Denim jeans are without a doubt a necessary element of any wardrobe. They are comfortable, durable, and appropriate in almost any situation, if you wear them right. Everyone has their favorite pair that hugs the body just right. And then, there’s the durability! When you buy a pair of good jeans, you know that you’re purchasing something that will last you a while.
However, as great as these pieces are for our wardrobe, they also come at with a heavy true cost. Denim production has one of the biggest environmental impact within the already heavily pollution fashion industry. This has to do with a handful of reasons:
- The industrial cotton industry is one of the most environmentally draining industrial crops. Cotton is extremely water thirsty and heavily soaked in pesticides. It is said that the impact of the cotton industry is worse that the impact of petroleum based synthetic fibers, and that only .1% of the pesticides used on these crops reach the intended pests, the remaining 99.9% is leached into soil and water.
- Denim is often treated with harsh chemicals to achieve washes, including formaldehyde, chloride, phthalates and chemical dyes. These chemicals come into close contact with your body each and every time you wear them, and with each wash, those toxins are then introduced into the water supply, further polluting our water.
- The extreme amount of waste produced by overconsumption as styles fade out. A few decades ago, denim was made to last, but with the expansion of cheap, fast fashion, the quality has diminished. Now your jeans fade or lose their shape, and then you toss out your old ones to buy a fresh pair. Denim is increasingly becoming more and more prevalent in our landfills.
This is why it is important to invest in good jeans that you love, take care of and keep for as long as they last. And when you do buy a new pair, try to support brands that have minimal impact on both the environment and the lives of those working in factories.
Below, I will be highlighting 3 brands to help you Buy Better Denim.
Everlane is a brand I love and one of my most shopped. Focused on Radical Transparency, Everlane wants the change the way you shop and interact with your clothing. They are committed to ethical standards, partnering with factories that treat their employees fairly and have a minimal environmental impact. For every garment you see on their website, you can take a virtual tour of the factory it was made in and hear stories from their employees. They take this commitment to transparency even further by providing a detailed cost breakdown that will show you how much was spent on material, labor and their retail mark-up, so you know exactly what you’re paying for. They also use high quality materials, like pima cotton, merino wool and cashmere, so you’re getting products that will last a lifetime.
Earlier this year they released their Damn Good Denim collection, and let me tell you, it is DAMN GOOD. Priced at just $68 a pair, these are a denim investment you can feel good about.
Reformation is a sustainable fashion brand that brings beautifully designed clothing with minimal environmental impact. They use a combination of deadstock fabrics (fabrics that have been produced by other companies, that sit in warehouses) or eco friendly fibers such as tencel, viscose and recycled materials – all which have are far less polluting than conventional cotton or oil-based materials. They are also committed to reducing their environmental impact in the production processes and fair, ethical employment to their garment workers. Reformation also includes a RefScale, which tells you how much water and carbon their purchases use in comparison to industry standards, which really helps you understand your impact.
The Ref Jeans collection features a variety of denim items, from jeans, jackets and denim skirts.
Able is a brand that exemplifies how fashion can be used to make a positive impact in people’s lives. Able’s mission is to end generation poverty in underdeveloped counties by empowering and employing single mothers, providing them with a fair and living wage. Able works directly in communities they hope to impact, creating jobs and reducing the dependency on charity and foreign aid. This type of social enterprise can have significant positive impacts on women, their families and the communities they live in. Able also takes significant steps to ensure that their ethical standards are being met, and that they continue to be a positive force in the communities they work in.
Able Denim is a great way to ensure that you are making a positive impact purchase, supporting a mission to make a positive impact.
I hope this post gave you some insight into the production of denim, and truly inspires you to Buy Better Denim, giving you the confidence that you’ll look good while buying good.
Con Mucho Amor,
Wearing: Everlane – Modern Boyfriend Jeans
Photography: Salpy Talian
Special Guest: Prince the Pup