A brief history of my life and my love for denim. I remember growing up, and before back to school started my mother would take me to the mall. Miller’s Outpost is where I would get to pick out two new pairs of jeans for back to school. I remember my first pair of Jordache jeans.. I felt so cool like Brooke Shields. Then there was a Guess Jean phase, and eventually, the Levis boy jean phase.
Enter my twenties when my New York days at Sony Music afforded me the cool factor of being able to wear jeans to work. I would find vintage blazers at second hand stores and dress up my denim with a sturdy pair of freelance shoes or some other strong cobbled together pair.
I was so fond of denim, that the idea of working at an office that did not allow me to wear jeans was prohibited.
Now, in my forties I am teaching fitness in my lululemon’s and I, like everyone else, get to work from home on the blog. So I have consolidated my closet and due to the pandemic, have sold most of my Rag and Bone jeans to The Real Real. Now, in my quest to remain dutifully fashionable yet sustainable too, i have found some denim gems that are also good fo the planet.
The Inconvenient Truth About Denim
Denim as it turns out, is costly for the planet to make. Because it takes so much cotton to produce. And cotton usually requires harmful fertilizers and pesticides with lots of water to grow. According to the WWF World Wildlife Fund, cotton is used in nearly half of all global production of textiles, resulting in over-farming and soil erosion.
So now what? I want to buy some denim. But I am also now all too aware of the lack of sustainability of denim and its harsh environmental impact. So I did some research and here are some brands doing their best to support my denim desires while still considering planet earth.
Boyish are LA Based, ethically focused, with one hundred percent, chemical free, cruelty free, practices. They work exclusively with recycled fabrics and, true to their name, use men’s fabrics which they tailor to fit women who want the boyfriend jean style. The result? A pair of affordable jeans (prices range from 80-150.00 USD) made from only recycled materials and with just one third of the water normally used.
Kelly Slater helped launch this brand over five years ago. From farm to factory to production, the company continues to commit to sustainable fashion with an evolution of recycled materials, and ethical, clean factories. You can find sustainable clothing by using a sustainable fashion search engine
“By collecting the fishing nets that are regenerated into ECONYL® products, we lessen our environmental impact while also cleaning up the oceans that we love so much.” –Kelly Slater
If you are looking for his and hers jeans and want some denim melancholy without the planet destruction, Levis has a sustainable line of products which have water saving “cottonized” hemp.
In 2011, Levis engineered over twenty different waterless techniques. To date they have saved over three billion liters of water and recycled over five billion liters.
E.L.V. Denim is sophisticated, stylish and curated in East London. Made with locally sourced materials from around the UK boroughs, these artsy, upscale originals are made with a zero waste mindset. Which turns the unwanted denim materials into your most coveted pair. And soon you can get them made to measure by going in to their design studio for a perfectly sized pair. I wanna “gooooooo!!!!” You can get your pair and more sustainable finds at Reve En Vert.
“Sustainability is the ultimate part of what I do. We live in a very aesthetic world, so a successful brand has to marry carefully the two of them together.”
– Anna Foster, Founder and Creative Director