Today’s eco insight is brought to you by the lovely (and a bit jean-obsessed) Jaime at Denim Debutante. She has more denim knowledge in her pinky than most of us do in our entire body, and has been generous enough to offer some inside tips on a difficult transition: eco-conscious denim. It’s hard to give up a beloved brand – mine is Calvin Klein – but Jaime is here to help us make the transition to “green jeans” just a little easier.
Going green is more important with every passing day, and this is no different in the fashion industry (as Jen would have you know!) than in any other aspect of your life.
But what about denim? One of the most well-known brands, Levi Jeans, just did an examination of their production process. What did they find? “Making one pair of 501’s required almost 920 gallons of water, 400 megajoules of energy and expelled 32 kilograms of carbon dioxide. Levi’s said this was equivalent to running a garden hose for 106 minutes, driving 78 miles and powering a computer for 556 hours.”
So, they know the problem. You know the problem. What are you going to do about it? Listen, there are some absolutely amazing denim brands that are absolutely eco-conscious. You can go find them… or, you can let me do it for you!
Here are my top three favorite green denim brands, ranked by style, design and how ecologically friendly their process is.
3. Loomstate: The epitome of great style and natural beauty coming together, Loomstate creates amazing t-shirts, dresses and more that are all made with 100% organic cotton.
Loomstate’s design approach is founded on a respect for our environment’s ability to balance, shape and color itself, from windswept dunes to sun bleached stones, combined with an appreciation for nature’s mathematically pure “Golden Ratios”, evident throughout our environment from nautilus shells to flower petals. Loomstate Men’s and Women’s collections are inspired by the roots of classic American casual style born of the positivity and activism of youth subcultures over the past 40 years. Updated through modern fits, constructions, uncompromised attention to detail, and rendered in the highest quality and most comfortable 100% certified organic materials. Each piece is created to have lived-in character and comfort, from washed and softened fabrics to tumbled and aged hardware, achieving timeless style rooted in environmental and social sustainability.
Beyond eco-friendly, this brand is quite fashion-forward, making the Flux Skinny jean, a Skinny/Straight Leg hybrid that genuinely does look good on every figure. Plus, no matter how many Micro Modal/Supima Cotton blended shirts I have, the softest pieces I own are still Loomstate’s tees, which are all 100% Organic Cotton.
Loomstate can be found at many eco-fashion retailers, or purchased on loomstate.org.
2. Aristocrat Denim: With a name like Aristocrat Premium Luxury Denim (I’m not kidding) sounds expensive, and it is. Of this list, their jeans tend to retail at the highest price points (though you can find some stellar pairs on Overstock for less than $40 each), but the quality is superb.
Their site is down and out (which leads me to fear that the brand itself is as well), but they’re still available in some places online. From doing all of their production in the United States to using organic dyes and wash techniques, Bob Bek’s line is stylish and glamorous. If you’ve ever thrown on a pair of Aristocrat Windsor Bootcuts, you’d know.
Aristocrat Denim can be found at retailers like Couture Candy and Overstock.
1. James Jeans: This is one of those brands that you really, really don’t think of as being eco-conscious; I know that I didn’t until about a year ago (and considering the fact that it’s one of my favorite brands, that’s kind of lame).
Whether it’s Ozone bleaching (seen above, photo courtesy of DenimBlog) or the unique dry aged denim process, Seun Lim, designer of James Jeans, is always looking for new ways to make her production process greener. Whether producing denim from organic cotton and dying it with plant indigo, or making all of her products here in the United States (or the fact that James Jeans make your butt look so good!), there’s something unique about this brand that deserves recognition.
You can find James Jeans at most upscale denim retailers and at JamesJeans.us.
I can pretty much guarantee that one of these brands will work for you, and two of the three (James Jeans and Loomstate) carry a line for Men as well… so there’s no excuse for you guys to not dress stylishly green either.
And, if you ever need to find some more denim advice, reviews or deals, I update daily (barring injury, death, etc.) on my site, Denim Debutante. Come say hi!