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6 Balaclavas that Offer a Conscious Alternative to this Winter’s Hottest Accessory

Cashmere balaclava in cream

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Fashion doesn’t shy away from appropriating utilitarian accessories and offering them up as next season’s hottest piece, its most recent victim is the balaclava AKA the knitted hood. 

The Balaclava is deemed the perfect winter accessory. Prozena Schouler, Max Mara, and Simon Rocha all allowed the accessory to grace the runway during this year’s Fall/Winter 2022 shows. Whether worn over the head or just resting around the neck, this small knitted companion acts as a signal to those deep in the trenches of fashion that you mean business. Just ask Lewis Hamilton, who recently stepped out in a Balaclava fit for Hello Kitty (Lewis Hamilton bought a pink balaclava, so I bought a pink balaclava). 

Now, participating in seasonal trends isn’t a sustainable way to navigate fashion but whilst an item may be “trending” it still can become a staple in your wardrobe – if you choose the right piece. Below I’ve included a list of balaclavas that will complement any wardrobe. Made of natural fibers, ethically produced, and within a neutral color palette, these pieces will go the extra mile and save your ears for winters to come. 

Janessa Leoné Murphy Balaclava 

Janessa Leoné’s “murphy” balaclava is not for the light-hearted. Made ethically in Peru from a wool blend, the form-fitting silhouette asks you to commit to the balaclava as the focal point of your cozy, winter fit. 

Janessa Leonéwool-blend  Murphy Balaclava

Lauren Manoogian Soft Balaclava 

Lauren Manoogian’s soft balaclava is hand loomed in Peru.  Made of 70% super baby alpaca and 30% cashmere, the seamless construction offers an understated yet elevated design. 

Lauren Manoogian hand-loomed balaclava

Curator Balaclava 

Slow fashion brand Curator’s balaclava is the ultimate cool girl piece. Made of 100% cotton, the brand recently shifted a portion of its production to Lima, Peru, and has begun working with a family-run factory that is Fair Trade certified™. 

Curator 100% cotton balaclava

Lisa Yang Ilo Balaclava 

The Ilo Balaclava from Lisa Yang offers a dainty button closure below the chin. Made of 100% cashmere in Mongolia, China, this accessory is great for those that don’t want to commit to the act of putting on a traditional balaclava. 

Lisa Yang 100% cashmere balaclava with button closure

By Malene Birger Renima Balaclava 

By Malene Birger’s Renima Balaclava is for the minimalist. Offered in two colors, cream and beige, the 100% cashmere headpiece has a ribbed finish that would add a subtle hint of texture to any outfit. 

By Malene Birger 100% cashmere Renima Balaclava in cream and beige

Paloma Wool Knitted Balaclava 

Paloma Wool’s Skooby Knitted Balaclava provides a little extra warmth with its knitted chest piece. The fiber breakdown consists of 52% organic cotton, cotton grown without the use of pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides, and 45% recycled wool, a mix of post-consumer and pre-consumer materials, plus 3% of “other” which often refers to synthetic fiber. 

paloma wool Skooby knitted balaclava with extra chestpiece

–Rachael Noll


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