Premium jeans, a reduced environmental impact and corporate responsibility are at the helm of Bluer Denim’s Made in USA foundation. Launched in 2013 by denim veteran Jeff Shafer, the Portland, Oregon-based brand is known for its high-quality raw selvedge denim—without an expensive markup or overseas production process.
“I launched Bluer Denim as a direct-to-consumer brand of U.S. made premium denim at revolutionary prices, with transparent sourcing and a buy-one-give-one philanthropic model,” Shafer said. “Made in USA is very important to our customers.”
The brand’s U.S.-based production partners are an integral part of Bluer Denim’s American footprint. The denim is milled in Greensboro, North Carolina, garments are designed in Bluer Denim’s studio in Portland, Oregon and final products are sewn, washed and hand-finished in Los Angeles using sustainable ozone laundry methods.
Cone Mills has been a key component to Bluer Denim’s Made in USA story. The company currently sources exclusively from Cone’s White Oak plant, which serves as the production hub for Cone’s domestic premium denim. Even Bluer Denim’s jean details—from leather patches to zippers—possess domestic roots. The brand uses YKK buttons, rivets and zippers developed in Kentucky and its jean leather patches are handcrafted by Tanner Goods, a sustainable leather goods company from Portland.
The brand currently offers a variety of men’s and women’s premium jeans. For men, the company features four different denim styles—Slim Taper, Slim Straight, Classic Straight and Loose Straight. The Slim Taper is Bluer Denim’s slimmest fit for men made with 100 percent double-ring spun cotton finished with a classic red line selvedge. In between skinny and loose fits, the Slim Straight contains 100 percent double-ring spun cotton with a white selvedge finish. As a classic fit jean, the Classic Straight style also contains a white selvedge finish and I.D. raw denim with a uniform black color. The Loose Straight is a more traditional men’s denim cut, complete with a deep indigo hue.
Women’s denim comes in four core styles—Matchstick, Slim Skinny Low Rise, Slim Skinny High Rise and Classic Boot. Matchstick’s Soulmate Rinse denim—which contains 92 percent ring spun cotton, 7 percent polyester and 1 percent elastane, fits very slim on the body. Slightly roomier than the Matchstick, the Slim Skinny Low Rise Jean features the Soulmate Rinse denim and provides more flexibility at the calf. A versatile and slim shape makes up the Slim Skinny High Rise fit, which features Soulmate Rinse denim in deep indigo. The Classic Boot is a timeless cut, with a medium rise and a slim bootcut fit.
Unlike other domestic premium brands, Bluer Denim seeks to make high-quality jeans accessible. Men’s and women’s jeans start at $95, which according to the company, is nearly 50 percent less than competitor premium Made in U.S.A. products sold in stores and online.
Consumers can also take part in Bluer Denim’s eco-friendly, Made in USA efforts. The company currently has a Buy One-Give One jean re-purposing program, which enables consumers to provide their denim with a second life. For every pair of jeans a consumer purchases, Bluer Denim will buy back a used pair for $5, clean them and deliver them to someone in need. With the program, Bluer Denim can preserve its Made in USA origins, while promoting a more circular domestic production process.