This post is sponsored by Ramblers Way. All opinions are my own! A big thank you to Ramblers Way for supporting my work through Life+Style+Justice.
You know what's difficult to find ethically sourced? Adventure/hiking/cold weather gear. Most of my winter gear is quite old and was sourced from conventional brands- I just couldn't find an affordable, ethical option for some pieces at the time I needed to buy them. Particularly my snow boots, my winter coat, and my long johns (that's thermal long underwear used as a base layer, for all of you readers lucky enough to live somewhere warm enough not to need it).
Now that I'm beginning to need to replace some of my cold weather gear, I'm excited to have more options than I did when I first started shopping ethically. Many newer ethical companies are attempting to fill the outdoor adventure gear gap!
One such company is Ramblers Way, founded by Tom Chappell (yes, that Tom). Ramblers Way primarily offers woolen garments, made from super-fine wool that is soft enough to wear right next to your skin without feeling itchy or rough. 90% of the wool used by Ramblers Way is sourced from ethical ranchers in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada and Texas. The remaining 10% is sourced from Australia and Argentina and is GOTS certified.
It's also worth mentioning that the cotton garments available from Ramblers way (mostly tops and dresses for women and shirts for men) are made from almost entirely from pima cotton grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley using pesticide-free and low water growing methods.
Ramblers Way's ethics check out, what about the performance of the actual garments? I had the chance to test out some woolen pieces from Ramblers Way in frigid Minnesota temperatures, coming to the following conclusions:
- They're not kidding about how soft the wool is! My skin is pretty sensitive and I usually hate wool sweaters. I can wear this stuff all day and be perfectly comfortable.
- It's warm. Especially the 2-ply turtleneck, since it's double thickness.
- The cuts are classic, and everything is really well-constructed!
- The wool fabric does a fantastic job wicking away moisture and keeping odor at bay. I feel like I could complete several sweaty hikes in a Ramblers Way shirt without it getting stinky, which is something that you can't say about synthetic outdoor gear, in my experience.
- Though most Ramblers Way garments are machine washable (unlike many wool garments!), you'll need to hand wash some of them. This isn't a big deal for me since I try to hand wash as much as I can- however, make sure that you check the care instructions if it's important to you to have only machine washable clothes.
- If you choose black garments, like I did, make sure you have a lint brush! Wool likes to "grab" stuff.
My favorite pieces out of the five that I tested are definitely the tunic sweater and the scoop neck henley. Both are extremely lightweight, the fit is fantastic, and they work well with the other pieces in my wardrobe. The french terry tapered pant deserves an honorable mention, as well, for being warm and comfortable, yet classy enough to wear out of the house. I'm going to be wearing them on my upcoming 13-hour plane flight to the Philippines- it's always freezing cold on long flights and I'm looking forward to be toasty warm!