Ironically, climate change could lead to another ice age, so unsustainable glove choices today may be self-defeating tomorrow, so opt for ethical winter gloves instead. Image by Tentree #sustainablewintergloves #ethicalwintergloves #sustainablejungle
Image by Tentree
Image by Coyuchi
Image by Mountains Handmade

8 Sustainable & Ethical Winter Gloves to Fight Fast Fashion & Frostbite

*This post contains affilate links


Frozen fingers may be uncomfortable, but a warming planet is much worse. 

When gloves, like the rest of our clothing, are made with plastic (i.e. polyester and nylon), we’re not only wearing energy and chemically-intensive items, but we’re also contributing to microplastic pollution every time we throw them in the wash. 

It’s high time we get a hand-le on this issue by opting for sustainable and ethical winter gloves. And what do you know, we’d need several hands (and fingers) to count all of the ways we were impressed with the range of environmentally friendly gloves we found. 

To give you an idea, we felt instantly warmer to learn about Organic Basics and their recycled cashmere gloves. Tentree’s blend of recycled polyester and ethically-sourced wool are not only cute but cozy to boot, and Coyuchi’s sustainably-sourced ethical wool gloves aren’t just climate neutral, but climate beneficial.

So, wiggle your fingers and let’s explore some of the most stylish sustainable winter gloves!  

Oh, and if you’re interested in how we decided which gloves were good enough to cover your hands, we referred to our handy sustainable fashion criteria to point us in the right direction. For a summary of considerations, head to the bottom of this article.

1. COYUCHI

Ironically, climate change could lead to another ice age, so unsustainable glove choices today may be self-defeating tomorrow, so opt for ethical winter gloves instead. Image by Coyuchi #sustainablewintergloves #ethicalwintergloves #sustainablejungle
Image by Coyuchi
About Coyuchi

Almost 30 years ago, Coyuchi became one of the first brands to combine sustainability and Californian style. 

They’re well known for their 100% organic cotton bedding and eco friendly towels, but they’ve also got an impressive range of sustainably-made apparel (including consciously cozy pajamas and eco friendly scarves). 

Scarves aren’t the only way Coyuchi can keep you warm this winter. They’ve also got ethical winter gloves, and while Coyuchi only sells one pair, one pair of these Climate Beneficial mittens is more than enough. 

Coyuchi’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

So, what’s all this business about Climate Beneficial? It’s a somewhat new term that has to do with regenerative farming practices. Essentially, the 100% Climate Beneficial sheep’s wool in these mittens comes directly from ranches that raise animals to not only not have an impact on the environment, but to actually have a positive one. 

The ranchers use sustainable “carbon farming” practices that allow them to capture more carbon than what’s emitted by the sheep. 

On top of that, the wool is undyed and natural and the gloves can be composted at the end of their life.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Coyuchi is a member of the Textile Exchange and uses Fair Trade Certified partners for many of their products. They also contribute to a worker-managed Community Development Fund, which gives back to the farmers and working communities. 

All Climate Beneficial products are sourced from one of two ranches in Northern California: Stemple Creek Ranch or The Jensen Ranch. Some of the scientifically-vetted “carbon farming” techniques practiced at these ranches include strategic grazing conservation tillage, and generally improving soil health so it can capture more carbon.

Green business practices: 

Apart from being one of the few fashion companies to start exploring regenerative agriculture, Coyuchi keeps it coming by recycling 98% of all manufacturing water and avoiding synthetic fabrics throughout their product line.  

They’ve also recycled or resold 84,694 pounds of linens through their 2nd Home Take Back program and prevented the waste of countless pounds more by offering a linen rental service called Coyuchi for Life.

They keep their shipping green by using a combination of FSC certified cardboard and organic cotton bags for packaging. They’re still using some pre-consumer recycled plastic polybags but plan to phase those out by 2022.

Community & charitable giving: 

Coyuchi is a member of 1% for the Planet, and their support goes directly to Fibershed (which is also an organization they partner with to get their Climate Beneficial wool). They also support yet another regenerative farming development organization, the White Buffalo Land Trust.

