How to shop for the best wool, and organic cotton sweaters to keep you warm and healthy this fall and winter season.
All over the internet you’ve seen people claiming that their -insert noun here- is the “best.” From categories ranging from food, to home décor, to fashion, everyone claims their item is the best. It really is hit or miss whether you agree with them or not, but there are some defining factors that really do set some things on a plane above the others in their respective category. This is certainly true with clothing, as in our “advanced” modern world, we really must be hyper-vigilant to ensure we aren’t falling prey to greenwashing, or other conniving marketing claims meant to dupe consumers.
As sweater season is upon us, I would like to present some of the best sweaters for fall and winter in this brief edit. When looking for the best quality sweaters the easiest way to weed out the chaff is to check the materials label or description when browsing online. Always avoid materials like nylon, acrylic, acetate, polyester, and rayon as these are heavily treated with toxic chemicals during the manufacturing process, that do not wash out or fade away. Most of these fabrics have strong links to cancer (they’re carcinogenic), or have hormone disrupting chemicals in them like BPA that easily absorb into the body when pressed against for hours on end. Instead, stick to the clean fabrics like linen, woolens, organic cotton, and silk. Lots of what is made today is blended, and I avoid even that if it’s blended with a synthetic. If that’s not doable budget-wise, as it isn’t always for me, I encourage you to scout resale sites like ThreadUp and Poshmark, as well as post-season sales at your favorite retailer – I’ve had tremendous luck on all of these. You can find decent prices on post-season designer items on YOOX as well as The Outnet, too. As a conscious fashion blogger I can honestly say that garment quality far outweighs having the latest thing, so if that means wearing last season SIGN ME UP!
The second most useful identifier for high quality sweaters are the manufacturing processes. I love the creamy, natural look of undyed yarn and won’t worry if an undyed garment is not organic, but typically I gravitate toward items with the GOTS, Bluesign, and OEKO-TEX certifications. Woolens are amazing for regulating body temperature, which is why they are a MUST in any winter wardrobe. If you find them itchy, layer them over an organic cotton turtleneck, collared shirt, or long sleeve tee. Slight digression but I’ve just stocked up on these merino base layers for my family and love them. Not sweaters, but definitely recommended as they are completely silky smooth and DO NOT ITCH! For cotton sweaters, I try to make sure it’s organic as that will ensure it has not been treated with pesticides during the growing process, or other toxic chemicals during the manufacturing process but I will layer a linen or organic cotton undershirt to reduce the amount of direct contact in this case (as is the case with the outfit in the featured image).
Armed with this knowledge, you can shop confidently knowing you are not being duped by sneaky marketing, or greenwashing, and can find the best products that are actually deserving of your hard earned money! While it’s extremely difficult to have a 100% non-toxic wardrobe, I certainly do my best to avoid synthetics by purchasing better quality garments. Happy shopping, dear reader, and please stay warm and cozy!