As the mornings get darker and the days become chillier, clothing takes on a new meaning: now, what we wear is about more than looking good. In winter, our clothes need to work double duty: they need to keep us warm and dry, as well as look amazing. With the added layer of being vegan-friendly, building a high-quality winter wardrobe may seem like an impossible task. Not so: here at Immaculate Vegan, winterwear is created without cruelty. Not an ounce of fur, leather, wool or feathers were used in the making of these designs. Creating a wardrobe that will take you from the first autumn leaves to the warm rays of spring has never been so easy.
By Sascha Camilli: writer, speaker, activist and vegan fashion expert.
Start with a good base: a pair of resistant, durable Chelsea boots. Choose a neutral colour, like black: you need to be able to team this pair with multiple outfits, as it will become a trusty companion throughout the season. Inspect the material carefully: this is the shoe that will keep you company during rainy sleet and snowstorms, so choose wisely. Bohema's design in cactus leather has a thick sole that will protect against wet weather – and its edgy appeal will toughen up a dress or jeans outfit.
No winter wardrobe is complete without a good knit, and this is where some vegans struggle: mainstream fashion is still rife with knitwear containing that annoying 10% wool. And if it's not wool, it's likely to be angora, cashmere, or mohair – all products stemming from the exploitation of animals. Will's Vegan Store to the rescue: this British brand's chunky cable-knit cardigan is made from recycled cotton and recycled polyester, and is certified carbon-neutral. Throw it on with Bohema's Chelsea boot and a pair of boyfriend jeans for a versatile, evergreen winter look.
A good winter dress should be comfortable, warmer than average, and easy to match – and Komodo's turtleneck design is the perfect daytime essential for chilly weather. Made from sustainable bamboo, this dress can be worn with boots and tights for a laid-back weekend look that will become a new winter favourite.
Of course, it's not even worth speaking about a winter wardrobe without mentioning the necessity of a good coat. In most colder climates, a well-made coat is an absolute must-have, and just like with knitwear, finding a great vegan one can sometimes still be less than straightforward. The teddy coat is an on-trend piece – and Will's Vegan Store created a vegan version made from recycled polyester and lined with viscose made from wood pulp. You'll turn heads in this design, but you'll also stay warm and cosy all through winter season.
If you're craving something that raises the warmth factor to the max, Culthread may be just what you need: their puffer coat, made from recycled materials and filled with recycled post-consumer plastic bottles, is a great weather-proof choice – and it's one of the most stylish puffer jackets we've seen in a long time.
The Scarf & Gloves
Top it all off with the ultimate winter accessory: a faux-fur scarf. Culthread's bright red design will add a hit of colour to an outfit composed of dark hues. Winter-warmer bonus: it comes with a pair of matching fingerless mittens, guaranteeing to keep your hands toasty in the January chill.
Of course, winterwear is not all about going out. During the cold season, we find ourselves re-discovering the comforts of our sofa with an increasing frequency. For this reason, loungewear is extra important this time of year, and Komodo's got you covered: their organic-cotton sweatshirt is as breathable and soft as it is comfortable. Many lazy Sunday mornings will be spent in this mustard-hued lounge style.
We may miss the light, carefree days of summer, but the chillier months have their own magic – and part of it is being able to favour heavier fabrics, comforting knits, comfortable oversized coats, and chunky boots. Let's face it, autumn and winter are amazing fashion seasons – so enjoy them. Before you know, it will be summer again.
By Sascha Camilli
Sascha Camilli is a vegan fashion writer, speaker and activist. Her book Vegan Style is out now on Murdoch Books. For more about Sascha, you can read our interview with her. You can also follow her on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Cover image by 457 ANEW
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