Available: Coyuchi

2. ORGANIC BASICS

Ironically, climate change could lead to another ice age, so unsustainable glove choices today may be self-defeating tomorrow, so opt for ethical winter gloves instead. Image by  Organic Basics #sustainablewintergloves #ethicalwintergloves #sustainablejungle
Image by Organic Basics
About Organic Basics

This Danish company is basically one of our favorite sustainable clothing brands

Their eco-efforts reduce their impact in a variety of ways—from their use of natural materials to their super ethical practices. Despite their name, this brand is definitely not #basic.

Organic Basics started with men’s underwear but now has you covered from head to toe—literally, since they make eco friendly socks, leggings, tees, scarves, hats, and, of course, sustainable cashmere winter gloves.

Organic Basics’ Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

OB’s soft and comfortable sustainable winter gloves are made with one of the world’s finest materials in one of the world’s most responsible ways (which can’t be said for most cashmere). They use 100% recycled cashmere that was otherwise headed for the landfill. 

In fact, for all their products, they prioritize materials that are biodegradable, recycled, renewable, or natural.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

SA8000 standards and BSCI compliance helps Organic Basics ensure they’re working with the best global partners. They regularly audit to check for no child labor, fair working conditions, respect for the environment, living wages, freely and chosen employment. On top of that, they provide additional perks like childcare and free lunch.

Green business practices: 

Their annual impact report gives customers a unique look at the energy and water requirements of their garments, as well as what they’re doing to minimize their impact. 

Thanks to offsets that support a wind farm in Turkey, they’re able to offer carbon-neutral shipping, too.

Community & charitable giving: 

Through their Organic Basics Fund, European organizations and individuals who are committed to solving some of our current environmental and social injustices can apply for funding. 

In the past, this funding has supported organizations like Rewilding Europe and Green Kayak.

Available: Organic Basics

3. TENTREE

Ironically, climate change could lead to another ice age, so unsustainable glove choices today may be self-defeating tomorrow, so opt for ethical winter gloves instead. Image by  Tentree #sustainablewintergloves #ethicalwintergloves #sustainablejungle
Image by Tentree
About Tentree

“Earth-first apparel” is what you’ll find with Tentree

Their range of tees, tanks, organic hoodies, pants, and accessories are all inspired by earth and designed to protect it. The Canadian brand has clothes for everyone, and is one of our favorite sustainable brands for men

They may only have one pair of sustainable winter gloves (in different designs at least), but if you want to be truly sustainable, one pair is all you need. 

According to Tentree themselves, their gloves are “so soft and cozy, you’ll want winter to last all year long.”

Tentree’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Their mitts are made with 50% recycled polyester and 50% non-mulesed merino wool. 

Check out our article covering the issue of mulesed wool, why it’s baa baa bad, and why we can feel good about warming up with these non-mulesed mittens.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Transparency is easy when you can see where every product is made. The gloves are manufactured in China, and while that’s normally a country with high risk of human rights abuse, Tentree does a lot to quell any concerns. 

With a commitment to ethical sourcing and supply chains, Tentree is a certified B-Corp, and has been named among the top percentile for manufacturing. Tentree elaborates more about their supply chain on their website, and they encourage their customers to check out the code of conduct they use with all of their suppliers.

Green business practices: 

Tentree’s transparency extends to every one of their products. They have Eco Logs on each product page compiled by GreenStep who produces an impact assessment showing the CO2 emissions, water, and waste associated with every product.

Community & charitable giving: 

Their name isn’t just catchy—Tentree plants ten trees for every purchase. You can take a look at their tree registry to see exactly where (and how many) of these trees have been planted. Spoiler alert, they’ve planted several million trees and are well on their way to one billion by 2030

Not only is Tentree in the business of planting trees, but they also do so in areas that are in need of reforestation or have experienced recent biodiversity losses. This isn’t just a corporate social responsibility strategy, this is Tentree trying to save the planet.   

