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If you’re looking for a sustainable raincoat, you’re in the right place.
Firstly, you’ll want a waterproof raincoat made ethically with sustainable materials. Secondly, you want a sustainable rain jacket that will last for years to come.
We’ve recommended the following sustainable brands creating robust, high-quality, and sustainable rain jackets from a range of recycled materials and natural fabrics.
- What is a Sustainable Rain Jacket?
- What’s the difference between a waterproof and water-resistant jacket?
- 1. Patagonia
- 2. Finisterre
- 3. Tropicfeel
- 4. Tentree
- 5. prAna
- 6. Rapanui
- 7. Outerknown
- 8. Ecoalf
- 9. Girlfriend Collective
- 10. Thought
- 11. The North Face Renewed
- What materials are used for a sustainable waterproof jacket?
- Are recycled materials lower quality than virgin materials?
What is a Sustainable Rain Jacket?
Many waterproof rain jackets on the market are created from virgin nylon and polyester. Unfortunately, both materials rely on nonrenewable crude oil to produce, require a vast amount of energy, and are not biodegradable.
On the other hand, a sustainable rain jacket is produced with more eco-friendly alternatives, including recycled polyester and regenerated nylon (polyamide). These materials can save up to 30% of the energy required to create virgin polyester and can be recycled again and again into new products.
To read more about the types of materials used, check out our guide at the bottom of the page.
What’s the difference between a waterproof and water-resistant jacket?
Waterproof rain gear will usually be constructed using multi-layer technology, usually in 2 or 3-layer technology. In addition, tapered seams and waterproof zips form a seal to ensure no water can get into the jacket, even in a heavy downpour. A fully waterproof jacket will often have a waterproof adjustable hood.
Created with a waterproof fabric, a water-resistant jacket will ensure rain beads off the jacket. However, it won’t have the multi-layer technology or tapered seams, allowing water to soak into the coat in a heavy downpour.
The Best Sustainable Rain Jackets
Sustainability: Certified B Corp using recycled materials and ethical labor in Fair Trade certified factories. Patagonia donates 1% of sales to charities and NGOs which preserve and protect the natural environment.
Best for: Technical sustainable rain jackets
Ships to: Worldwide
Patagonia is the leader when it comes to sustainable and ethical outdoor wear. The brand has transformed the clothing industry since its founding in 1973, driving sustainable change and the use of responsible materials.
Patagonia has one of the largest selections of sustainable raincoats on this list, creating waterproof parkas, lightweight rain jackets, and storm jackets.
Patagonia creates its rainwear with 100% recycled materials which meet its high H2NO standards – a standard that ensures material is 100% waterproof and breathable.
Patagonia’s materials include NetPlus®, a 100% post-consumer recycled nylon, and ECONYL – created from recycled marine plastic. In addition, each Patagonia jacket is Fair Trade Certified™ sewn.
We own a Patagonia Torrentshell 3L for rainy days and love the peaked hood and the lightweight and breathable nature of the waterproof jacket.
Best for: Smock rain jacket, lightweight rain jackets, water-resistant jacket
Ships to: Worldwide
UK-based outdoor brand Finisterre has three important commitments; People, Environment, and Product, meaning the brand aims for high-quality products which don’t negatively impact people or the environment.
Finisterre’s sustainable waterproof coats are lightweight, robust, and reliable. Created from 100% recycled material, the brand best selling Rainbird jacket has a 10,000mm Hydrostatic Head waterproof rating.
We also love that Finisterre creates different waterproof jackets in various colors, including smock-style raincoats in lightweight fabric.
Sustainability: 100% Carbon neutral,00% recycled polyester, Vegan down filling, transparent supply chain, ethically made.
Best for: Lightweight Travel Raincoat
Ships to: Worldwide
If you’re looking for a travel-friendly lightweight raincoat, look no further than Tropicfeel.
The travel-friendly brand has revealed its new NS40 jacket, which features a unique two-layer design, an NS40 weatherproof layer for warmth, and an NS40 waterproof vest to keep you dry when it’s wet.
The NS40 jacket is packable for effortless traveling and comes in a handy travel pouch.
The raincoat is created from 100% recycled polyester, infused with a water-resistant Graphene material.
In addition to the waterproof outer, the NS40 vest has a 100% vegan down filling for core warmth, suitable for temperatures above 15 degC. The Waterproof travel jacket also comes with a roll-down hood.
Best for: Casual sustainable raincoat
Ships to: the US & Canada & International
For a casual, sustainable raincoat, check out the Nimbus waterproof jacket by Tentree, created with recycled fabric 100% REPREVE® Bluesign certified lining, tapered seams, and a nontoxic DWR (Durable Water Resistant) proofing.
The Nimbus raincoat is also available in an anorak version. In addition, Tentree creates a range of other parkas and sustainable rain jackets for men and women.
