Denim this, denim that, denim here, denim everywhere! Can you imagine a life without your favorite pair of jeans? Yeah, me neither. But did you know that your skinnies have already consumed about 7000 liters of water prior to their first wash? To put it in perspective: an average bathtub fills about 120 liters, which means that it takes 58 fully filled bathtubs to produce one pair of jeans. Shocking, I know! The worst part about it is that the water is mixed with bleach, chemicals, and dyes. It thus becomes a toxic cocktail and is released back into the natural water streams. Besides it being a highly pollutive production process, denim is also a big part of the fashion waste problem. So what can be done? What can we, as consumers, do to help the environment a little while looking haute and hip? Where can we shop?
I once said that inspiration is everywhere, you just have to keep your eyes open and look around. One sunny Monday afternoon in Antwerp, thé rising fashion capital, I was casually parading through Graanmarkt 13, looking around for .. actually nothing. I was just looking around, like most of the time when I'm out shopping. The store itself is home to both foreign and domestic brands, exclusive kitchen accessories and contemporary jewelry. It's like a little museum where every piece is worth the attention. All of sudden I notice a very cute display of jeans with a big white label on it that said "RE/DONE". Hmm, intriguing.
Later that evening I dove into the research pool. But I didn't stop at that one label. I went further and found these three brands that are definitely worth our eco-minded while. Because there is not just one way to be sustainable, and these companies do great efforts to change the game, bend the rules and jump ahead in the "eco-chic trend".
Talking about "What's in a name?" RE/DONE is not a brand, RE/DONE is a movement towards individuality, heritage preservation, and sustainable production. Operating from Downtown Los Angeles, the company recycles pre-owned Levi's jeans and Hanes T-Shirts. Each piece is handpicked, taken apart at the seams and is then reconstructed into a new garment that is one-of-a-kind #VintageRevival!
No mass production, no harsh chemicals, limited water usage. What better way is there to minimize waste and provide uniqueness?
150US$ - 400US$ (130EUR - 350EUR)
Where to buy
www.shopredone.com Graanmarkt 13 (Belgium) Barneys (US) Selfridges (UK)
Who wears it
MUD Jeans (The Netherlands)
What if you could renew your denim stash each year? What if you didn't have to pay the full price immediately? What if your jeans didn't have to end up in the landfill or burned after you're through with them? Wouldn't that be great? Today one of the main goals of the fashion industry is to find a way to close the loop, to create a circular process where nothing goes to waste. High-quality materials, efficient organization and waste management are only a few aspects that can make that possible.
With the introduction of the Lease A Jeans formula, MUD Jeans has created its own closed denim loop that looks like this:
And it's worth noting that their sustainability initiative is not limited to simply recycling. MUD Jeans has chosen to work with certified cotton (GOTS, world's leading standard for organic cotton, and BCI, which focuses on limiting the environmental damages of cotton production) which is better for the planet and for its inhabitants, and is of higher quality. Both water usage and CO2 emissions are far less than the industry standard, and their washing techniques require very little to no chemicals at all!
49EUR - 98EUR
Where to buy
www.mudjeans.eu MUD Jeans Stores
MUD Jeans opts for printed logos rather than leather labels and uses recycled cotton for buttons!
The label says it all, no? Ignoring the fast-paced fashion industry, Raleigh Denim Workshop chose to go back in time. Back to the roots of traditional jeans making. Back to when people were connected to their craft. Back to the "quality above quantity" mentality. Back to organic cotton. From growing crop to finished good, all is done locally!
"We don't want Raleigh Denim Workshop to get too big. We're always going to make everything, so once we hit our capacity, that's it."
195US$ - 325US$ (170EUR - 290EUR)
Where to buy
All stockists here