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Sustainable Jeans

Updated: May 23, 2020

While yoga pants or pants made with stretchy material are all the rave these days, there’s something about a nice pair of jeans. They can be dressed up or down and accompany nearly any blouse you can think of. Feeling crafty? Jeans can easily be embroidered to feature your unique designs or altered to match the weather outside. Not to mention the moment when the stars align and you find that pair that perfectly hugs your body in all the right places! A good pair of jeans is an important staple in any wardrobe! Like any clothing, there are many brands selling jeans that are not made using sustainable practices. So when buying your jeans, it’s important to find one that not only makes you feel good in them, but is also made ethically. Here’s a few brands working hard to develop the classic jeans we love but in a wholesome and sustainable way:

Warp + Weft is a family owned business that has been in the denim industry for three decades. After receiving a lot of input from their customers, they took those suggestions and completely ran a marathon with it. They get my appreciation for not only being sustainable in their creation and labor practices, but also because they are size-inclusive; a feature that is still not widely seen in sustainable fashion. Warp + Weft features a variety of styles of women’s denim ranging from sizes 00-24. They also have a men’s and children’s line, making a pair of good jeans available for the entire family! In their production practices, the brand recycles 98% of the water used and uses Dry Ozone technology as an alternative to chemical bleach.

Reformation is a Los Angeles based brand that has recently made a huge initiative to make their denim more sustainable. Their denim is made using a variety of materials such as vintage fabrics, organic cotton, and the plant based material called TENCEL which is a fiber made from wood pulp sourced from specialized sustainable tree farms. Reformation also provides fair and ethical living wages to all of those employed by the brand.

If you’re looking for jeans with a vintage look and feel, definitely check out Reformation. They carry a wide range of jeans in various cuts and styles that give off a vintage vibe. Unfortunately they do not have a men’s line at the moment but that is something to keep an eye out for!

People Tree is a UK based brand also committed to developing eco-friendly clothing. In 2018, they launched their sustainable denim line made using 87.2% less water than conventional denim production. The majority of their denim line is made using 98-100% organic cotton that is GOTS certified. In addition, the brand also uses TENCEL in some of their denim fabrics. Not only does their denim line feature jeans but also denim skirts and overalls (or dungarees) that also have a vintage vibe to them! Since their denim line is still a bit new in development, the selection isn’t vast but it’s large enough to still get a good pick and get some fantastic denim staples!

DL1961 is known for using a large variety of sustainable fibers in their denim products ranging from organic and/or recycled cotton, to all versions of the eco-friendly cellulose fibers made from wood pulp. Similar to other brands, DL1961 also recycles 98% of the water in their production process. The brand also makes an effort to reduce their carbon footprint by having a factory that partially powered by solar energy. DL1961 features a wide range of cuts and styles for men, women, and children. Another important feature about this brand is that they are size inclusive ranging up to 26W!

Boyish is inspired by the women who define their styles as so. The brand utilizes men’s fabrics and fits and tailor them to a woman’s body. They feature a wide variety of denim styles ranging from jeans to skirts to overalls. Wanting a good mix of vintage and modern denim? Look no further! Boyish prides themselves in using a third of the water necessary to develop denim material and develop their products using sustainable and recycled materials.

Everlane is a brand that is quickly becoming a fan favorite for those on a sustainability journey. What’s amazing about Everlane is how transparent they are about their practices. The denim production process is super meticulous in how everything is handled and re-purposed. For instance, 98% of the water used in developing their denim products is recycled. All of their denim is made with 100% cotton. In addition, Everlane re-purposes the sludge byproduct produced during the denim making process. Typically this sludge is emptied into the surrounding environment by many other companies. However, Everlane re-purposes the sludge by extracting it and shipping it to a neighboring brick making factory. At the factory, the sludge is able to be re-purposed into brick which is used to make affordable homes in the surrounding area.

Everlane has many jeans to choose from. From high-rise skinny jeans to wide-leg bootcuts, the choice is yours! They also carry a men’s section with a wide variety of cuts to choose from as well. Wanting denim but not looking for pants at the moment? Don’t worry! They also carry a variety of denim shorts, skirts, and crops. All of their denim clothing is also made with sustainable Japanese denim that has a slight stretch to it.

These brands above are just a few of the many brands out there committed to bringing sustainable practices into the fashion industry. Here’s a list of a few others with their main features listed besides them:

ABLE (women’s only)

Mott & Bow (Men and Women’s - up to size 20)

Bluer Denim (Men’s, Refurbish program, Buy back program, women’s clothing in progress)

Buck Mason (Men’s, made in the USA)

Patagonia (Men and Women)

Kuyichi (Available in UK and Germany, Men and Women)

Source Denim (Men’s, 10 year guarantee)


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