Revolutionary High-Tech Fabrics to Replace Wool and Down in Your Closet

Published by PETA Staff.

There’s nothing warm and fuzzy about down or wool. As documented in a recent PETA exposé, geese are often live-plucked so that their down can be used in apparel, including Volcom jackets, which causes the birds a great deal of pain and distress. When we released an exposé of the Australian wool industry, people were shocked to see workers violently punching gentle sheep in the face and jabbing them in the head with metal clippers and even a hammer. These attacks often left the petrified animals bleeding from their eyes, noses, and mouths. Read the facts about wool to learn more about why clothing brands are phasing out this cruelly obtained fiber in favor of vegan tech fabrics.

Let’s take a look at 11 of the high-tech vegan fabrics that are revolutionizing the clothing world:

1. Polartec

It’s possible now to stay insulated and dry without the bulk of multiple layers, thanks to a new version of Polartec‘s Thermal Pro, which looks like a high-quality sweatshirt and is made from a blend of quick-drying Tencel and a thin double layer of polyester. Banana Republic adopted the new technology and quickly sold out of its Thermal Pro pieces. Try this Heritage Fleece Belgian Cap by Swrve on for size. It will keep your head warm without the scratchiness of wool.

2. Thermogreen

Eco-friendly Thermogreen insulation keeps you warm even when wet, unlike down, which can serve as a breeding place for mildew and create odor. We love the minimal design of this toasty Patagonia Windsweep 3-in-1 Jacket.

3. Omni-Heat

Columbia’s cozy gloves feature Omni-Heat thermal-reflective lining for great heat retention and breathability. Many Columbia hats, jackets, and pants also use this material.

4. PrimaLoft

PrimaLoft was developed to fulfill the U.S. Army’s need for a water-resistant, synthetic alternative to goose down. An eco tag indicates that it’s made from 70 percent recycled fibers. This Casto Parka by Vaute is a chic example of how this revolutionary technology has been used:

5. rPET

Also simply called “recycled polyester,” rPET refers to the recycled plastic bottles that it’s made from. Unlike wool, it won’t leave you itchy around the collar. Check out Patagonia’s Insulated Prairie Dawn Parka, which will keep you warm without any cruelty to sheep.

6. Gore-Tex

This polyester blend tech fabric is resistant to both wind and water. These pants by Patagonia, which combine Gore-Tex and Thermogreen, are ready for the slopes:

7. ThermoBall

This insulation—the result of a collaboration between The North Face and PrimaLoft—consists of clusters of synthetic fiber balls that achieve exceptional warmth in cold and wet weather. This North Face vest will keep you warm without the cruelty of down.

8. Plumtech

PETA and Save the Duck put our heads together to create a puffer jacket made with high-definition Plumtech padding that’s designed to insulate while still allowing freedom of movement.

9. Modal

Modal is a type of rayon, made exclusively from the renewable fiber of beech trees. Unlike wool, it doesn’t need to be ironed and retains its shape, size, and strength even after repeated washings. (By contrast, water can structurally weaken wool.) This versatile tech fabric can also be woven into a cruelty-free “silk,” like this Modal Printed Silk Scarf by Free People.

10. ThermaFill

This Eddie Bauer parka features lightweight, compressible ThermaFill insulation that traps heat, even in harsh conditions.

11. ThermaCheck

Lands’ End ThermaCheck 100 Half-Zip Pullover uses a soft, lightweight fleece that, unlike wool, resists static shock.

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