Let's cut to the chase here. It's Autumn. It’s Britain. It’s raining.
You need a jacket that is actually waterproof, not just 'shower-proof'. We’re talking about walking to work in a literal torrential downpour and not ending up in the office looking like you’ve just taken up adult swimming lessons. And because you’re a good moral person in the 21st century, you're also wanting to keep good old planet earth in decent nick. How very kind of you.
All in all, you're after a ‘sustainable' waterproof jacket. Nice one. Below, you'll find some of our faves for men.
To give you a hand with your own searches, here our 'top tips' for what to look out for in your perfect sustainable waterproof jacket...
How to know if it's sustainable:
PFC free - Poly-Fluorinated Chemicals are completely man-made chemicals that don’t occur naturally in nature. Commonly used in DWR (durable water repellent) coatings and waterproof membranes, these nasty chemicals have been found to cause harm to reproduction, promote the growth of tumours and affect the hormone system. But the good news is PFC free waterproofing exists and you should definitely go for it.
Recycled Polyester - Polyester isn’t great, it’s plastic, and it loves shedding plastic microfibres into the world. However it does happen to be super handy when it comes to creating highly technical performance weather gear. Recycled polyester is a more sustainable alternative as it reduces the demand for oil that’s turned into new plastic, by instead using old plastic to make new plastic. Hooray!
Organic Cotton Ventile - Ventile is a cotton fabric that was created way-back-when (before plastic) for pilots in wartime Britain who needed garments that were both cool, comfortable and also warm and keep the water out.
How to know if it's waterproof:
Taped Seams - Where a seam is sewn, it means the fabric is punctured and water will always eventually seep in over time. Taped seams means the punctured holes are sealed and water stays out!
Hydrostatic Head - If you’re out in serious rain (i.e monsoon/Scotland) then this technical measurement will help you know the level of ‘waterproofness’ a jacket has. If the measurement is above 5,000mm it’s decent, you’ll be fine in a small downpour. Anything over 10,000mm is damn good, you’ll be good if you’re in the rain all day. Anything over 20,000mm is superb, verging on ridiculous
1. Tretorn Rain Jacket From The Sea - £195
What a colour right! Tretorn call it Sea Kelp and it's a beautiful toned down bottle green that'll look as much at home striding into work as it would on the side of a rugged hillside in Scotland.
Big pockets for stashing goodies and chest hand warmer pockets for keeping toasty, alongside curved cuffs and a three piece peaked hood mean water rolls away like a dream.
It's also made from recycled nylon, 50% of which comes from discarded fishing nets - whilst a laminated layer ticks the boxes for waterproofing and breathability.
2. Finisterre Mistral Waterproof Jacket - £185
Oh hello orange! (FYI it also comes in black...)
This is a super technical jacket for those of you who's ideas of physical activity go beyond running down the street after your bus. Super waterproof with a 20,000mm Hydrostatic Head and super breathable thanks to clever construction of the recycled polyester outer shell with a PFC free water repellant finish.
The hood on this is the bomb-diggity with a three point drawcord construction that basically moulds the hood to your head, which combined with a wire peak means you are ready to face any monsoon that heads your way.
Bonus features come from quality AquaGuard zip with storm flap and fully taped seams throughout.
I really want this jacket.
3. Fjallraven Keb Eco-Shell Jacket - £450
OK, let's move past the elephant in the room here. This jacket is seriously pricey. The kind of price where you turn over the label in the shop, wince a little bit and discreetly pop the label back inside the jacket.
However, a solid rain jacket is a solid investment piece - and if anything, it's always nice to lust over the stuff you can't have.
If you've already got a Fjallraven Kanken backpack then you'll know they do build quality seriously well, and this eco-jacket is more of the same. Made from a partly recycled 3-way stretch soft shell fabric that's waterproof and windproof and with zippered side ventilation and two-way aquaguard zipper, this is the real deal.
Waterproofing is dealt with via an PFC-free water repellant finishing, so a tick in the sustainability box there.
We really like the full black version, it's sleek without looking overly technical and meets the classic tri-factor of being work/pub/adventure appropriate.
4. LangerChen Stockton Parka - £250
You might not have heard of LangerChen before, we certainly hadn't, but it turns out they are a Chinese/German brand, who since 2013, have been creating an environmentally friendly and fair textile production facility in China - and who have now got GOTS accreditation and make jolly nice outdoor clothing!
This parka is a bit of a gem too. It's made from an organic cotton poplin that's got a PFC-free water-repellant treatment applied to it - using a natural fibre as the base means that it'll be super breathable, but maybe not quite as waterproof as some of the other jackets here.
It's in a relaxed 'modern military' cut that'll happily fit some insulation underneath it, while slanted flap pockets and a zip flap will stop any water getting to your insulation beneath.
5. Patagonia Torrent Shell Pullover - £88
How reasonable is £88 for a piece of waterproof and sustainable Patagonia technical gear! At time of writing this jacket is on sale, down from £110 - so get ready to strike while the iron's hot...
Made from a waterproof and breathable shell with a recycled nylon face, this will happily take you from festival, to pub, to stuffed in the back of a backpack (it packs into its own pocket thing) and quickly grabbed when the rain starts to pour!
Its also got a nice little micro-fleece lined collar and a big old front pocket for stashing bits and bobs safe in the knowledge water won't be attacking your iPhone from every angle.
It's also a damn cool colour blocked design, which helps.
Really into sustainable fashion? Want to check out some reasonably priced 100% organic cotton t-shirts and sweatshirts that'll be perfect layering partners underneath your sustainable rain jacket...
Well you just hit the jackpot. Welcome to the world of Goose Studios - click the button below for our menswear styles!