Sustainability: 100% recycled polyester rain and windproof jackets
Best for: Casual waterproof jackets, recycled raincoats, windproof jackets
Ships to: the US & International
Meet the Othello Falls range, prAna’s waterproof and breathable collection of sustainable raincoats for men and women.
Created with 100% recycled polyester, the Othello Falls range features longline trench coat styles and short waterproof jackets in various colors, perfect for countryside hikes and city center commutes.
Although Prana’s jackets are completely waterproof, they are more suited for casual wear. If you’re looking for a technical waterproof for hiking or trekking, we’d recommend sticking to Patagonia or Finisterre instead.
Sustainability: Vegan-friendly, non-toxic, plastic-free waterproof jackets created with an organic cotton canvas featuring a PFC-free water-resistant coating.
Best for: Plastic-free rain jacket with a large hood
Ships to: the UK & International
UK-based plastic-free brand Rapanui are reinventing eco-friendly raincoats as we know them.
Inspired by its heritage on the Isle of Wight, the brand has taken the classic maritime style and created a practical and stylish raincoat from organic cotton reinforced with a water-repellant coating.
Unfortunately, Rapanui jackets aren’t entirely waterproof and instead are water-resistant and suitable for wear in light rain showers.
Sustainability: Water-resistant jacket for men made with 91% recycled nylon in a Fair Trade certified factory.
Best for: Travel-friendly, water-resistant jacket for men
Ships to: Worldwide
Sustainable clothing brand Outerknown creates the water-resistant Apex jacket from recycled nylon.
The Apex jacket features a DWR coating, laser-cut vents for extra breathability, and a four-way stretch for comfort.
Unfortunately, Outerknown currently only creates the Apex jacket in men’s styles and doesn’t offer any women’s raincoats – something we hope the brand will improve on in the future.
Sustainability: Vegan, PFC-free recycled materials containing bluesign® approved fabrics. Certified B Corporation.
Best for: Stylish, water-resistant jackets for men and women
Ships to: Worldwide
Spanish sustainable streetwear brand Ecoalf creates stylish and innovative designs from responsible materials, including recycled polyester and organic cotton.
You can expect to find cool, on-trend, and eco-friendly water-resistant jackets from Ecoalf. However, if you’re looking for a technical waterproof jacket, Ecoalf is more suited for casual wear.
Ecoalf is a transparent brand and details the environmental impact of each item on its website.
Sustainability: Water repellent jackets made from recycled plastic bottles
Best for: Active waterproof, puffer jackets
Ships to: Worldwide
Look stylish and help prevent plastic pollution at the same time? Sounds good, right. You can do that with Girlfriend Collective’s water repellent jackets and coats.
We love the brand puffer jacket, which will keep you warm in temperatures as low as 18-28 °F. Girlfriend’s recycled puffer is also available in a version with a hood for keeping your head and hair looking on point in wet weather and fleece-lined pockets to keep your hands toasty.
Girlfriend Collective is the best brand featured for size inclusivity, with sizes up to 6XL available. Each style is unisex.
Sustainability: Organic cotton and recycled polyester raincoat with a fluorocarbon-free repellent.
Best for: Stylish ethical rain jacket
Ships to: Worldwide.
Although Thought has only a small selection of waterproof jackets available, we couldn’t not include the brand, as they are creating their raincoats most sustainably – by using a fluorocarbon-free waterproof coating.
Thought’s raincoat is not only water repellent, but the jacket also looks stylish, perfect for any occasion. However, one drawback of the coat is that it can lack breathability when worn on hot days due to the waterproof nature of the material.
Sustainability: Pre-loved North Face jackets repaired and resold
Best for: Affordability
Ships to: the US
If you like The North Face but are looking for a more affordable option with a lower carbon footprint, check out The North Face Renewed.
The brand created an online marketplace to resell returned and repaired items at a fraction of the cost of a new waterproof.
The brand partners with TERSUS Solutions to repair and clean each item to look new with minimal water usage.
What materials are used for a sustainable waterproof jacket?
Lightweight and waterproof materials must be used for a robust and durable rain jacket.
As mentioned above, common sustainable rain jacket materials include recycled polyamide and recycled polyester. Popular recycled materials are:
ECONYL® – A recycled polyamide created from marine plastic, recycled fishing nets, and post-consumer textiles.
REPREVE® – uses recycled plastic to turn into textiles.
NetPlus® – Created from recycled fishing nets removed from ocean pollution.
Are recycled materials lower quality than virgin materials?
No, there is no composition difference in choosing a sustainable rain jacket created with recycled materials, as recycled polyamide and recycled polyester possess the same characteristics as virgin materials.
The difference will be that your carbon footprint will be lower, and you will help reduce our reliance on nonrenewable fossil fuels and help prevent plastic pollution.
Wrapping Up: Sustainable Rain Jackets
Whether you’re hiking, travelling, or just looking to stay dry, we hope you’ve discovered some great sustainable rain jackets.