Hoodies have transformed in recent years. Once maligned and carrying a suspicious reputation, the hooded sweatshirt has turned a corner. Nowadays, everybody’s wearing hoodies - the young, the old, the hip, and the staid. Some fashion innovators could even turn up to work in a hoodie, and no one would bat an eyelid. Even the current Prime Minister of the UK, Rishi Sunak, shared a picture of himself in a hoodie while preparing for a budget when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer.
In short, hoodies were niche but have become an essential. If you look at Googling over the past few years, it puts the rising global demand into perspective.
Still, while you might be able to find more hoodies on sale to meet demand, finding a great one isn’t easy. Let alone knowing what to look for. Here’s a bit more about what makes an exceptional hooded sweatshirt. Just in time for the coming winter season when they’re the essential that your wardrobe shouldn’t be missing.
First, here’s a summary of what makes the best winter hoodies. Skip straight over to get to detail:
- Fabric: natural, not synthetic - and high quality / thick
- Sustainability: a factor that’s getting hard to overlook
- Affordability: access to ‘slow’ fashion shouldn’t be elitist
- Style: a hoodie that’s timeless and comfy
Fabric: natural, not synthetic - and high quality
Finding a great garment demands that you take a good look at the fabric. Hoodies are no different - the fabric they’re made from is essential.
There are a few key characteristics to look at on this front. First of all, select a hoodie that’s made from a natural fabric. Synthetic fabrics do have their place in certain outerwear but they’re not the best for the environment. They’re also less breathable and can be irritating compared to natural fabrics. Not so nice to wear right next to the skin!
With hoodies, then, cotton is the go-to - it gives the sweatshirt the smooth, natural finish that it’s famed for. Cotton is also comfortable, soft, breathable, and cosy, which is how a hoodie should feel - especially in the chilly winter.
Last thing, go for a cotton that’s thick, which is also a mark of quality. 300gsm or over is what you should look for in a winter hoodie. In case you don’t know what GSM (or g/m2) means, it’s an acronym for grams per square metre and describes how thick the fabric is. Look for this detail on product labels or on website descriptions. And another bonus is that a thicker hoodie with a higher GSM will last a long time. You’ll have it for next winter, too.
Sustainability - it’s getting hard to overlook
More people are selecting clothes that are sustainable. According to Statista 53% of men and 47% of women in the UK prefer to buy from sustainable fashion brands. And that trend’s on the up.
It’s more than just a trend though. With the pressing needs of the planet, sustainability has become as important as anything else when considering what clothes to buy. Still, how to know if a piece of clothing is sustainable, especially with so much greenwashing about?
A key way is to look for certifications and be suspicious of vague language with no backup. Words like ‘conscious’ or ‘eco’, with no technical meaning, just don’t hold up. Even the use of ‘sustainable’ on its own isn’t enough. Nope, respected certifications are what to look for. At POMP, our fabric and other operations are certified, as follows:
- Organic cotton is certified by GOTS and OEKO-TEX
- Working conditions certified by SA8000
- All the above are leading and respected in their field
Based on that - and our other initiatives - we feel it’s fair to call ourselves a sustainable brand. But there are plenty of other valid certifications displayed by other brands too. We can’t go into every single one here but here’s a decent guide to help.
Normally certifications are displayed on websites or products. So seek those little labels out when searching for a great hoodie to see you good in the winter.
A final note is to remember that sustainability is about quality, too. The longer an item lasts then the less chance it’ll meet an early demise on a pollutive landfill site. But by the way, in case you do ever feel fed up with something you’ve bought from POMP, you can send it back to us for recycling using the QR code on the label. That’s a better way to deal with clothes you don’t need.
Affordability - access to ‘slow’ fashion shouldn’t be elitist
Following on from quality fabrics and sustainability, the inference is that those garments should be expensive. That is often the case but it doesn’t always have to be. Sustainability and quality shouldn’t be synonyms for luxury. And remember: with ‘luxury’ brands you’re often paying for the name anyway, and less so quality or sustainability.
Yet, while finding quality sustainable garments at an affordable price isn’t easy, it is becoming less tricky. Brands like POMP are using technology and efficient D2C models to keep margins and costs down. That way, you can still find sustainable garments - at a price that won’t make you recoil after checking the tag.
That doesn’t mean rock-bottom fast-fashion prices but nevertheless a reasonable exchange for a quality item that’ll last you a long time. So in a way, you need to think about price a little differently. Less ‘low’ and more ‘fair’ or ‘worth it in the long run’.
Read more in this other blog post about how sustainable fashion brands can become more affordable.
Style - timeless and comfy is the winter go-to
We’ll finish in style. Our tip with hoodies is to go with classic plain colours in the winter. That way, you can mix and match and create the perfect layered looks. Styles that don’t look jarring with too much going on. You can include colours like nude pink, black, stone blue, navy blue, and grey. Don’t limit yourself - even winter outfits should include matching shades!
The next thing is that the best winter hoodies are often the oversized ones. You’ll get some extra warmth that way. Plus, oversized and baggy clothing is a whole fashion aesthetic that’s always been around and won’t go anywhere anytime soon.
Timeless style, as well as looking great, also taps into the earlier point about sustainability. If you buy an item that’s a classic, there’s less chance that a few months down the line you’ll think ‘why oh why did I buy that?’ and lob the once-charming item away.
Hoodies at POMP
Yep, POMP does make sustainable hoodies that tick the boxes above. Ours are made from high quality certified organic cotton in thick GSM fabric. They’re timelessly styled, and they’re affordable.
But of course, so do many other sustainable fashion brands - so whenever you decide to buy a new one, or even get one second hand, remember our tips and you’ll have a great winter hoodie on your hands…