* I received this item as a gift and thus it is a type of sponsored review, though of course all opinions are my own.
This year in general I’ve been trying to be better about my consumption and disposal of plastic (like a lot of you I’m sure). And like many of you, I try but also fail repeatedly. Like the times I’m super thirsty but forgot to bring my reusable water bottle or when the take out place puts all my food in plastic containers and bags. Going zero waste is hard and it’s not a one time thing. It takes diligence and perseverance. But it’s important. So I’m glad to see Everlane is trying to do their part by eliminating all virgin plastic from their supply chain, production, warehouses, and their office by 2021. It’s definitely a step in the right condition. And as part of that initiative, they released their ReNew line that uses recycled plastic in their line of puffers and fleeces.
Now this isn’t super revolutionary since Patagonia has been doing this for awhile now, but it’s nice to see another brand do it in their own aesthetic (because as much as I love the utilitarianism of Patagonia, they’re not exactly modern chic).
The puffer I requested to try out was their lightweight puffer in stone. I don’t normally go for white outerwear but something about the muted/faded white with the black zippers were calling my name. This is made from the equivalent of 15 recycled water bottles, which is less than I expected (especially when you compare it to the fleece that’s made from 35 recycled water bottles). But the point is that everything (except the zipper, which they’re working on) is made from recycled materials.
I ordered this in a size small, which fits me for now (but as I get more pregnant, I probably won’t be able to zip it up). And I would say it runs TTS. When I compare it to Everlane’s lightweight puffer from last year (reviewed here) I would say this year’s version feels slightly less puffy. I wonder if it’s the difference in the “Gold Luxe” primaloft vs. the recycled primaloft insulation). Either way I think it’s a good thing since I feel like if it was too puffy, this jacket would make me look like a marshmallow. Also the insulating temperatures for both the old and new jacket are the same, so the actual warmth factor probably doesn’t change. And since both the old and new versions of the jacket are made in the same Vietnamese factory, everything is pretty much the same same. Except of course this year’s version is made from recycled plastic. I like that the jacket also has a bit of a curved cut in the back instead of straight across to add some interest. I think if you’re looking for a nylon puffer with a hood, their lightweight half zip puffer would be a good option.
When Everlane sent the jacket, they also had some extra zero waste goodies that I look forward to using (especially the bamboo toothbrush since it is my first)! Also now I have a cute Everlane reusable bag to go along with all my homemade ones (seriously if you can only do one thing to lessen your plastic impact, grocery shopping with reusable drawstring bags for your produce makes such a difference). Also the poly bag that Everlane is now using is made from recycled plastic. I hate that almost all clothes we buy online comes in poly bags, but I get it: it’s meant to protect the clothes from damage. I save every single one of them and reuse it when I sell stuff on eBay. Not only does that protect the clothes I ship out but I guess it helps me feel better for reusing it. Also in some ways, I think I pass on the guilt and responsibility of having to consume and dispose of that plastic bag.
So if you’re looking for a puffer jacket or fleece this winter to fill a hole in your closet or to replace an old one, I think the Everlane ReNew line is a really great responsible option. However if you don’t need it, please don’t buy it. Another aspect of being a responsible consumer is to only buy what you really need, and consuming something just because it’s made responsibly is not actually the most responsible thing to do. As for me, this light colored puffer is something I can definitely use this year, and you’ll be seeing it a lot I hope (in fact I’ve added it to my Fall 10x10 so you’ll probably see some pics of it on Instagram).
P.S. Recycled plastic is good and all, but the best thing to do is not to use it at all. Treat it like gold and buy it sparingly because the reality of recycled plastic also isn’t that pretty. I just watched the documentary China Plastic and it’s so informative and yet so heartbreaking. If you have Amazon Prime, please do yourself a favor and watch it. Recycled plastic is not the solution, it’s just a band aid. No plastic at all when possible is the best solution— a lesson I know in my head and heart that I’m trying to put into practice on the daily.