Eco-friendly, going-green. These are terms that were trendy not long ago, and they’re quickly morphing into a standard of social and business behavior that can easily get you snubbed if you don’t bring them to the table. We love talking to brands that are taking this issue seriously, and recently we had the chance to sit down with Nathan, art director of Reco Jeans—an awesome, relatively new brand (begun in 2008) that have taken their feelings on the eco-issue to the next level.
“We’re really looking at the concept of re-appropriating everything,” says Nathan, “we are cutting out the step of removing raw materials from the earth. We figure most of the things that people need have already been made and have already been around for a long time… theres not a huge requirement to keep plundering the planet.”
The premise is simple—make new jeans by recycling resources we have now. Reco Jeans reduces scrap fabric back into fibers, spins those fibers into yarns, and weaves those yarns back into denim.
As Nathan explained, “a lot of people overlook the carbon footprint cotton creates. They overlook the fact that pesticide run-off is a really big polution problem. People focus on things like the waste from the manufacturing, but they don’t even consider the fact that the process of growing cotton creates this huge blemish on our environment. It’s poisoning the fish, the water supplies… there’s got to be a better way. So we’re trying to find solutions to that, to open new possibilities for the future. We’re a very future oriented company.”
The zippers and other metal hardware is likewise made of melted down materials, and our favorite element? The hang-tags are made of plant-able seed paper, so rather than toss them in the trash, you can toss them right into the earth. Also adorning the pockets are tags made of recycled paper with information in various species of endangered plants (one per style, to be precise). This is an attempt to build awareness and spread the word, before it’s too late for some of our planet’s most beautiful plants.
“Each one of these plants evolved for a reason to fit into the eco-system in a specific way,” Nathan told us, “and our anhilitation of each one of them is potentially removing a spoke from the wheel of life. Those are troubling thoughts to consider. It’s up to us to make sure these species dont disappear, and ensure the longevity of our eco-system.”
Aside from being a stylish, forward-thinking eco-conscious brand, Reco Jeans is a community-oriented collective. Their events, canned food drives, eco-fashion parades, DJ-contests (featuring “recycled music”) and countless other New York-based collaborations (they have a sub-collection titled MrNY) have put them ahead of many brands by taking their vision for their brand and extending it far beyond the jeans.
As Nathan describes, “these events help us build community and build brand awareness. We’re basing the thematic and conceptual basis of the event on what we stand for, and at the same time, have fun with fans of the brand!”
Why New York? ”We’re trying to build our customer base around New York’s young generation who likes to wear jeans, are part of the nightlife, are eco-conscious and politically aware. These are the people who are broadcasting their interests and ideology throughout the country. Whatever’s big here tends to proliferate throughout the country and the world. They’re taste makers.”
Also available from Reco Jeans are a line of T-shirts, designed via artist collaborations (and naturally, they’re eco-friendly as well).
Nathan’s outfit: “The shirt is made out of recycled soda bottles, and the jeans are made of recycled denim fibers & repurposed materials.”
When we asked Nathan what’s next for Reco, he answered, “Lots of exciting collaborations! We’re working with Prince Paul on a line of jeans and t-shirts, an exclusive line for Yellow Rat Bastard, and more cool things I’m not allowed to talk about yet.”
We’ll be waiting!
Check out this video showing how Reco Jeans are made, from recycled scrap fabric to finished jeans:
You can watch more exciting videos on the Reco Jeans Youtube channel!
—Michelle Christina Larsen, Photos by nightlifebaby.net
Tags: eco-friendly, endangered plants, environmentally friendly, green denim, green jeans, myny, New York, reco jeans