My sustainable raincoats selection (European brands)
Wow! I can’t believe I wrote my last post in spring, and we are already in October. But you know what? I really needed to take a break in order enjoy the summer months. Also, I needed a vacation. But now that I’m fully recharged, it’s time to get back to business. And today, I really feel like talking about sustainable raincoats. In case you wondered, I still live in Norway. I’m not here to talk about the weather but since I walk to work every day, raincoats have become a very important part of my life. I own three: one is a hand-me-down; one is a thrift find and one dates back to my teenage years. Before moving here, I was definitely more of an umbrella person, but you know… when in Scandinavia, do as the Scandinavians: wear a raincoat!
But wait a minute, what’s the deal with raincoats?
The number one requirement of a rain jacket is to be waterproof, right? That means they either have to be made of plastic (usually virgin, often PVC) or they have to be sprayed with dangerous chemicals like PFAs (perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, find out more here). That is not so cool. But fortunately, there are some brands out there that try to do things differently and here are my favourite ones
Recycling plastic into sustainable raincoats: Maium
Two friends from Amsterdam needed rainwear that is stylish, sustainable and biking-friendly. Bikes and Amsterdam, amirite? So they founded Maium. The coats are made from recycled plastic bottles, recycled materials and come in eco-friendly packaging. The catch is that each model has two zippers on the sides that you can open to turn the coat into a poncho.
From broken umbrellas to fashion: R-COAT
If you think about it, it makes sense, doesn’t it? Umbrellas break all the time. So why not give them a new life by turning them into jackets? R-COAT is a community-based fashion brand born in Portugal that creates colorful garments from old umbrellas, deadstock fabric and recycled materials. But their commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop there. They also offer recovery programs for old R-COAT products and for broken umbrellas.
O.slow turns ocean plastic into sustainable raincoats.
After spending a weekend on the coast of Britanny, two childhood friends decided to found O.slow. Shocked by the problem of ocean plastic, they took the matter in their own hands by crafting classic raincoats that are both recycled and recyclable. Their long-term goal is to offer different types of garments and to become a sustainable outdoor brand. Currently, 1% of their profits goes to the Surfrider Foundation Europe, which fights to protect our oceans.
Keeping you dry and saving birds: Ducktail
Ducktail is a Lithuanian brand that aims for making rainy days happy. Their raincoats are timeless and colorful, waterproof but breathable and they come with a signature “duck tail” that protect the back of your legs. The brand also offers cute waterproof backpacks and supports the Lithuanian Ornithologist Society with 2% of its profits.
Sustainable raincoats and more: Thought
Not a rainwear brand per se but still! Thought clothing has got to be one of my favorite eco brands. Not only do they offer a wide variety of items in all sorts of styles, but they also manage to stay affordable. They happen to sell this really cool raincoat and it comes in different colors. I figured it had to be on the list.
Before you grab your credit card
Raincoats must be one of the easiest items to thrift. The fits are pretty straightforward, they’re really easy to clean and charity shops or online platforms are full of them. So before considering buying a brand-new raincoat, why not check if you can find a pre-loved one? And because you can’t wear a raincoat without a pair of boots, check out my post about sustainable rainboots.