Happy Earth Day! Here at Denim Therapy we have a favorite way of paying homage to the earth: shopping for eco-friendly denim! With brands like Levi, Nudie Jeans Co. and M2F leading the industry in an inspiring switch towards more earth-loving production practices, you don’t have to search for long to find a pair you love. Today we’re zeroing in on REUSE Jeans—a brand that produces environmentally sound skinny jeans (among other wardrobe essentials) in vibrant pop colors like crayon red and jade green. Even better? These jeans are all under $100.
Levi’s has introduced a collection of denim incorporating post-consumer waste, specifically recycled plastic bottles and food trays. Each Levi’s Waste<Lessproduct will include a minimum of 20 percent post-consumer recycled content, or, on average, eight 12 to 20-ounce bottles per jean. The line will include both men and women’s denim styles for the upcoming spring season. This new initiative represents the n ext chapter in the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainable design.
“From the beginning, we have designed our products with purpose and intent. By adding value to waste, we hope to change the way people think about recycling, ultimately incentivizing them to do more of it,” said James Curleigh, global president of the Levi’s brand. “This collection proves that you don’t have to sacrifice quality, comfort or style to give an end a new beginning.”
TORTOISE Jeans has sharpened the focus on sustainability in one of the most environmentally harmful (yet paramount) steps in the process of constructing jeans: the wash. They’ve blown traditional wash methods out of the water (no pun intended), establishing their own wash facility where they develop and implement eco-friendly alternative techniques to achieving their desired finished product.
As for the name?
“The tortoise is a land-dwelling reptile that moves about at a slow and steady pace. They are herbivores that consume extremely low volumes of water. While tortoises can live to be a century old, they have an extremely low ecological impact on the environment throughout their lifetime. These gentle creatures have long been revered as a symbol of wisdom, determination, patience and longevity.”
We picked our favorites from the line at PROJECT Las Vegas. Check them out below.
Hermann #1012: Skinny Straight Jean, American 12oz Selvage PFD fabric, No Water Italian Organic Pigment Application with Natural Resin to retain shape.
Nudie Jeans, Bloomingdales, and Denim Therapy are launching Repair Reuse! Reduce – a unique pop-up tailor shop that lets customers show their worn-and-torn Nudie Jeans some TLC with free repairs and alterations! Come to Bloomingdales SoHo in the Men’s Lower Level, Thursday, September 13 through Sunday, September 16, 2PM ’til 8PM and see what we can do for your Nudies. In addition, customers have the chance to trade in their hard-worn Nudie Jeans (after meeting Nudie’s wear-and-tear requirements), to be recycled and resold with the award-winning Good Environmental Choice label, featured with the wearer’s name. In exchange for donating denim, customers will receive an exclusive Nudie Jeans gift! You can’t pass this up, people. Come on down!
In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re big fans of the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), plus one more–repair! Denim Therapy can help you extend the life of your jeans, but if you’re looking to buy some eco-friendly denim, we’ve also got you covered. Here are six awesome brands doing their best to help the environment:
With colored denim being such a big hit this season, it’s especially cool that M2F created a dye bath that uses 50% less energy and water than traditional methods, while also eliminating commonly used toxic materials. Plus, their Made2Fade Technology Yarn is certified by the Swedish OEKO-TEX lab to be free of any harmful substances.
G-Star RAW Sustainable collection is not only made entirely out of organic cotton, which minimizes the use of harsh-on-Mother-Nature pesticides and other pollutants, G-Star also touts various sustainable operations practices, like reducing energy use and only using transportation companies that meet certain environmental standards.
For spring/summer 2012, Nudie Jeans produced 43% of its garments from organic cotton, with the longer-term goal to amp that number up to 100%. As part of their larger efforts to reduce waste, their Post Recycle Dry program takes old Nudie jeans and makes them into new, limited edition pairs.
Making jeans is a water-intensive process, and a lot of the environmental cost of production comes from water. Often, jeans are washed multiple times before we take ‘em home, but the Levi’s Water<Less Jeans finishing process uses up to 96% less water than usual. 172 million liters of water (and counting!) have been saved so far.
Perhaps you know Edun best in relation to its founders Ali Hewson and Bono, but the ethical clothing lineisn’t simply a celeb pet project. The company focuses on fair wage and labor practices, and uses organic cotton to produce their line.
With jeans made from organic cotton, hemp, recycled wool, and more, Kuyichi prides itself in using eco-friendly and recycled fabrics, including natural dyes. Their full list of sustainable materials used is pretty informative as well, if you pride yourself in knowing the benefits of the alternative fabrics used.
We stopped by the Nudie Jeans Co. showroom recently to preview one of our favorite Swedish denim brands—a brand that embodies both modern Scandinavian culture and classic utilitarian elements in denim and sportswear. Their unisex jeans have made the full transition into 100% organic territory, from denim fabric to pocket linings, buttons, rivets and labeling. It’s all raw material. The iconic orange stitching compliments an array of beautiful Japanese plaids with rich autumn hues for the cold season, all of which is further backed by a line of accessories and the exponentially successful backbone collection.
We love Raleigh Denim, that’s no secret. The eco-friendly, community-enriching brand with limited runs of specially crafted denim have set themselves apart in the market. But aside from being sustainable and aware, their jeans are gorgeous. We had an up-close look at the fall/winter 2012 line at their recent NY press preview. We browsed raw selvedge jeans for men and women with contrast stitching made from Cone Mills White Oak Denim, individually numbered and signed, along with a range of other fabrics in rich autumn hues. Check out our favorite picks below.
M2F Denim just posted up this preview on their facebook wall—check out these fruity neons! We’re huge fans of this brand both for their unique hues and their eco-friendly denim production. Not only has their dye bath been engineered to waste 50% less energy and water than your average denim brand, but their dyed-yarns go through a rigorous testing process to ensure there are no substances in them that can harm your health. Visit their website to learn more about their eco-friendly approach.
We had a chance to interview Raleigh Denim Workshop designers Victor and Sarah Lytvinenko during their NYFW Fall 2012 presentation, and they let us in on their minimal carbon footprint, innovative fabric contents (ever hear of fabric made from recycled TV dinner trays? Neither had we!), and how they’re aiming to create the backbone of your wardrobe. Check it out below.
Raleigh Denim Workshop‘s FW’12 presentation was a parade of classic American looks, illuminated (ironically) by the darkest textile on the presentation floor: gorgeous selvedge denim. The North Carolina-based brand (which produces their denim locally via non-automated jeansmiths and vintage sewing machinery) showed for the first time in New York this season. They presented both men’s and women’s styles, all with a consistent theme of woodland-prep, tailored button-down shirts, and a tame, classic color story.
The clothes were all beautiful, but the focus was the eco-friendly denim, created using locally sourced materials from the Mills of Greensboro, NC (which was once a thriving center for denim production). Designers and husband/wife team Victor and Sarah Lytvinenko bring the workshop concept to life through production, one-by-one inspection, limited edition runs, stamped leather patches with unique edition numbers, and signatures on every pair of denim they lovingly release into the world.
To see local garment production make a come back, however small, gives the eco-conscious consumer a bit of hope. This blip on the NYFW radar was rooted in an urgent ethical & environmental movement. Raleigh Denim, while remaining painfully stylish and appealing to all matter of urban folk, is at the forefront of a beautiful era of change, and we can’t wait to share more of their message.
More photos below:
Stay tuned for our interview with designers Victor and Sarah Lytvinenko!