Available: Tentree

4. THE ARTFUL MITTEN

Ironically, climate change could lead to another ice age, so unsustainable glove choices today may be self-defeating tomorrow, so opt for ethical winter gloves instead. Image by  The Artful Mitten #sustainablewintergloves #ethicalwintergloves #sustainablejungle
Image by The Artful Mitten
About The Artful Mitten

Carrie, the owner/seamstress/artist behind The Artful Mitten combines creativity with consciously chosen materials to make a range of accessories that have been loved by more than 1,000 customers. 

She views everything as a “little masterpiece,” and hopefully you will, too.

When she’s not making a unique range of colorful environmentally friendly winter gloves and mittens (of which there’s no shortage on her Etsy site), she’s busy being an accomplished portrait artist and illustrator.

The Artful Mitten’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Lovely as they are, here’s our favorite part: all Artful Mittens are made from recycled sweaters: commonly cashmere, merino, shetland, and lambswool—which are all naturally moisture-wicking and insulating. 

For extra warmth and comfort, the gloves and mittens are lined with fleece which admittedly isn’t the greatest eco-friendly material. So, if you buy a pair, give them proper care to make these mittens last. Although it might first be worth asking Carrie to see if she’ll do a custom pair without fleece.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

The upcycled sweaters are machine washed before being felted—which is a process where the sweaters are shrunk to form a dense and thick material, perfect for warm gloves. 

Everything is designed and handmade by Carrie herself, from thrifted sweater sourcing to shipping—#smallsupplychaingoals.

Green business practices: 

Not only are these mittens made with upcycled materials, but all of Etsy’s shipping is carbon-offset (hence why we love shopping there to buy gifts and support Black-owned business).

Available: Etsy

5. PATAGONIA

Ironically, climate change could lead to another ice age, so unsustainable glove choices today may be self-defeating tomorrow, so opt for ethical winter gloves instead. Image by Patagonia #sustainablewintergloves #ethicalwintergloves #sustainablejungle
Image by Patagonia
About Patagonia

This legendary outdoor clothing / equipment company was founded in 1973 by Yvon Chouinard. 

Patagonia has become the go-to brand for every type of eco-conscious adventurer, especially if Type II fun in frigid environments is your thing. 

Eco friendly coats to ethical boots, they’ve got the most impressive outdoor selection, for hitting the early morning pow-pow or cocoa. 

Just like Patagonia prepares us for the harshest outdoor elements with the rest of their range, their eco friendly winter gloves do the same.

Whether you’re prepping for a stroll, snowball fight, or strenuous winter adventure, Patagonia has a pair of heavily insulated technical gloves or casual convertible mittens for you. They’ve also got options for the whole family (men, women, and kids).

Patagonia’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Their impressive ethical winter glove range incorporates many sustainable fabrics. If you want a general overview, see their full materials list, but if your fingers are wriggling in anticipation, here are a few materials you might find in their gloves:

Synchilla® fleece (made with 100% recycled polyester), Better Sweater™ (made from 100% recycled polyester), a blend of recycled nylon, spandex, and polyester, PrimaLoft® (a partially recycled synthetic polyester fill cowhide leather (which is the only one we’d really steer clear of), and FSC certified natural rubber. The list goes on.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Some gloves are Fair Trade Certified (which supports more than 66,000 workers in the Patagonia supply chain) and you can see exactly which, as well as what country and factory every product is made in, Fair Trade certified or not.

This is known as their legendary Footprint Chronicles, achieving a feat of transparency which is remarkable for a brand of their size. Their commitment to an ethical supply chain isn’t just apparent to us though. They consistently rank high in the Fashion Revolution Fashion Transparency Index. 

They also have several programs in place to ensure that their factory, farm, and mill workers are supported.

Green business practices: 

Patagonia’s been one of the most sustainable clothing brands for decades. Yet, they have plans to reach carbon neutrality by 2025 and are currently working to provide biodegradable packaging solutions. Right now, their poly bags are only recyclable in Patagonia’s limited store locations.

They’re also in the process of implementing a regenerative farming certification program, will repair any Patagonia garment FOR LIFE, and have a Worn Wear program where you can get quality, used Patagonia gear on the eco-cheap.

Community & charitable giving: 

Heard of 1% for the Planet? Not only are they members, but Patagonia founded the organization!

