Sustainable rain jackets: This is how you stay dry even without PFC & synthetics

Sustainable rain jackets: This is how you stay dry even without PFC & synthetics

Sustainable rain jackets: This is how you stay dry even without PFC & synthetics

They exist: Sustainable rain jackets and raincoats that are made entirely of natural fibers and still keep you dry in wind and weather. We reveal when sustainable rain jackets are worthwhile - and of course who makes them.

Do rain jackets or raincoats always have to be made of synthetic fibers? no More and more manufacturers are also using natural fibers for waterproof jackets. The fabrics are woven particularly tightly and impregnated with an ecological coating so that they keep out the rain.

These jackets are primarily waterproof - but not in the classic sense of rain jackets. If you are exposed to heavy rain for several hours, such a jacket will probably not keep you dry all the time. For the city or occasional hikes, these jackets made of natural fibers are a functional and environmentally friendly alternative to rain jackets made of synthetic fibers. A sustainable rain jacket or raincoat can easily withstand at least one normal rain shower.

We explain below what the problem with conventional rain jackets is.

Sustainable rain jackets "The Jacket" by Jeckybeng

Such an environmentally friendly rain jacket can be found at the Nuremberg label Jeckybeng. His unisex jacket "The Jacket" is made of particularly tightly woven organic cotton.

"Due to its yarn and the dense weave, the fabric is waterproof," founder Moritz Lorenz told Utopia.

How quickly a substance lets water through can be seen from the so-called water column. The higher this is, the more waterproof the fabric is. The Jeckybeng jacket has a water column of up to 700 millimeters.

The label obtains the fabric from a company in Taiwan that produces the material in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible manner. The jacket itself is made in Poland.

Social commitment: The label repeatedly supports various social projects with the income from e.g. the sale of rain jackets or simply because it is right and important for the founders.

Buy**: The rain jacket The Jacket by Jeckybeng is available for around 400 euros in the Avocadostore, among other places.

The lightweight of Jeckybeng

If “The Jacket” is too warm for you, Jeckybeng has an absolute lightweight: the Lightweight Jacket (weight: only 490 g) made from 100 percent organic cotton. The minimalist jacket with a straight cut does without unnecessary plastic parts on the hood and waist adjustment and is also available as a camouflage edition.

The jacket is PFC-free, windproof, but only water-repellent - so it is not suitable as a real rain jacket.

Buying: The best way to buy the Lightweight Jacket from Jeckybeng is directly from their own online shop.

Sustainable rain jackets "Lenne" from Nordwärts

The sustainable outdoor label Nordwärts uses a similar material for its all-weather jackets: Norrtek is also made from tightly woven organic cotton. The material has been around for a long time, but Nordwärts has further developed the fabric together with the manufacturer and patented the brand name.

The Lenne model is not a rain jacket in the classic sense, but it is waterproof, breathable and also vegan. The coating is free of fluorine-containing compounds. It is based on highly branched polymers and can therefore withstand normal rain. The water column is about 500 to 600 millimeters.

The impregnation is permanent, so it does not need to be refreshed, writes Nordwärts. Only after washing – which, by the way, should be done as seldom as possible – do you have to reactivate them, simply by ironing them hot.

Buy: Lenne is best bought online for around 300 euros directly from Nordwärts.

Outdoor jackets from Hessnatur

The eco-label Hessnatur also has cotton jackets that keep you dry in normal rain. The jackets are coated with beeswax or with a vegan "eco finish". This makes them breathable, windproof and water-repellent.

Hessnatur obtains the organic cotton used from Turkey, where the wax jackets are also manufactured under fair conditions.

Buy**: You can get the rain jacket made of natural fibers directly from Hessnatur.

Cotton raincoats: chic and functional

If you prefer something a little more chic and want to stay dry on the way to the office, for example, you can buy a sustainable raincoat in an elegant trench coat look from ein garten Studios.

The sustainable raincoats are manufactured under fair conditions in northern Germany. The material is exclusively organic cotton and bamboo viscose in the lining of the coat.

The models from ein garten Studios made of 100 percent cotton are also available in a sporty version. The material is wind and weatherproof: this makes these sustainable raincoats the perfect companions in wind and weather.

Another advantage: the coat is quiet. Yes, it is quiet, as there is no annoying noise or rustling when walking, as is the case with some raincoats.

Buy**: You can get the elegant coat and the sporty coat at Avocadostore.

What is the problem with conventional rain jackets?

Manufacturers often rely on perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFC) for conventional rain jackets. They make the clothing weatherproof – but they are anything but environmentally friendly.

The problem with PFC: The chemicals are considered toxic, in animal experiments they promote the development of liver cancer and other tumors and they are suspected of being reproductively harmful.

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Both during production and during washing, PFCs enter the environment through our clothing. They can be detected anywhere on earth, even in remote areas like the Arctic or the animals that live there. We humans ingest PFCs through food.

This is a problem because the chemicals are hardly or not at all degradable and accumulate in the tissues of living beings. PFC is therefore found in our blood and even in breast milk.

Even PFC-free rain jackets are not without problems

Many manufacturers have now recognized the problem of PFC and use impregnations made of paraffins, silicones, polyurethanes or dendrimers for their PFC-free rain jackets. The membranes are usually made of polyurethane (PU) or polyester. The problem: These substances are plastics, they are based on crude oil - so they are not ecologically harmless either.

Plastic fibers are sometimes microscopically small, they come out of clothes when they are washed, get into open water via sewage and eventually into the oceans. Synthetic clothing is one of the main sources of microplastics in the ocean. More on this:

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However, there are some better alternatives: Some rain jackets are impregnated using a process called ecorepel Bio. The protective layer with which these jackets are provided is based on plant-based raw materials and is based on nature: the manufacturers try to replicate a kind of cuticle for the outdoor jacket. The cuticle is the outermost waxy layer of plant leaves that protects them from uncontrolled evaporation and rain.

The process also only uses plants that cannot be used as food or feed and are not genetically modified.

Rain jackets: Less is more

When choosing your outdoor clothing, you should ask yourself the question: does it really have to be the rain jacket with the highest waterproofing and breathability for occasional hikes? In order not to burden the environment unnecessarily, with every purchase you should seek advice on which products and functions you really need - and use common sense.

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Keywords: Fair purchase advice Plastic-free clothing