Vegan winter wear: How to stay warm without wool, down, leather, or fur

Beth Greenfield
Senior Writer

Contrary to popular belief, staying toasty warm in winter doesn’t have to come at the expense of furry, feathery creatures. Because for every goose-down-stuffed parka and shearling boot, there’s a cozy, cute, and compassionate alternative.

And that’s a comfort beyond warmth once you learn that even the most innocuous-seeming animal product, like wool, is born from harm — with no way to sugarcoat the fact that sheep are routinely abused and injured for the sake of sweaters and scarves; geese are suffocated and plucked alive before being traded in for their foie gras; and coyotes suffer in traps (not to mention the plight of minks, rabbits, foxes, raccoons, chinchillas, and more) before being skinned of fur that’s used as trim on the hoods of those ever-popular Canadian Goose parkas.

So if the thought of sacrificing creatures for your personal comfort leaves you cold, scroll through the slideshow for vegan items that will keep you toasty from head to toe.

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Women’s Puffer Coat by Save the Duck

This fluffy, weightless puffer, shown in charcoal, is just one of a slew of styles offering superior warmth and water-resistance with Plumtech filling, from the company whose motto is “Respect animals, respect environment, respect people.” ($298, Save the Duck)

Women’s Ultrawarm Bomber Hat by L.L. Bean

This water-repellent, insulated bomber hat is made of polyester poplin filled with Primaloft and lined with supersoft faux fur. ($45, L.L. Bean)

Women’s Bside Flip Mittens by Muk Luk

These soft acrylic-knit mittens can convert from fingerless texting accessories to toasty hand warmers thanks to the faux-fur-lined flip top. ($38, Muk Luks)

Classic Peacoat by Vaute

This wool-free, unisex peacoat, show in cobalt, is from Vaute, the Brooklyn-based company that’s been leading the charge toward vegan winter warmth since its 2008 founding by Chicago native Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart. Cruelty-free fabric coats are constructed from recycled fibers, Primaloft insulation, and high-tech satin liners, and have been tested in “blizzards and snowstorms around the world.” ($645, Vaute)

Snowcap-2 boot by Pajar Canada

Pajar, based in Montreal, has several nylon and faux fur styles that not only are superwarm but also come equipped with retractable cleats on the soles (as in this case) for battling slippery ice patches in style. ($230, Pajar)

Snow Monster Parka by Vaute

Vaute offers a range of not only wool-alternative dress coats but also down-free jackets and parkas, such as this long and cozy stunner in Shiny Cloud, featuring a high collar, assymetrical zipper, and Primaloft insulation. ($647, Vaute)

Twist socks by Heat Holders

As any committed vegan knows, one of the biggest challenges is keeping your feet warm through snowy, bitter winters. This range of socks — for women, men, and children, and in thicknesses ranging from regular (shown) to lite and ultra-lite — is the answer. The thermal knit is a blend of nylon, polyester, acrylic, and elastane, and is almost impossibly soft and cozy. ($16, Heat Holders)

Juliette Slouchy Beanie by Pistil

This slouchy beanie, shown in indigo, is made from an extrasoft and nubby acrylic yarn, and topped with a faux fur pompom dyed to match. ($34, Pistil)

Lynx Versa jacket by Wully Outerwear

This shiny, stylish, quilted jacket is weather tested and water-resistant, from a Canadian company dedicated to animal rights, fair labor, and low environmental impact, and with a goal to “deliver products that leave you feeling warm — both inside and out.” ($400, Wully Outerwear)

Fairytale Trees Poncho by Avalove

This “vegan cashmere” tunic-length sweater, in fine microfiber, has snug sleeves, incredible softness, and an oversized cut that makes it perfect for pairing with leggings and a fitted base layer. And its beautifully wintry silkscreen design is exclusively from NYC-based designer Ava Hu, who sells her wares at local boutiques and, thankfully for everyone else, online. ($138, Avalove)

Sporty Snowjoggers by Rubber Duck

Be forewarned: These cool-girl, cushiony booties are elusive. Made in Denmark, they are often sold out online, are found only in a rare and random smattering of brick-and-mortar stores, and go in and out of stock on various retail sites, including Amazon. But their nylon-microfiber combo of cuteness and comfort (shown in bronze) makes it worth going to extra mile to nab yourself a pair. ($130, Rubber Duck)

Ladies’ long coat by HoodLamb

This warm, water-resistant parka made from a durable blend of hemp and cotton comes from an Amsterdam-based company that’s committed to compassion — for animals and workers alike. Even better, everything is currently on sale. ($370, HoodLamb)

Caramel knit vegan scarf by Bohemian Vegan

This superthick and cozy polyester-knit neck warmer is courtesy of a San Francisco-based company committed to cruelty-free fashion. ($13.50, Bohemian Vegan)

The Felicity Cocoon by Vaute

No simple sweatshirt, this impossibly cozy vegan sweater from NYC-based vegan fashion company Vaute is from a fleece blend of hemp, polyester, cotton, and spandex (fabric blends vary by color, including navy, gray, and black), offering an addictable blend of warmth and style. The pockets rock. ($198, Vaute)

Minx Slip II Omni-Heat boots by Columbia

A blend of faux fur and quilted fabric makes these basic slip-ons a no-brainer for those avoiding leather and other animal-sourced footwear materials. Available in gray (shown), black, blue, and dark raspberry. ($110, Columbia)

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