There are few fabrics as prominent within the world of clothing as wool might be, but with an increasing focus on sustainable, ethical production lines, various companies have made an effort to step away from the textile. As a result, there are more wool-free garments in circulation than ever before, showing that the industry’s reliance on specified fabrics can and will be questioned.
Aside from the inherent effects that the production of wool-free clothing has on the animal population, there are a number of innovative technologies that have been implemented to replace the once-familiar staple, including more durable, long-lasting synthetics and mixtures that have served to advance the clothing industry’s production principles. Below, we’ve outlined a handful of our favorite wool-free offerings so that you, too, can become privy to the benefits of alternative textiles.
Protect Your Head
The North Face Horizon Ball Cap
An industry-wide turn to the implementation of durable, long-lasting materials hasn’t been reserved for primary garments. The North Face’s Horizon Ball Cap is the perfect example of its expansion into smaller accessories, calling upon a ripstop nylon construction, an adjustable clip closure at its rear, and a branded elastic sweatband to wick sweat away from your brow throughout the day. And if you’re afraid of the sun, don’t fret — the hat also features UPF 50 ultraviolet protection to keep you shrouded during those long days outdoors.
Carhartt WIP Hayes Logo
The five-panel Hayes Logo cap is a fashionable staple on its own, but with a company as revered as Carhartt WIP at its back, it’s up there on our list of must-have wool-free accessories. Each nylon and spandex-constructed example is both sturdy and stylish, thanks to a suite of hard-wearing fabrics, a flexible flat peak, and embroidered eyelets that have made it a favorite among pro skaters and other extreme athletes. Increased ventilation is always a welcome trait, and with additional quality-of-life components like an adjustable tab system, internal browband, and an appliqued designer emblem, it’s no wonder that the brand’s fashionable cap has become a mainstay in the world of sports.
Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat
Tilley’s LTM6 Airflo Hat might not be the first cap on anyone’s radar, but we’re about to open your eyes to an entirely new genre of headwear. This comfortable, but functional peripheral boasts a wide, stiff brim to keep the sun off of your face and neck, while also offering UPF 50 sun protection at its top and sides. It’s a perfect option for a day at the lake, or any other body of water, thanks to its floating closed-cell foam top, a hidden hook-and-loop pocket to store essentials like your identification, money, or hotel key. A Hydrofil band has been implemented to wick sweat away from your eyes during those hot and humid days, while a specialized chin cord helps to keep the hat secure if things get a bit windy. And the best part? Tilley claims that the hat will never shrink, wear out, or fall apart, making it an attractive proposition as far as quality is concerned.
The Outerwear Standard
Arc’teryx Kyanite LT Jacket
Arc-teryx’s expertise in outerwear is unquestionable, and thanks to the Kyanite LT jacket, it’s become even more clear as to why the brand is revered for its uncompromising quality. Each example is crafted from a man-made Torrent stretch fleece, resulting in unparalleled weight, warmth, and comfort, while additional reinforcement in the jacket’s key areas arrives courtesy of its Merrow stitch construction. Aside from a reduction in weight and bulk, the Kyanite also boasts a set of dependable zippered hand pockets and a chin guard that keeps your neckline from chafing as you put in the miles.
KUHL Kaffe Racer Insulated Jacke
KUHL’s Kaffe Racer Insulated Jacket strikes the perfect middle ground between function and fashion, providing wearers with a great-looking, moto-style jacket that’s filled to the brim with high-performance materials. This cotton/polyester garment boasts exceptional abrasion resistance, additional durability, and a patina-garnering exterior that ages to look like the genre’s most iconic offerings. Pair that with a quilted synthetic insulation system and a nylon liner to promote extra strength while in motion, and you’ve got a contemporary style staple that acts and looks like it was meant to be worn atop a fire-breathing street machine.
Private White V.C. Stretch Cotton Bomber
Private White V.C. trades in the creation of menswear’s finest garments, and the company’s tasteful Stretch Cotton Bomber is no different. Each handsome example boasts a traditional bomber silhouette that’s been fashioned from Private White’s responsibly-sourced stretch-cotton moleskin, resulting in a lightweight persona that makes it a perfect garment for use on mildly-cold days. To accent the bomber’s cotton and elastane construction, a set of buffalo horn buttons line the jacket’s exterior, working alongside a notable pairing of buttoned flap pockets, ribbed trims, and fastenings to provide the wearer with a fashionable, wool-free staple that can be depended upon time and time again.
The Versatile Mid-Layer
Plant Faced Classics Embroidered Hoodie
Plant Faced might be a bit of an abnormal brand, but its commitment to ethical production practices is second to none. This Classics Embroidered Hoodie, for example, boasts a premium 280gsm ringspun cotton and polyester construction, a pullover hood, and raglan sleeves to give it an ultra-soft, but an inherently-durable persona, while still adhering to the company’s Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) ethos. To add a final touch of authenticity, a mini white logo has been embroidered on the hoodie’s front, demarcating its acceptance into one of the world’s finest clothing lines.
Carhartt Force Delmont Full-Zip
Carhartt’s Force Delmont Full-Zip hoodie adapts the timeless silhouette to fit in alongside your more contemporary garments, calling upon a stylish, throwback stature that’s been emboldened with modern technologies. A cotton and polyester construction joins with the company’s FastDry tech to wick away sweat and keep you cool and dry throughout the day, complementing its blotch-fighting Stain Breaker treatment, range-enhancing raglan sleeves and side panels, and breathable underarm gussets. The addition of a hidden media and hand-warming pocket is just icing on the cake, providing a functional contrast to the jacket’s stretchable, heat-sealing rib-knit cuffs and waistband.
