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Eco-Friendly Long Johns for Cold Nights

January 26th, 2009
Written by Jessica Bacon

I know that long underwear isn’t the sexiest or most exciting thing out there – but on nights like tonight (it’s about 15 degrees and windy outside, and I’m sitting here watch huge trucks haul snow around my town) – long johns are the greatest product ever made! And since winter here lasts forever (well, not really – I’d rather be here than in Alaska!) – I try to buy several different kinds of long underwear to last me through the season.

The good people who make Icebreaker products sent me an email about their products back in November. I wasn’t ready to write about eco-long johns at the time, and saved the email for future reference. In looking over their product line, I wish now that I’d ordered one of these Delta Scoop long sleeved shirts (to the right). Icebreaker uses all natural merino gathered from 30 New Zealand farmers to make the Nature Ultralight fabric from which their clothing is produced. The company is passionate about the wool they buy to make their clothing, and even discusses how purchasing inferior merino in the past almost put them out of business! Fortunately for us, the company prevailed and is still making their luxurious wool clothing.

If you’re looking for cold-weather athletic gear, consider the Midweight Rapid Leggings for men or women – these leggings enable you to stay warm, dry and comfortable when you’re running, biking or hiking in chilly temperatures, while their articulated knees give you extra freedom of movement. The Bodyfit Active Base Layer for men (below on the right) and the Olympia Crewe for women are the perfect complements to the leggings, and are both rated for cold to very cold conditions.

Icebreaker is committed to manufacturing sustainable products, to the welfare of the animals from which they source their merino, to an ethical manufacturing process, to maintaining a transparent supply chain, and to buying merino from local farmers with whom they have long-term relationships. And if you’re looking for something other than long johns, Icebreaker also makes merino wool socks for all seasons, and as well as athletic gear and accessories for men, women and children.

Cuddl Duds is another eco-retailer that is making sustainable long underwear to keep us warm on chilly nights. If you’re looking for traditional long underwear with an eco-twist, you might like their eco-bamboo Scoop Neck Long Sleeve Shirt. At $28 this shirt is affordable and sustainable, and is finished with a gray stripe and ribbon that add a feminine touch to the practical garment. You can also grab matching Long Pants or a Tank Top to complete your winter wardrobe.

Other excellent sources for environmentally friendly all-weather long underwear and layering garments include gear companies like REI, The North Face, Patagonia and Marmot. Look for all natural merino wool baselayers for men and women on the North Face website, and Marmot Upcycle underwear that’s made from natural, organic, recycled and discarded materials. Even though Upcycle goods are made using materials that would otherwise end up in landfills, there’s no way you could tell when you are wearing midweight crews and midweight bottoms created using this revolutionary technology.

Hopefully you can find something here that’ll help on these frigid winter nights and keep you cozy all season.

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