A cold snap in the air, a steaming cup of freshly brewed tea, a hardcover waiting to be cracked open, and your best-loved cardigan — autumn days were made for this. That is, until you catch sight of Twitter or hear a snatch of news from the radio or TV. There’s nothing that can harsh a cozy fall mellow like the realities of our modern era. It just doesn’t feel right to be all snuggled up when people and places all over the world are suffering.
Fortunately, slow fashion has an answer. Next time you’re shopping for a soft, snuggly pullover or cardigan, pick from one of the growing number of socially conscious apparel brands that are using commerce to do good in the world. From restoring waterways to paying laborers a living wage, from repurposing waste material to contributing to marginalized communities, these fashion companies are leading the charge to make sure that one guy’s cozy autumn day doesn’t come at the cost of another guy’s well-being. And did we mention that the sweaters they make are the highest quality you’ll find anywhere? Whether cotton, cashmere, wool, or alpaca is your pleasure, these socially conscious, sustainable sweaters don’t ask you to compromise quality for the sake of your principles.
Wrap yourself up in one of these sweaters from any of these socially conscious fashion brands, and you’ll feel as warm and fuzzy on the inside as you do on the outside.
Fjallraven Greenland Re-Wool Cardigan
We all know Fjallraven as the last word in cold-weather gear. But did you know the firm is also a leader in sustainable manufacturing? We didn’t until we made the acquaintance of its Re-Wool line. This version of its popular Greenland cardigan repurposes scrap material from the Italian wool garment industry for a robust, ribbed zip-up that is as cuddly as Mr. Rogers and as tough as Mr. T.
Cotopaxi Libre Midweight Sweater
You can’t get better than the best. The OG sustainable sweater is back and better than ever in a finer, lighter weight llama wool yarn and a slew of vintage-inspired colorways. Made from start to finish in Bolivia using local materials, this sweater directly supports farmers and craftspeople in the region. The Libre sweater is how Cotopaxi made it cool to be a B-Corp, and it’s only getting cooler with time.
Outerknown The Waterless Sweater
For night wanderers of the desert or sailors rigging the mast at dawn, this midweight sweater will make you welcome the damp chill in the air. Made from organic cotton, this sweater is named for the novel dye process that protects waterways (and also yields some really nice highs and lows in the coloring).
United By Blue Shetland Shawl Collar Sweater
Thick but not bulky, cozy but still classy, this 100% Shetland wool sweater boasts an elegant shawl collar with a nifty zig-zag knit for subtle charm. Along with feeling warm and looking hot, buying this sweater from United By Blue means removing a pound of trash from a vital waterway in the U.S.
Naadam The Essential $75 Cashmere V-Neck Sweater
While traditional cashmere production is problematic as hell, Naadam sweaters boast a low carbon footprint, clean-energy-powered manufacturing, better pay for their indigenous workforce, and sustainable grazing for the sheep that make their sweaters. This bestselling pullover is comfortably slouchy, heavenly soft, and at $75, shockingly affordable. Go ahead, get a couple of different colors.
Faherty Sconset Crew
Faherty’s cool coastal vibe isn’t just for summer wear. With its tight weave and oh-so-soft blend of cotton and cashmere, the Sconset Crew is begging to be taken on a moonlit beach walk. Want something a little heavier? Try their, which we love for its extra heft, cozy rolled neck and (has to be said) undeniable Lebowski vibe.
Tact and Stone Pichu Alpaca Wool Sweater
Hand-loomed by Fair Trade artisans in the Peruvian Highlands from sustainably raised alpaca wool, this sweater is dye-free, saves 725 gallons of water in its manufacture, and feels like an angel’s embrace. Been looking for the iron fist of uncompromising sustainability wrapped in the velvet glove of cloud-soft alpaca wool? You’ve arrived, my friend.
NAU Stealth Crew Neck Sweater
Cheers to the British invasion! Made from recycled fibers and styled after historic English military winter gear, this regimental sweater features reinforced sweater and elbow patches, a four-button shoulder placket, and a woven overlay on the shoulder yoke.
Patagonia Fog Cutter Sweater
Whether you’re hard at work in the chilly dawn, or just want to look that way, the Fog Cutter sweater offers all the workwear cred you can handle. Made from recycled cotton and hemp for ultra-low environmental impact, this comfort-cut sweater accommodates both heavy layering and lazy days on the couch with equal aplomb.
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