J.Crew Garment-Dyed Loopback
J.Crew is known far and wide for making some of the industry’s most affordable garments, but they’re also lauded for creating some of its most stylish. This Garment-Dyed Loopback hoodie is one such item — a minimalistic, army-green variant that stays true to the company’s simplified mission. Each cotton-jersey loopback features a faded look and soft feel, while also basting a dropped shoulder seam to make layering easier than ever. A drawstring hood, ribbed trim, and front pouch pockets combine with the Loopback’s zip fastening to create a contemporary successor to the genre’s most influential hoodies, without the insane price tag.
Providing The Foundation
Columbia Silver Ridge Lite Long-Sleeve Shirt
Everyone needs a good base layer to tie everything together, and that’s something that Columbia’s Silver Ridge Lite Long-Sleeve excels at. Featuring a capable Omni-Wick fabric that removes moisture from your skin to keep you dry and comfortable, this UPF 40-rated garment calls upon a suite of Omni-Shade textiles and an antimicrobial treatment to protect its wearer from inhibitors like the sun, and odor, making it a go-to for many adventurers who are looking to utilize it outdoors. And the best part? Roll-up tabs at its sleeves and an integrated back vent make it even more capable if you’re planning to head to an arid climate.
Filson Lightweight Alaskan Guide Shirt
Filson’s Alaskan Guide Shirt was devised to take on every season, and do it in the most lightweight manner possible. This all-season essential features a robust coon construction that’s been gifted with a pleated back to provide an excellent range of motion, while working alongside a more relaxed fit than its counterparts to solicit additional comfort. It even comes prewashed, giving it a vintage, broken-in appearance that would normally take months of traditional wear to acquire.
Mr P. Striped Cotton Jersey Long-Sleeve Shirt
Mr P. takes its role within the realm of menswear seriously, and with stylish options like the Striped Cotton Jersey Long Sleeve, it’s apparent that the brand won’t let its high-end reputation fade anytime soon. This classic garment features a vibrant saffron pattern and a Breton-inspired silhouette that’s been crafted from a cut of mid-weight cotton jersey, relying on relaxed shoulder seams and a crew-neck orientation to give it a leg up on its dialed-down competition. A chest patch pocket and side slits accent the piece’s durable cotton construction — a testament to its tenure under the watchful eye of Japan’s talented craftsmen and clothing makers.
Keeping You Composed
Cotopaxi Baja Pant
Cotopaxi’s Baja Pant might seem like a piece of laid-back legwear, but, as is the case with most surprising garments, it’s much more than meets the eye. Each ultralight example is crafted for adventure, thanks to a moisture-resistant construction, a DWR-treated softshell four-way stretch fabric, and twill back, which provides optimal next-to-skin softness for a wide range of applications. A knit waistband and internal drawcord provide low-profile comfort throughout your entire range of motion and don’t cut-in to create a feeling of agitation as you travel around the globe.
Lee Austin Tapered Indiegood Jeans
There’s nothing quite like a pair of great-feeling denim, and although the classic textile is perfect for a specified time and place, there isn’t always an event where denim is acceptable. To help traverse that boundary, Lee created the Austin Tapered Indiegood jean — a slim-fitting example crafted from organic cotton, helping to promote the company’s focus on sustainable production practices. Aside from offering one of the most comfortable and durable types of denim around, the Austin is a testament to modern style, blending a mid-rise orientation, asymmetric back pockets, and antique brass buttons to create something a bit more refined than your average pair of heavy jeans.
rag & bone Fit 2 Slim-Fit Twill Chino
If you’re looking to stay a bit more formal with your legwear, look no further than rag & bone’s Fit 2 Slim-Fit Twill Chinos. These stylish peripherals are slim, great-fitting, and catered toward the fashion-forward individual, thanks to their flexible cotton-blend twill, a stone-hued greige shade, and traditional belt loops/welt pockets that provide an air of pure professionalism. But they aren’t all formal, you’ll also be able to transition from the office to the social event with ease thanks to the inherent adaptability of the chino range, allowing you to utilize them with far more frequency than other legwear offerings.
Tying It All Together
Native Fitzsimmons Treklite Ripstop
No outfit is complete without a great shoe to tie it all together, and Native’s Fitzsimmons Treklite Ripstop boot might just be the perfect all-arounder. Whether you’re heading to the trail, or spending a night out on the town, these stylish, but functional offerings boast a grippy, ultra-light rubber outsole, a Defender Repellent System, and Scotchgard to keep your feet protected from adverse weather. Dive even deeper into the shoe’s construction and you’ll find durable ripstop nylon, PU backing, and a plush microfleece lining that places comfort at the forefront, making the Treklite a formidable shoe that can hold its own in a variety of environments, urban or otherwise.
Brave Gentleman Visionary Boot II
If you haven’t heard of Brave Gentleman, you’re missing out on some of the best footwear in the industry. The company’s Visionary Boot II is, in fact, visionary, calling upon a 100% vegan construction, characteristic brogueing, and a silhouette that elaborates on the original wingtip style to create something contemporary, and stylish. Each example is outfitted with high-tech PU future-leather and boasts an Italian-designed construction that’s been approved by the European Union’s Eco-Label certification, giving you peace-of-mind when picking up your next pair of ethically-sourced boots.
Common Projects Black Leather Chelsea
Common Projects’ Black Leather Chelsea boots might not be as technologically groundbreaking as a variety of other offerings on this list, but that doesn’t make them any less classic. These iconic examples are crafted in Italy using the brand’s premium black leather and feature Common’s trademark gold serial number to denote their exclusivity. A durable black calf leather construction and elasticated siding complement the boot’s rubber-crepe soles, providing wearers with a piece of fashionable footwear that will always answer the call when you’re feeling a bit more upscale.