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Last Updated on June 23, 2022
In terms of outerwear, The North Face is undeniably one of the top brands in the market from which you can buy. Their premium pieces are built for harsh conditions and will satisfy the most demanding athletes. Their casual lines are quite good for their value and great for everyday life. The company really excels at the casual and hardcore end of the spectrum of outdoor garments and gear.
Furthermore, their lifetime guarantee against defects is one of the most generous policies in the market, not only for outerwear, and their prices are good for the quality of the garments that you get.
With all that in mind, The North Face is without a doubt an eminent brand that sets the bar quite high for other outerwear companies in the market. But, which other brands like The North Face should you consider buying from if you are into the outdoor life? Well, turns out there are great options and I’ve gone and done the research to bring you my top choices and all the juicy info on their ethical practices.
Read on to find out which brands made the list!
Main qualities of The North Face
- Technical fabrics and materials
- High standard of insulation and warmth
- Lightweight gear
- Comfortable clothing
- Outdoor aesthetic
- Colorful garments
- Lifetime guarantee
Most iconic garments from The North Face
- Puffer jackets
- Warm fleece hoodies
- Outdoorsy boots
Overview: Patagonia is an American outdoor clothing retailer.
Price Range: $$$
Origin and Concept: Patagonia was founded in 1973 by Yvon Chouinard, an accomplished rock climber, in Ventura, California. The brand is one of the leading companies for outdoor apparel. Their insulated clothing is particularly famous for its technical prowess and colorful designs. Garments are well-built, with plenty of functional designs that make the most of their high-quality technical material.
Celebs who are fans: Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, Shia Labeouf, Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Angelina Jolie, Katie Holmes, Scott Disick, and Prince Harry, among others.
Ethical Practices: The brand has a strong focus on sustainability. Patagonia has very interesting practices in place to minimize waste from its fashion production and to achieve a circular economy. Through their Worn Wear page they receive returned products in good condition (giving out new merchandise credits instead) and they clean, repair and resell the goods at lower prices. They also have a new program called ReCrafted that creates and sells clothing made from scraps of fabric and elements from used Patagonia gear.
The brand also commits 1% of its total sales to environmental groups through the One Percent for the Plant environmental organization and it aims to become carbon neutral by 2025. Furthermore, in 2021, Patagonia announced that it would no longer produce clothing with corporate logos added because this tended to result in reduced life spans of the garments for very trivial reasons. Truly commendable! The only negative thing I found is that they have no policy to prevent deforestation in their supply chain.
Overview: Arc’teryx is a fashion company that sells outdoor clothing and climbing gear.
Price Range: $$$$
Origin and Concept: The company was founded by Dave Lane, under the Rock Solid name, aimed at producing climbing gear. In 1991 the brand changed its name to Arc’teryx to reflect its vision of creating evolutionary and disruptive gear and garments for the outdoor industry. The logo and name of the brand refer to the Archaeopteryx, one of the first birds and a transitional form between earlier dinosaurs and modern birds.
Arc’teryx uses digital die-cutting machines instead of manual machines or workers. Arc’teryx has become amazingly popular with the A-lister crowd due to its top-end quality, craftsmanship, and fashionable designs. They usually use Gore-tex, which ensures durability and resistance over time.
Celebs who are fans: Frank Ocean, Drake, Travis Scott, the Hadid sisters, Leonardo di Caprio, Jennifer Garner, Justin Timberlake, Stephen Amell, Xi Jinping, Pierce Brosnan, and Virgil Abloh, among others.
Ethical Practices: Arc’teryx is owned by Amer Sports. This company uses few eco-friendly materials. Furthermore, there is no evidence it minimizes textile waste when manufacturing its products. On the bright side, their down is certified by the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) and they are completely fur-free. They also have a Used Gear Program that essentially recycles their outdoor garments and helps to keep pieces in circulation and out of landfill sites.
#3. Under Armour
Overview: Under Armour is an American sports and equipment company that manufactures footwear and casual apparel.
Price Range: $$-$$$
Origin and Concept: The company was founded in 1996 by Kevin Plank, and it initially began selling sportswear apparel. He went on to create t-shirts with moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics that remain dry during physical activities. The brand went on to perfect this design and include new technologies in their garments that would keep athletes cool and dry. Their garments are chosen by athletes and sportspeople of all sorts because of their high-quality and amazing performance.
Celebs who are fans: Adele, Alexa Demie, Amita Suman, Billie Eilish, Candice King, Carey Mulligan, Chrishell Stause, and Claire Holt, among others.
Ethical Practices: Sadly, Under Armour uses few eco-friendly materials and despite having set a science-based target number to reduce its greenhouse emissions and carbon footprint, there is no evidence that it is in fact on track to meet this goal.
Overview: Fjällräven is a lifestyle brand that makes handbags, accessories, and garments.
Price Range: $$$
Origin and Concept: Fjällräven means “the Artic fox”. The brand was founded in 1960 by Åke Nordin as a backpack company, and its Kanken packs and bags have managed to become an iconic item in any outdoor gear lineup. The Swedish brand is equally celebrated for its fashionable upscale hiking apparel and its winter jackets, hiking backpacks, down parkas, hiking pants, and many more high-quality garments. They are lauded for being durable, performing well in mountain environments, and being ultimately chic.
Celebs who are fans: Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Swift, Sophie Turner, and Alexa Chung
Ethical Practices: Fjällräven is considered a very transparent and ethical brand. Their down production process is detailed in their Down Promise and they have a comprehensive sustainable and traceable wool collection. Their ongoing efforts to reduce their impact on the environment and to be sustainable include using several eco-friendly materials like recycled materials and using renewable sources of energy. There is no evidence that they prevent deforestation in their supply chain, though.
#5. Columbia Sportswear
Overview: Columbia Sportswear is a casual outdoor apparel company that sells clothing and footwear.
Price Range: $$
Origin and Concept: Columbia was founded in 1938, originally aimed at distributing hats. It has since grown considerably to encompass all types of outdoor apparel. It’s considerably more budget-friendly than other brands on this list but the quality and performance of some of its items are also a bit reduced.
For casual outdoor people that don’t demand too much of their gear, this doesn’t seem to be an issue. However, for real outdoor people that need their gear to really be at its best to counteract difficult environments, the lack of technical features and performance is a major detractor of the brand. Despite that, Columbia has widespread appeal due to its inclusivity, including its big and tall line.
Recommended Product(s): Women’s Heavenly™ Long Hooded Jacket + Women’s Newton Ridge™ Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot & Women’s Saturday Trail™ II Stretch Convertible Pants + Women’s Switchback™ III Jacket
Celebs who are fans: Bella Hadid, Gigi Hadid, Ken Jeong, Sandra Bullock, Kanye West, Hilaria Baldwin, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jennifer Garner, Nicholas Hoult, Julianne Moore, Lily-Rose Depp, Rosie Huntington, Doja Cat, Jennifer Aniston, and Hillary Swift, among others.
Ethical Practices: Despite touting products with “minimal environmental impact”, Columbia uses only some eco-friendly materials, like recycled materials and some Bluesign certified fabrics. There is no evidence it reduces its greenhouse gas emissions and its carbon footprint in most of its supply chain.
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