Ease Into Fall With These 9 Sustainable Sweater Vests
The Layer We Love
Move over, Chandler and Urkel—sweater vests are back in style, and not just for menswear. First worn in the 1910s by Woodrow Wilson and every decade since, this formerly vintage trend is now popping up everywhere. And it’s just in time for fall, perfect for layering!
From women’s knit sweater vests to vintage athletic-inspired fits, you’ll find them all at these nine conscious brands below. And, of course, for the most sustainable option, go secondhand! You can likely find one at a thrift store or consignment sale.
What pieces are we layering with our sweater vests this autumn? See our seasonal capsule wardrobe—maybe you’ll find some inspo here, too.
Based In | London, UK
Ethics | Vintage & secondhand options, climate-neutral by end of 2021
Sizes | XXS–4XL
Price Range | $10–$75
For secondhand and vintage-inspired sweater vests, Depop is our go-to. Millions of fashion-forward sellers offer everything from Aelfric Eden to Michael Kors, and every kind of popular vest pattern (checkerboard, anyone?). Prices start at just $10 and sizing is flexible—so you’ll find a new look in no time, and practice sustainability along the way.
Based In | St. Louis, MO
Ethics | GOTS certified organic materials, eco-friendly & ethical production, recycled packaging
Sizes | XS–2X
Price Range | $95
Summersalt’s sweater vest is about as chic as you can get: high neck, ribbed cotton, and two-tone! With four different options available (including a near-black), this vest is perfect for layering or throwing on as-is. Thanks to the organic fabric, Summersalt uses nearly 90 percent less water and 60 percent less energy during production, compared to other brands.
3. Alex Mill
Based In | New York City, NY
Ethics | Responsibly sourced & sustainable materials, upcycling & recycling initiatives
Sizes | XS–XL
Price Range | $135
Alex Mill was founded in New York City, the epitome of high-end fashion. This sweater vest is a super-soft blend of 90 percent merino wool and 10 percent cashmere, so you’ll love the feel. With an oversized fit and pockets, it’s also a great workwear piece for those on the go; just stash your pens, phone, or paper as needed! Alex Mill prioritizes upcycling and recycling whenever possible.
Shop Alex Mill
4. Olive Clothing
Based In | Gloucestershire, UK
Ethics | GOTS certified organic & natural materials, ethically made in Korea & India, living wage employer
Sizes | UK 6–14 (US 2–10)
Price Range | £24–£79
Anyone can find the sweater vest of their dreams at Olive Clothing. With an extensive knitwear collection including nearly 50 vest options for all genders, you can find button vests, romantic stitched wool, and pocketed styles. Designed in the rolling hills of Gloucestershire—yes, the ones you’re probably imagining with lots of greenery and sheep—you’ll see exactly why we love these uniquely UK pieces.
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Based In | Copenhagen, Denmark
Ethics | Recycled & responsibly sourced materials, FSC-certified tags, gives back
Sizes | XXS–XL
Price Range | €175–€255
GANNI has long been a leader in up-and-coming fashion—including with Y2K-inspired vests. While many options here are made with less-than-sustainable fabrics, some are part of its “Responsible” collection using recycled wool and cotton. The team has also made a sizable commitment to sustainability. Pick up a recycled wool vest as your next investment piece.
Based In | Los Angeles, CA
Ethics | Fair labor & wages, sustainable & deadstock materials, climate-neutral, eco-friendly packaging
Sizes | XS–2X
Price Range | $78–$128
Born and bred in LA, Reformation is as chic as it is conscious. Its sweater vests (and adjacent sleeveless sweaters) are made with sustainable materials like Tencel, linen, organic cotton, and recycled cashmere. Every piece is ethically made, whether in China or the US, thanks to Ref’s emphasis on fair labor and wages. We especially love the collared and oversized options here!
7. Paloma Wool
Based In | Barcelona, Spain
Ethics | Responsibly sourced & sustainable materials, ethically made in Spain, low impact dyes
Sizes | XS–XL (US 2–12)
Price Range | €99–€125
Based in Spain, Paloma Wool’s knitwear is somehow both eye-catching and effortless. These nature-inspired vests are made locally—less than 100 km from the brand’s studio—and some are crafted with responsibly sourced mohair and alpaca wool, while others use mulesing-free merino wool and recycled polyester. That’s one aspect of closed-loop production in action.
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8. LE PIROL
Based In | Odense, Denmark
Ethics | GOTS certified organic materials, ethically made in Denmark, fair labor & wages
Sizes | S–XXL
Price Range | €129
LE PIROL’s mission is to be “seasonless and timeless,” since fashion has no season. This Denmark brand makes all its apparel within the country, including the “painter’s brush” vest we adore. It’s sewn from 100 percent organic extra fine merino wool and has the most delicate knit pattern for added texture. Choose from one of eight colors, including burnt orange, light blue, or a bright red.
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Based In | Madrid, Spain
Ethics | 100 percent cotton, eco-friendly dying & production, ethically made in Spain
Sizes | One-size
Price Range | €210–€215
For Babaa’s sweater vests, the brand sources all its yarn from Andalucia in Southern Spain. Grown, harvested, and spun locally, the yarn is then transformed into these versatile tops, thoughtfully detailed with a deep V neck and ribbed waist. Great for neutral colors (named “clay pot” and “tamarind tree”), a vest here will coordinate perfectly with any outfit in your wardrobe. It’s an especially wonderful investment piece as the seasons change.
Featured image from Le Pirol
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