Between political activism, hosting environment-beneficial events, promoting and educating other brands about corporate responsibility, and connecting organizations and individuals together through the Patagonia Action Works program, Patagonia is clearly committed to a better future for all of us.

Available: Patagonia

6. MOUNTAINS HANDMADE

Ironically, climate change could lead to another ice age, so unsustainable glove choices today may be self-defeating tomorrow, so opt for ethical winter gloves instead. Image by Mountains Handmade #sustainablewintergloves #ethicalwintergloves #sustainablejungle
Image by Mountains Handmade
About Mountains Handmade

According to the Etsy shop itself, Mountains Handmade is a borderline of two worlds.”

Owner Adele lives in the Russian Caucasus mountains, an area that blends modern life and ancient traditions. This plays a role in how they live, what they eat, and how their range of organic wool gloves are processed. 

Your hands won’t freeze with Mountains Handmade’s range of wool and mohair gloves and mittens, which come in several different classic patterns and designs. That includes finger gloves, mittens, and a hybrid of the two, with a separated pointer finger for a little added dexterity.

Mountains Handmade’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Mountains Handmade only uses natural materials, namely organic sheep wool and organic goat mohair from Mountains Handmade’s very own farm. There, the sheep and goats are treated with love and care, spending their days happily grazing in the meadow. 

The wool is spun by hand and isn’t typically dyed (except for a few designs with colored accents).

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Everything is 100% handmade by Adele and her friends / family using ancient traditions and old craft techniques.

Green business practices: 

Using natural, traditional techniques instead of machinery means a reduction in energy and water consumption.

Community & charitable giving: 

Stay cozy, help children. 10% of every sale goes back to help a children’s hospital for orphans in the Caucasus mountain area. The money is used to buy clothes, diapers, books, and toys.

Available: Etsy

7. RAWGANIQUE

Ironically, climate change could lead to another ice age, so unsustainable glove choices today may be self-defeating tomorrow, so opt for ethical winter gloves instead. Image by Rawganique #sustainablewintergloves #ethicalwintergloves #sustainablejungle
Image by Rawganique
About Rawganique

It isn’t too often that you find a brand that’s been developed by off-grid homesteaders. Enter:  Rawganique, the human-scale business operated by Thammarath “Touch” Jamikorn and Klaus Wallner and their family. 

Rawganique specializes in the cozy. From hemp slippers to warm winter gloves, insulation is their forte. They’ll even keep your home a toasty-breezy with organic curtains.

But back to the task at (or on) hand. They’ve make hemp gloves, hemp mittens, organic cotton winter gloves (the “world’s first super-thick” gloves made of this material), and even organic cotton fleece mittens.

Rawganique’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Natural, vegan materials are Rawganique’s shtick. 

Let’s start with the hemp version, which is raw, dye-free, and unbleached. Hemp is a good insulator and breathable. However, it doesn’t provide a windbreak, so best for those fall chills. 

When your gloves do reach the end of their life, they can biodegrade completely (just be sure to remove the bit of elastic from the wrist).

Organic cotton—and only organic cotton—is what’s found in their other gloves. They’re soft and cozy and are either natural (unbleached, dye-free) or designed with patterns (low-impact, biodegradable eco-dyed). 

For something a little warmer, check out their 100% organic cotton fleece mittens. These are also elastic-free and are the comfiest way to keep your hands toasty on a breezy day.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Rawganique’s hemp comes from the US while their organic cotton is farmed and processed at an atelier in Europe. They keep everything small-scale and chemical-free. 

They are also 100% sweatshop-free, don’t do animal testing, and don’t permit the use of slave labor in their supply chain.

Green business practices: 

The greenest thing about Rawganique is their total avoidance of all things chemical and synthetic. You won’t find any latex, formaldehyde, chemicals, or polyester in these eco friendly gloves (or any of their other products, for that matter).

