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An Exclusive Q&A with Eco-Friendly M2F Denim

This Earth Day, we’re paying tribute to one denim brand with their eye on eco-matters. M2F is a new brand, offering a greener pair of jeans manufactured with eco-conscious technology. And while you might see dull earthy hues in your head when you think of “eco-friendly”, these jeans are anything but. Their color spectrum is one of the most beautiful on the market right now. These never-before-seen colors are made possible through two interrelated, earth friendly technologies known as Made2Fade yarn and the Clear H20 Colors dye process. Together, these dynamic breakthroughs enable them to build a new kind of denim company committed to preserving the environment and helping us look so good whilst saving the planet. Read on for an exclusive Q&A.

Denim Therapy: Let’s start from the beginning. How did you know you wanted to be a designer?
M2F: I’ve been a clothing designer since 1988 when I launched my own menswear brand called Legends Company USA.  Until I started M2F Brand Denims two years ago, my main focus of design had always been the shirts, tees and sweatshirts you wear with jeans.  I have a passion for designing clothes that are individually colored and naturally aged to feel like they’ve been worn for years.

The concept for M2F Brand jeans was created in a laboratory and is based on a yarn technology my company invented in a joint venture with a Chinese textile company. We are the first and only denim company in the world who can dye jeans into an unlimited palette of colors that look exactly like traditional blue jeans after stonewashing, sanding and grinding.  Different than the solid colored jeans in the marketplace, our jeans have a white core that shows through on the surface of our jeans as color chips and fades away.

DT: Are there other denim brands you consider your immediate competition? How do you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of popular denim brands afloat right now?
M2F: In the global denim marketplace, there are no other jean companies with access to our yarn technology so designing and manufacturing vintage colored jeans like we do is virtually impossible to duplicate.  Unlike traditional blue jean companies who rely on a shade band of Indigo colors, we have the ability to offer unique shades of blue and an unlimited palette of deep fall colors, earth tones, jewel tones, pastels and brights.  So for us, blue is just another color.

DT: Do you have any pre-designing rituals?
M2F: At the beginning of our design process each season, we study the fashion blogs and fashion magazines for color trends outside of denim.  The end result of our research insures we develop colors for our jeans that are consistent with knitwear, casual wear and designer fashions from around the world.  It’s important for our boutiques to be able to merchandise our jeans with other fashion items in their store. That’s the fun of dressing women in vintage colored jeans.

DT: Describe the woman who represents your ideal target customer—the customer you have in mind when you’re planning a collection.
M2F: Color and comfort are universally loved by women of all ages.  Having said that, we design the rise, shape and length of each style with a specific customer in mind:  Mini shorts and skinny leg jeans are developed for teenagers and women in their 20s, while our bootcut and flare leg jeans are fitted to a women in her 30s, 40s or 50s who is fit, but not overly obsessed with her body or weight.  Our straight leg jeans can be worn as a loose fitting boyfriend jean by our younger consumers and a relaxed fit every day jean by our middle aged customers.

DT: Can you give us hint about what’s next for (following or upcoming season — Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter)?
M2F: We are introducing a collection of jean jackets with our Fall 2011 collection, allowing consumers to dress in denim from top to bottom while mixing and matching colors, textures and vintage finishes within an outfit.  Body styles include a fully lined army coat, a motorcycle jacket, sleeveless vest and London style denim blazer.

Color wise, our Fall 2011 collection features three shades of black:  Onyx, Black Tea and Mountain Stone, two shades of brown:  Swiss Chocolate and Mocha, three shades of blue:  Wild Indigo, Blue Moon and Autumn Sky and seasonal fashion colors called Chili Pepper, Genuine Teal, True Olive, Purple Rain, Morning Zen and Sun Dried Clay.

DT: What would be your dream collaboration? Any plans of that in the future?
M2F: I am scanning the globe looking for an adventurous fabric mill to join me in developing and designing a collection of never before seen fabrics that are made from our special yarn technology.  The possibilities are endless. We are working on finding that mill.

DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favorites, and how would you style them?
M2F: Our most popular finish is our vintage stonewash, a two hour process that naturally fades and softens our colored jeans to a point where they feel like you’ve worn them for years.   I personally love our straight leg jean, fitted one size too big and cuffed at the ankle, worn with beat up old tennis shoes or army boots, a raggedy tee shirt or oversized vintage sweatshirt.  On a dressier note, our flare leg or bootcut worn with a woven or knit shirt, layered under a fitted blazer and flats is super cool for day or night.

DT: Do you have any favorite/least favorite denim trends right now?
M2F: Least favorite trend would be whisker patterns and sprayed on white areas in the thigh and seat of dark blue jeans. They just look fake and contrived to me.  Favorite trend would be extreme washes that make jeans look and feel like their 10 yrs old.

DT: Street style and style blogs are huge in the industry right now as a source of inspiration, influencing the high end labels rather than vice versa. How much does street style influence your designing?
M2F: I stay up late at night reading fashion blogs from all over the word.  I love second hand thrift shop fashion with a modern bohemian edge.  It’s amazing to see how creative consumers around the world can get with layers of color, textures ,vintage clothes and accessories.   The faded colors and vintage finishes of our jeans look great with shirts, tees, blazers and outerwear that have a vintage edge to them.

DT: How many pairs of denim do YOU own?
M2F: I live in Florida and spend the majority of my time in shorts.  When I travel, my custom made Men’s M2F jeans are faded olive, brown and black.

DT: M2F what does it stand for? And why did you choose that as the name of your brand?
M2F: M2F is short for Made2Fade, the trade name of our yarn technology.  It also stands for Made2Fit, which our customers tell us all the time.

DT: Can you describe your eco friendly technology?
M2F: Our yarn technology has been tested by the OEKO TEX lab in Switzerland, the world’s most trusted source for fiber testing.  Their OEKO TEX 100 test has certified our yarn as free of chemicals that are bad for the environment and your health.

Furthermore, each and every jean we produce is individually colored in our Clear H20 dye process that uses 50% less water, energy and time than traditional textile dyeing methods. At the end of each day, our dye water is recycled and used the next day and days after until we drain it from the dye house with virtually clear water.

—Jackie Racer

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Posted Apr 22 2011 in Denim News » Interviews
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