It rains (a lot!) in England, due to the unique atmospheric pressure, so we often get four seasons in one day. Northwest England gets far more rain than drier counties like Norfolk and Suffolk, and although the south coast gets a lot of rain, sunny temperatures means pavements often dry up in hours. Unlike Cumbria – where it rains and rains!
If caught in a thunderstorm, keep a safe distance from trees and metal objects (umbrellas, golf clubs, motorbikes, wheelchairs, tent poles). Stay inside cars (fabric tops could catch fire, if struck). If exposed, squat close to the ground with hands on knees, and tuck head between them, touching as little of the ground with your body (don’t lie down). If your hand stands on end, drop to the above position immediately.
Rainwear is tricky as you need a water-resistant lining (or you will get soaked!) But PFC is a manmade chemical (also used in non-stick pans and fire extinguishers) the leaches into our waters during production, even finding their way into glaciers and stomachs of polar bears. Any kind of rainwear with PFC-alternatives are best laundered in a microplastic-catcher as they won’t be totally natural.
Labo Mono offers quality waterproof jackets made from reycled plastic bottles. But unlike most brands, they don’t tell you to launder theme (releases microplastics in the washing machine). Instead, they advise to spot-clean (or gently hand-wash stains in Guppyfriend’s sink filter that catches any synthetic fibres for safe disposal). Designed to last years, these fabrics use a fluorocarbon-free waterproofing, which is safer for people and planet.
This terrazzo go-go sky jacket above is made from 30 recycled plastic bottles, made ethically in China by workers paid a living wage (and you can send it for repair or recycling). The The 20K level waterproofing is good for torrential rain, heavy snow and strong winds, and fully-taped seams seal the jacket. It has 2 pit zips for extra ventilation and a soft abrasion-resistant fabric, and self-packs back into a bag with straws sewn inside the right pocket.
The stowaway hood has a semi-flexible peak with 3 adjustment points to follow head movements, and will fit over a bike helmet. The jacket includes toggle reflective cuffs for safety and two zips to expand the jacket at the hips, adapting to more body shapes. The brand also sells other designs.
other good sustainable rain jackets
Rapanui (Isle of Wight) makes nice organic cotton raincoats and jackets with PFC-free coatings providing water-resistant linings. Also available for men, these jackets took five years to design, so they need no adjusting features (so no plastic) and their quality YKK poppers and zips are made from easy-to-recycle metal. Prices vary from £60 to £100 but should last years (look for sale bargains).
Bamboo Clothing Recycled Waterproof Jackets were three years in the making, made with 98% recycled materials. These are lightweight with storm flaps and secure zipped inside pockets. They feature fully taped seams, an adjustable hood and hem, adjustable cuff tabs and the coats pack into a side pocket. In 2 colours, for men and women.
umbrellas (made with recycled plastic bottles)
Look in stores for umbrellas made with recycled materials. Unlike recycled plastic clothing (which deposits microplastics in the machine and back out to sea), umbrellas are good products to use up recycled plastic, as they don’t get laundered!
It rains (a lot!) in England, mostly due to the unique atmospheric pressure, so we often get four seasons in one day or more. Northwest England gets far more rain than drier counties like Norfolk and Suffolk, and although the south coast gets a lot of rain, the sun means pavements often dry up in a few hours, unlike say Cumbria where it rains and rains!