Available: Amazon

8. EVERLANE

Ironically, climate change could lead to another ice age, so unsustainable glove choices today may be self-defeating tomorrow, so opt for ethical winter gloves instead. Image by Everlane #sustainablewintergloves #ethicalwintergloves #sustainablejungle
Image by Everlane
About Everlane

Everlane’s core tenets are:

“Exceptional quality. Ethical factories. Radical transparency.” 

What does that mean, you ask? 

Ask each product description, where they share exactly where it’s made and how much it costs to manufacture so customers can get an insider’s look at the materials, labor, and transportation behind what they wear. 

In addition to their range of sustainable denim, loungewear, and underwear, Everlane has mini mittens, too, specifically sustainable gloves for kids (or people with small hands, we suppose). Great for your kiddos, but not so great for us adults. Still, you’ll feel better sending your kid off to school this winter fully protected some recess-ready warm ethical winter gloves.

Everlane’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

There’s only one thing in these mittens: 100% extra-fine merino wool. If you’ve read our article on the ethics of wool, you’ll know merino is one of the best.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

The hands responsible for your warm and toasty fingers work in this Chinese factory, which joins the rest of Everlane’s partners in meeting their strict standards around things like reasonable work hours, safe environments, and fair wages.

Green business practices: 

Not all of Everlane’s materials are what we consider to be sustainable fabrics—but they’re getting there. With their ReNew line, they’re edging further and further away from virgin synthetics (AKA plastic), with which they aim to be completely done by 2021.

Community & charitable giving: 

Their Black Friday Fund initiative will support Oceana and its mission to end plastic pollution in our oceans. $15 of every yearly Black Friday sale goes directly to Oceana.

Available: Everlane

HOW WE FOUND THE BEST SUSTAINABLE AND ETHICAL WINTER GLOVES

So, how did we properly get our fingers into each of these sustainable and ethical winter gloves? 

We shovelled through all the snow using our sustainable and ethical fashion, leaving us with a few brands that could warm our fingers without warming our planet. 

Materials:

Nature knows best (even if she does bring 6+ long months of winter). Our favorite materials include hemp, organic cotton, and recycled wool. A big gloved thumbs up (gloved, of course) to brands who only used natural materials, meaning that the gloves would be compostable after many, many winter seasons.

When those weren’t available, we were also happy to see recycled synthetics like polyester and nylon. 

Supply chain and labor practices:

The fashion industry is fraught with serious supply chain and labor concerns. We’re all about avoiding frostbite, but not when it comes with trade-offs like child labor or unfair pay. 

These brands either have small supply chains (hello, Etsy shops) or are committed to transparency. We feel warmer already when we’re able to see specific factory details or take a peep at their code of conduct. Even better if third party certifying bodies have peeped, too.

Green business practices:

Sourcing Mother Earth’s materials is the first step in being a truly green business, but it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) stop there. Whether they’re using carbon offsets or eco-friendly packaging materials, winter is much more bearable knowing that there are businesses out there that are committed to reducing their environmental impact in all the little ways they can. 

Community & charitable giving:

How great is it when you can warm your hands and warm your heart? Many of these companies—even the small ones—have given back to their communities through donations, partnerships, and funding worthy causes. 


FINAL THOUGHTS ON SUSTAINABLE AND ETHICAL WINTER GLOVES

It’s time to bundle up with the ethical toasty trifecta from brands who care about our planet: gloves, winter coats and scarves

Global warming may sound “nice” to those of us gearing up for the winter freeze, but we all need to do what we can to minimize (and reverse) it. Besides, some speculate climate change could lead to another ice age, so unsustainable glove choices today may be self-defeating tomorrow.

And while preparing for a snowball fight might not seem like a good time to help save the planet, it can be the critical moment when you decide on (hopefully) a pair of sustainable winter gloves. 

But remember, gloves aren’t like fingers; you don’t need ten of them. So, only upgrade and buy a new pair of environmentally friendly gloves when you need to.

Now dear readers, what keeps your fingers warm? What are the best ethical winter gloves for you?


Ironically, climate change could lead to another ice age, so unsustainable glove choices today may be self-defeating tomorrow, so opt for ethical winter gloves instead. Image by Mountains Handmade #sustainablewintergloves #ethicalwintergloves #sustainablejungle

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