Despite this being my second season as a ski bum, I do not own a real ski jacket. I substitute mid-layers on mild days and borrow a bigger jacket from my favorite ski buddy on cold (most) days.
The problem I often run into with shopping, is that there are very few things I love. And unless I truly love something, I’ll likely be back on the hunt for a better version of that something, not long after. In an effort to avoid this form of fast-fashion mentality, I vowed not to purchase a ski jacket until I found one that aligned with both: our mission at Idealish and my love for fashion.
And let me tell you, I am very cold.
We started playing around with product reviews a few months back, with the goal being to highlight badass eco-friendly companies that are working towards something great, while also being functional AND beautiful. Seriously, there are several cool companies, but it’s not uncommon for some eco-friendly companies to produce products that are a wee bit drab. So when I came across a few brilliantly colored ski jackets from a brand called Perfect Moment and heard angels singing, I immediately crossed my fingers in hopes that they were doing something good for the planet and looked into what they are all about.
Perfect Moment is a French skiwear company founded by professional skier and extreme sports filmmaker, Thierry Donard. They use some recyclable materials where possible, such as PrimaLoft fabric. They are also dedicated to supporting the long-term protection of the Arctic Polar Bear, support Polar Bears International and have a cute polar bear logo on some of their items to elevate awareness of the endangered animal and its habitat.
Everyone likes a bargain, but for good quality and (hopefully) lifetime-lasting products, spending a little bit more cash is justifiable. That said, I am also a traveling blogger, so spending $700-$1,000 on a ski jacket isn’t in my budget, which is why I had to pass on the dazzling patterns, colors and style of Perfect Moment’s ski gear. However, I am regularly scouring eBay for a used or sale version, which leads us to the next super-fun area of this search: used ski gear shops!
Used Outdoor Reacreation Gear Shops
The best part about used gear shops is that we have a chance to reuse a product that could have otherwise ended up in a landfill. Items are often discounted based on the wear, age, brand, demand, etc. but some stores have such a high turnover that they are continually slashing the price per how long it’s been on the shelf to keep things moving.
I currently live in the tiny ski town of Whitefish, Montana. Our used gear shop is called Runner Up Sports, and despite the number of other consignment stores we have here (I can think of four off the top of my head), Runner Up Sports is the only place to go when hunting for gear. I’d love to insert a hyperlink here, but when I asked for the Instagram handle and website information, the man behind the counter laughed and said, “We have a phone number and an address. We’re old school. It’s been that way for over 20 years.” Do you see why I love it here?
When I popped into our gear shop the other day, I found a gorgeous white jacket and inquired about the unfamiliar brand. The response was something to the effect of ‘some trendy European brand.’ My impression was that it was not a local seller and undoubtedly frowned upon, which honestly made me smile. I can see how hardcore outdoor enthusiasts harness a function-over-fashion mentality; I have just never been that way.
However, I didn’t purchase the jacket because our mountain here is notorious for poor visibility. When I first moved here, someone warned me against buying a white helmet per collision odds, so a white jacket is, unfortunately, not a serious option. Personal points for function!
Ski towns are home to avid athletes and seasonal snowbirds (who buy the high-end European styles to rock slope side and may donate a season later to keep up with the trends), both of which make used gear shops so much fun to roam. There are high-performance technical options (athletes), trendy options (seasonal snowbirds), and sometimes a mix of both (I’ll find you, future beautiful and warm ski jacket).
Sometimes you can even find a brand-new jacket with tags still on that didn’t suit someone else’s style or size, so they threw it on consignment to make a little extra cash. Three years ago, I found a brand-new dressy winter coat at a consignment shop in Minturn, Colorado, called Holy Toledo. If you are ever in the area, this is a must-stop shop.
So, where does this leave the quest for the perfect ski jacket? The thing with used gear shops (and eBay, really) is that items are continually circulating. The right time, the right place, it will come. I plan to scour the used gear shops in any ski town we visit this season and leave it in the hands of fate.
Reduce, reuse, recycle and look like a star even when you’re on a budget. Every conscious action counts.