold.
Their Waste No More recycling program has kept 1.4 million garments out of landfills by either preparing them or turning them into something new. They are also a B Certified Corp. Prices range from $140-$170 USD (on the pricey side).
tentree is an affordable ethical clothing brand that checks all the boxes for our sustainable criteria. This Canadian sustainable brand offers a HUGE selection of clothing and accessories for women, men and kids. LIke eco-friendly t-shirts, ethical jeans, the cutest backpacks, and the comfiest fair trade PJ's.
Their ethical beanies come in neutral colors that will go with any outfit! It will be hard to pick just one! They have ones with a pom-pom and ones without! Obviously, we love the pom-pom!
tentree's fabrics and materials
All of their ethical winter hats (they make cute summer hats too) are made from organic cotton, Merino Wool, 50% REPREVE Recycled Polyester, or 100% RWS wool yarn. Each fabric is chosen for its warmth and durability and they are as soft and toasty as anything you'd place on your noggin! tentree takes so much care in all of the fabrics they use in their collections. The Recycled Polyester takes discarded “single-use” plastics from landfills and gives them new use in your wardrobe, the organic cotton reduced water, and soil pollution, and hemp is one of the most sustainable crops on the planet and makes for really good clothing too. The pom-pom is made from recycled faux fur!
tentree's ethical sourcing
Designed in Canada and ethically made around the world. All of their partner factories are regularly audited to ensure compliance with the tentree Code of Conduct and international labor standards. They make sure that workers are properly compensated with living wages, not just minimum wages, ensuring proper rest days and access to essential insurance coverage.
tentree's corporate responsibility
A B Certifed Corporation plants trees for every purchase you make, to date they have planted more than 68 million trees. They are also carbon neutral and work with a variety of NGOs to support conservation efforts around the world. $40
We love Patagonia around here, they offer one of the best and most sustainable lines of apparel in the industry today. Along with ethical and sustainable winter hats, they also carry ethical winter coats, sustainable scarves, gorgeous eco-friendly jeans, and a great selection of ethical men's clothing. They've also got a massive lineup of outdoor gear for the whole family, including baselayers, fishing gear, and camping gear.
All of their sustainable beanies will add a fun pop of color to any outfit! The Fisherman's Rolled Beanie comes in seven colors and is made from 100% recycled polyester yarn. Fair Trade Certified™ sewn. The Brodeo Beanie is a classic cuffed beanie made with a warm, comfortable recycled wool/recycled nylon blend. Fair Trade Certified™ sewn. The knit design is naturally stretchy and the cuff can be folded up if the weather gets a little warmer.
Patagonia's fabrics and materials
Let's just say these guys are the real deal in the sustainable fabric department. 87% of all of their fabrics are made using recycled materials. 100% of their virgin down is certified by the Advanced Global Traceable Down Standard, all of the cotton is organically grown. They have over 20 different kinds of fabrics and materials to choose from. The beanies are made with different kinds of fabrics, all of which are ethically sourced and third-party certified.
Patagonia's ethical sourcing
Patagonia owns and operates offices all over the world, from the Netherlands to South Korea. "The carbon footprint of our own facilities is only 3 percent of our total footprint. Because we have much more control over our owned facilities, we are committed to cleaning up our own house before asking others to follow suit."
They also work with factories, farms, and mills all over the world and "engage in a range of due diligence activities to promote and sustain fair labor practices, safe working conditions and environmental responsibility in the finished-goods factories, farms, and mills."
Patagonia's corporate responsibility
There is so much to say, I highly recommend you take a look at their website to learn more about all the things they are doing. Two that stand out to me: their commitment to regenerative farming practices.
In 2017, they helped establish the Regenerative Organic Certified™ program, a holistic agriculture certification encompassing pasture-based animal welfare, fairness for farmers and workers, and robust requirements for soil health and land management.
Their Fair Trade and the Worn Wear programs are impressive too. $35-$49
This is possibly one of the cutest ethical Etsy stores we have found. Their adorable, colorful selection of sustainable winter hats for men and women will have you warm and ready to brace for the cold. Choose from 95 different styles and colors, trust us you will have a hard time choosing just one, and don't worry if pom-poms are not your things, there are lots more to choose from.
BuildTheArk is based in Canada, all of these fair trade winter hats are handmade and shipped to you with two things in mind: Consciously crafted. Fairly traded. Fact: nobody can resist a furry pom hat!
BuildTheArk's fabrics and materials
Stay toasty with Merino wool that comes from Nepal and is certified Fair Trade. Wool makes a great choice for a head warmer and I do find that natural fibers tend to give my hair less static. So wool all the way! And if you need a great pair of mittens, leg warmers, or scarves, BuildTheArk has it all.
BuildTheArk's ethical sourcing
I love this brand's motto:
"Our products reflect our values: we share ethically, give back renewably, and live happily. We strive to bring our customers - our friends – unique products that do not take from the world and its people, but rather, replenish and enrich them."
BuildTheArk's corporate responsibility
Etsy offsets carbon emissions from delivery and packaging when you make a purchase from BuildTheArk. $38
prAna gives us all the feels when it comes to ethical winter hats for EVERYONE! The Marisa Beanie (pictured) draws inspiration from the street of Copenhagen, it's simple yet cool! It's made from recycled polyester and hemp blend construction has "novelty knit stitches" that'll pair perfectly with all your warmest winter coats. The Wild Now Beanies is a classic-fit beanie and is referred to as a "recycled polyester all-over ditsy embroidered beanie" upgraded with the Wild Now, thanks to a mix of fun outdoor-themed patterns to choose from like tents, foxes, and bees. SO CUTE all of them!
If you are looking for really good sustainable men's clothing, check them out!
Prana's fabrics and materials
prAna makes slow fashion easy for all of us. Since 2018 they have only used organic cotton in their collections, and all of it is grown regeneratively and is certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and OCS (Organic Content Standard). Why both? Each one applies to different types of products, and therefore has different levels of restrictions that must be followed.
Prana's ethical sourcing
In addition, they offer Fair Trade Certified™ Organic Cotton in many of their products, which goes even further than traditional organic cotton in supporting farmers and their families. Their Sustainable Hemp Program is so impressive, I highly recommend you take a look at what they are doing. All the wool and down that is used are certified by either Responsible Down Standard (RDS) or Responsible Wool.
prAna was one of the first brands to partner with Fair Trade USA for apparel back in 2010. And since then, we’ve been able to convert 11 factories to Fair Trade Certified™ and generate premiums which benefited 26,000+ workers worldwide. Their goal is for 100% of their products to be made in a Fair Trade Certified™ Factory by 2028!
Prana's corporate responsibility
They've been able to eliminate over 20 million plastic bags since they first started their efforts back in 2010. From fall 2021 onward, 100% of their styles will have plastic-free packaging! They will use roll packing or Vela paper bags as alternatives.
The Renewal Workshop’s circular model extends the life of their clothing and diverts textiles from the landfill by repairing or renewing existing products, restoring their wearability before re-selling.
Working with The Renewal Workshop has allowed them to divert 44k+ pounds of garment waste from the landfill since 2016. $35-$40 USD
A final word on ethical and sustainable winter hats and beanies
I mean if you live in a summer country you might not think the investment is warranted. In Canada, well, that's a different story! I mean I'd pay someone to keep me warm! LOL!
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