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Denim Technology: Where’s The Insect Repellent Designer Jeans?

Ex Officio's "Buzz Off" insect repellent jeans.

EX OFFICIO's "Buzz Off" insect repellent jeans, available at SIERRA TRADING POST.

With summer just ahead of us, I started to wonder how I would dress to beat the heat without having to look like a tourist in my own home town — clad in a tank top, shorts, comfy walking shoes and a hands-free belt bag.  Chances are, I would love to wear shorts, skirts and capris more often, particularly of the designer denim variety.  But the hypochondriac in me wonders how I’m going to protect myself from Malaria, West Nile or any scary bug-related issue.  Believe me, I’ve worn the extra heavy weight denim and thick socks, and still have been bitten by bugs.  It doesn’t work.  Anybody feel me on this?

Then I found out that there are indeed insect-repellent jeans and clothing, brought you us by companies such as L.L. Bean and the lesser known Ex Officio label, which has a line of “Buzz Off” jeans and travel related apparel.  From the looks of it, the men’s jeans are still in abundance, but not the women’s version.  And, no, they aren’t the fancy designer jeans you’d love to have, which begs the question: why aren’t popular denim labels adding an insect-repellent denim line?  Is it just not cool?  Is it too costly?  Is there not a market for this?  In this day and age, people are really looking for value in everything they purchase.  I suspect consumers don’t expect any less in their high-end, premium jeans buys.

Even if companies put out a limited edition bug-repellent designer denim line for the height of bug season, heck, I’d buy a couple of pairs.  Imagine if Paige Premium, 7 for All Mankind or even denim friendly clothing chain Madewell, added a “bugs off” denim line?  According to the read on the insect-repellent technology involved, the microencapsulated Permethrin, has been in the market for years, and is safe for children and even pregnant women.  It doesn’t have an odor, passes EPA standards, and it’ll last for at least 70 launderings.

Since everybody has focused on how jeans will be designed, aesthetically, what about more jeans that protect us from the elements?  Wouldn’t that be the perfect jean?  You hear that denim designers?  I want my sexy, rockin’, anti-bug jeans!


L.L. Bean's insect-repellent clothing line.

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Kathy Ng Hassan

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Posted May 06 2009 in Uncategorized

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