Wear It For Good: Puffer Jacket.
What we call a down or puffer jacket hasn’t changed much in the past 100 years. This garment was designed to keep us protected from the cold while allowing our body to breathe naturally.
What was once the go-to jacket for hunters and mountaineers, has entered fast fashion and has become so popularised that we’ve forgotten that it was made to be worn for good. If a good puffer jacket will last you a lifetime, why do you need so many?
This video will show you what the puffer jacket is, how to choose the best one (if you really need one), and how to maintain it so that it becomes truly sustainable.
Choose your ideal down jacket.
Whatever type of down jacket you decide to buy, understand that it will be with you for a very, very long time. As you’ve seen, the environmental and ethical costs to producing this item are huge. Because a puffer jacket consist of synthetic fabrics, it cannot be thrown away. It has to be recycled.
So, take your time and make sure the down is:
sourced to the available standard;
produced somewhere outside of China;
made from recycled down or polyester.
Maintain your jacket.
2 washes max during the cold season.
Clean spots by hand.
Wash it at 30º.
Don’t use the spin cycle.
Don’t use fabric softeners.
Line dry in a well ventilated area.
Redistribute the down filling evenly.
Clean it before storing.
Don’t crumple or wrap it in plastic.
Use cotton or linen covers.
Easy to Repair.
If you got a hole or accidentally ripped your puffer jacket, you can easily repair it. There are many step-by-step instructions on Patagonia’s website if you would like to repair your jacket by yourself. Or you can take it to any repair shop or tailor in your neighborhood.
Buy vintage, secondhand.
With so many down jackets in circulation, there’s no need to buy a new one. Second hand puffer jackets usually cost around $50-$70. The cuts and colours you’ll find in vintage stores won’t differ too much from today’s style. If they do, lucky you! You’ve found yourself a rare gem.
As I said before, puffer jackets are not biodegradable, so the best way to discard your jacket would be giving it away for recycling. You can leave it in the special recycling bins that you can see in some shops. Or just google the closest location where you can give away textiles for recycling in your city.
Rent a jacket instead of buying one.
If you don’t need to own a puffer jacket on a regular basis, but need it for a vacation or short trip, consider renting a down jacket instead of buying one. For example, online rental services like Rent The Runway will let you rent a nice looking jacket from 4 days to 1 month.
Buy a new jacket from sustainable brands.
If none of the above solutions work for you, I’d suggest buying a new winter jacket from sustainable brands. They only use recycled down and synthetics made out of plastic waste for their puffer jackets.
I’m sure these 7 ways of finding and caring for your down jacket will help you wear it for good. Transitioning to a sustainable wardrobe takes time so don’t judge yourself too harshly for past decisions. Instead, make sure that the jacket you already own lasts for as long as possible. And if you need a new one, you know what to do.