RiverBlue, an upcoming denim documentary featuring Canadian river conservationist Mark Angelo, aims to reveal the denim manufacturing industry’s negative impact on the environment in places like India’s Yumana River and the Citarum River in Indonesia. ”The rivers are like the capillaries of our planet and we can’t live without them,” director David McIlvride told Ecouterre in a recent interview. “The planet would die if we lose rivers to pollution.”
Read an excerpt from the interview below…
EC: What is the fashion industry—and we humans, by extension—doing to the planet?
DM: There’s been a lot of talk about “fast fashion” in blogs and in the popular press and its impact on the environment. With a glut of fashion hitting consumers and low and competitive pricing, it’s not the consumer who is paying for an ever-increasing volume of clothing, but rather the environment.
In the film, Orsola de Castro, an eco-fashion designer from London, England tells us that the fashion industry has to have “transparency, no toxicity, traceability” and that “consumers will demand to know who, where and how our clothes are being made and if the manufacturing of our fashion is having a negative effect on the environment.”
I don’t think we have much of a choice. It’s often mentioned that the next war will not be fought over oil, but rather water. I think that’s a strong possibility as we keep growing in population, while at the same time, losing our integral water resources. The rivers are like the capillaries of our planet and we can’t live without them. The planet would die if we lose rivers to pollution.
I think the consumer does have a say in the health of the rivers of our world, if they knew the story about how fashion has negatively impacted the environment for decades now. Through social media, pressure put on fashion brands to clean up their act and detox, I’m sure we could have a positive effect on the health of the rivers in many places around the world. No one, in my belief, wants to buy from brands that pollute.
EC: What kinds of toxins are we talking about?
DM: Blue jeans are much dirtier than you might ever guess. That ubiquitous distressed denim wash is the result of a several chemical-intensive washes. We spoke on camera with campaigners from Greenpeace who when testing the outflows near the denim towns found five heavy metals (cadmium, chromium, mercury, lead, and copper) in 17 out of 21 water and sediment samples taken from throughout Xintang, a city we filmed in.
Toxic campaigners in China have discovered heavy metals like manganese, which can be associated with brain damage in the rivers. They’ve also found a lot of heavy metals that are neurotoxic, carcinogenic, which disrupt the endocrine system causing cancer of different organs.
Mark, our world paddler, talks about how he feels that clean water is not only a basic human right; it is the world’s most threatened essential resource. Aside from being critical habitats for wildlife, waterways such as rivers and lakes provide vital resources. Many people rely on this water for drinking, for farming, and for food. Yet we saw, during our filming, over and over again that these vital water sources are often abused by industry and treated as if they are private sewers.
The textile industry is chemically intensive. We witnessed a lot of chemicals running through factory floors, eventually ending up in the river. We also documented the spraying of potassium permanganate—without any masks—used to distress jeans, while filming in blue-jean factories.
>> Continue reading this interview at Ecouterre.
Tags: David McIlvride, denim documentary, denim industry, denim manufacturing, eco friendly denim, Ecouterre, Mark Angelo
Via ecouterre.com: “Chip Bergh wants you to stop washing your jeans. Speaking at Fortune Brainstorm Green conference in Laguna Niguel, Calif., on Tuesday, the Levi Strauss CEO said that while roughly half the water usage happens during jeans production, the other half is consumed at home. Bergh also billed the denim giant as the “ultimate in slow fashion.” “We have a pair of jeans in our archives that are 135 years old, so we are the ultimate in sustainable apparel,” he said. “We build our products to last; if you treat them right, they will last a long, long time—probably longer than most people’s waistlines.”
Levi’s also happens to most sought-after brand in secondhand stores like Goodwill, making it the “No. 1 in hand-me-downs,” Bergh added.
He also spoke about the “Wellthread” initiative, which is currently being test-driven by Dockers, a subsidiary of Levi’s. “The concept is to try to develop a line of product that is sustainable in every single facet of the word,” Bergh said. “Not just environmentally sustainable but socially sustainable and economically sustainable.””
This text has been reblogged from ecouterre.com. Read the full story and see the video here.
Tags: Brainstorm Green conference, Chip Bergh, Ecouterre, Levi Strauss CEO, Stop Washing Your Jeans
While walking in the east village this week, we spotted a new campaign posted up on phone booths. The poster, shown below, reveals a bottle of water saying “I want to be a pair of jeans. Recycle me.” This poster is part of the I Want To Be Project, which calls attention to the wide array of materials we consume daily that could be recycled into new materials. Their website includes tin cans that want to be bicycles, bottles that want to be jeans and benches, and more. The next time you go to toss your water bottle in the trash, consider letting it have a second life. Read more about how plastic bottles and containers are recycled.
Read more about the I Want To Be Project.
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: eco-friendly jeans, eco-friendly water bottles, how to recycle, i want to be, jeans made from plastic, recycled jeans, recycled plastic
MiH Jeans recently launched an exclusive shibori tye dye collaboration with LA based shibori specialist Niki Livingston on their website. Shibori dye, one of the most beautiful fabric treatments we’ve ever laid eyes on (and a favorite of the festival-going crowd) is an ancient Japanese dye technique used to give cloth a three dimensional form by folding, stitching, and twisting the material before it is sumberged. The result, as you can see, is gorgeous.
“The MiH design team and Niki worked closely together to develop shibori-dyed pieces that reflect MiH’s British heritage and Niki’s laid-back, Californian attitude. After experimenting firstly with denim, we then chose tees, shirts and scarves to become the canvases for our indigo art. Scarf prints were influenced by water and shadows whilst tees and shirts were tied to create spots and stripes with ease and spontaneity.”
Shop the limited edition collection at MiH Jeans.
Tags: buy denim online, California style, Chambray Shirt, denim shirt, Japanese denim, japanese dye technique, limited edition, MiH Jeans, shibori denim, shibori dye
J.Crew are releasing their own line of U.S. made premium denim, called Point Sur Denim. Fans of J.Crew are gearing up to fill in their denim collections with this exciting release, which offers up options like Japanese selvedge denim that’s pre-broken in in a luxe white and classic blue jeans with handmade hardware.
Their vision for this endeavor? Their website reads, “You know those vintage jeans you go on an all-out search to find after you see them on some cool girl? Well, these are those jeans.” Color us intrigued.
So what’s the point of releasing an entirely new denim collection when J.Crew already does denim? Apparently, they are targeting denim-heads like us. As Tom Mora, Head of Women’s design at J.Crew, told Racked: ”We still love our J.Crew denim, but it definitely reaches a broader audience. [Point Sur] is going after those die-hard denim lovers… [We're] playing with proportion, playing with rise, to make it really unique and special.”
Images via Racked and J.Crew. Shop Point Sur Denim here.
Tags: buy denim online, classic blue jeans, denim news, j.crew denim, Japanese selvedge, Point Sur Denim, selvedge denim, selvedge jeans, white jeans
Confession: We at DT are sneaker collectors. We’ve amassed closet fulls of kicks between us, and nothing is more exciting (or threatening to our wallets) than a fresh collaboration between two brands we love. Nike & Libery of London collaborated on a collection of sneakers that feature vintage fabrics designed by the fashion house, used to create Dunk Sky Hi, Blazer, Internationalist, and Air Max styles for women. The result is a sophisticated style that resembles an amazing pair of vintage printed jeans. We’re in loooove.
Check out these creative laces and gorgeous prints.
Prices start at $105.00 and these babies are on the market as of April 7th.
Tags: designer collaboration, hi-top sneakers, high-top sneakers, nike sneakers, nike x liberty of london, printed denim, printed jeans, vintage print, vintage sneakers