It might not be widely advertised, but making jeans is actually a very taxing process on the environment. In fact, Greenpeace reports that the average pair of jeans “takes 7000 litres of water to produce.” To put that into perspective, if the average person drinks three litres of water per day, one pair of jeans is equivalent to a person’s water intake over 2333 days.
Thankfully, there are plenty of denim brands around that are working to combat this problem and attempting to produce jeans more sustainably. Whether it is by recycling water, repurposing old fabrics, or using certified organic cotton, several brands are putting the environment at the forefront.
Additionally, there are brands that are manufacturing denim right here in London, which is a great way to reduce carbon emissions, and also labels that are empowering vulnerable people through employment. So from Outland Denim to E.L.V. Denim and Boyish Jeans, here are just a few of the brands that are working to make the denim industry more sustainable.
E.L.V. Denim produces jeans by repurposing discarded denim sourced from vintage warehouses around the UK. The brand transforms old jeans into new pairs, thereby creating a zero-waste brand, not to mention the entire process takes place right here in East London.
E.L.V. Denim The Boyfriend Frayed Two-Tone High-Rise Wide-Leg Jeans (£118)
E.L.V. Denim The Boyfriend Frayed High-Rise Wide-Leg Jeans (£315)
E.L.V. Denim The Twin Denim Shorts (£155)
Not only are Boyish Jeans created using one-third of the amount of water regular jeans use, but the brand also recycles all of its water to minimise waste. Additionally, the label also recycles all of its cutting waste, either using it to create new fabrics or recycling it for industrial use.
Boyish Jeans The Tommy Straight High-Rise Jeans (£210)
Boyish Jeans The Charley High-Rise Denim Jeans (£235)
Boyish Jeans Casey Crossover High-Rise Straight Jeans (£210)
French-girl favourite Sézane completely overhauled its denim offering this year. Altering its previous production process entirely, Sézane’s new denim contains 83% fewer chemicals and uses two times less water than before. Additionally, each pair of Sézane jeans is now made from 100% Global Organic Textile Standard certified organic cotton or green, synthetic alternatives.
Sézane The Brut Sexy (£90)
Sézane The Parisien (£105)
Sézane The Perfect Slim 7/8 (£90)
Counting Meghan Markle as a fan, Australian brand Outland Denim has had ethical and sustainable practices built into its ethos from the very beginning. The brand aims to provide employment for vulnerable people of varying backgrounds and also has sustainable practices in place in order to cut down waste. Outland Denim chooses to manufacture its products in organic cotton, which uses 91% less blue water than traditional cotton.
Outland Denim Abigail High-Rise Girlfriend Jean (£180)
Outland Denim Harriet Full Length (£160)
Outland Denim High-Rise Girlfriend Jean (£200)
Each pair of jeans on M.i.h's website has a dropdown link that references sustainability. It outlines whether the cotton has come from a sustainable source and the denim has been washed using water-reducing technology. Alongside its sustainability manifesto, this is just one way the brand is aiming to be more sustainable.
M.i.h Jeans Daily Crop Jean (£215)
M.i.h Jeans Daily Straight-Leg Jeans (£150)
M.i.h Jeans Tomboy Jean (£215)
British label White Stuff has recently partnered with one of the cleanest denim factories in the world to produce a new range of sustainable denim. Each pair of jeans made only uses 0.4 litres of water (as opposed to the 1,500 litres used for traditional denim) due to the fact the factory recycles 98% of its water.
White Stuff Skinny Jean (£50)
White Stuff Straight Jean (£50)
Everlane is another brand that works with one of the world's most sustainable factories. Like White Stuff above, a range of Everlane jeans is produced using 98% recycled water in a factory which air-dries its denim to reduce carbon emissions.
Everlane The Modern Flare Jean (£71)
Everlane The ’90s Cheeky Straight Jean (£66)
Everlane The Wide Leg Jean (£66)
People Tree have had sustainability as a part of their ethos from the beginning. Their denim is made from Organic Certified Cotton which uses 87.2% less water to produce than conventional cotton.
People Tree Federica Tapered Jeans (£95)
People Tree Ariel Wide Leg Jeans (£95)
Next up, the biggest S/S 20 fashion trends you need to know.
Opening image: @bubblyaquarius
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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