A couple years ago on a winter vacation toward the end of my last parka's life, I saw a beautiful coat. Despite the designer name it was affordable.
But I couldn't buy it. The triple combination that it was filled with down, the liner was genuine fur, and I had tried on coats before leaving that were just as warm without animal products.
What others do is their business, but I knew for myself I'd have trouble sleeping, having seen too many videos of animal treatment.
The problem: the equally warm coats I'd seen at home didn't look good. And they were mostly nylon and other plastics that I wasn't convinced were so benign to the environment.
Enter Hemp Hoodlamb
I don't remember how I heard of them, but I came across a company called Hemp Hoodlamb. They make their coats from a materials that turns out to be durable and not plastic: hemp.
Not just hemp. The insulation is made of recycled plastic.
I'm a laggard on many technologies and trends. Luckily for me New York's last winter was mild and I got by with my fall coat. It took me a whole year to decide to try this new coat.
As much as I mentioned my concern about animals and the environment, people can't see those things. They aren't how I evaluate a coat in action.
I care about two things:
- Does it keep me warm?
- Do I look good in it?
Result: It's awesome, warm, and looks great
It's really warm. As in, laugh at the weather warm, though I may be biased having gone a winter with only a fall coat.
It looks to me mainstream stylish, unlike many vegan, earth-crunchy things (being vegetarian since 1990, I support veganism, but not as a dominant part of my identity).
Since I occasionally voice concerns about poor products and services, I feel responsible to report excellence as well, and Hoodlamb delivered.
For the record, I have no relationship with the company, nor have I communicated with them. I'm just a satisfied customer.
From plant to delivery
Hoodlamb also comprehensively markets their goods with videos showing sourcing and processing the raw materials, the factories and people assembling them, the people behind the company, and so on.
It makes you feel like part of a community.
I don't miss the down fur coat from vacation that I didn't buy.
Competition and the future
I'm sure there are more, but these three made what appear to be stylish, functional winter coats you don't have to care about animals or the environment to prefer. Since I do, I consider them the future as much as the electric bicycle.