Most denim brands by now have incorporated more sustainable features in their collections, whether it’s by adopting water-saving dyeing methods, sourcing better materials or producing fewer items. Still, it can be a challenge for shoppers to differentiate the brands making significant progress from the ones that are just going through the motions.
In honor of Earth Day, Rivet compiled a list of denim brands that are committed to making a real impact on people and planet.
Known for its jeans leasing program, sustainable denim brand Mud Jeans recently debuted its Undyed Collection, a range of jeans made with fabrics consisting of 60 percent organic cotton and 40 percent recycled denim. This relaxed pair of jeans, which gets its unique color from the recycled fibers, is right on trend for the loose jeans movement.
Reformation is an early adopter of FibreTrace, a traceability solution that gives shoppers insight into the product’s entire lifecycle, or what the brand calls “from farm to butt.” This high-rise straight leg jean saved 19 pounds of carbon dioxide and more than 6,000 gallons of water compared to conventional methods.
As part of the “most sustainably designed” collection from Levi’s WellThread, this Trucker jacket is 100 percent recyclable and crafted from cottonized hemp, which requires less water and fewer pesticides than conventional cotton. The back of the jacket features earth-friendly artwork from artist Nathaniel Russell.
G-Star Raw recently developed the world’s first black denim fabric to meet the rigorous circular fashion standards defined by Cradle to Cradle (C2C). This pair features the brand’s Relz Black Denim O fabric, which includes 100 percent organic cotton and uses people- and planet-safe black liquid dyestuff and pigment coating that leaves behind recyclable water effluent.
These jeans from Boyish feature a marbled black eco wash and a blend of certified organic cotton and Tencel Lyocell, a natural raw material derived from eucalyptus trees. The brand recently expanded upon its aggressive sustainability targets and pledges that by 2023, all of its products will be made from plant-based fibers.
Outland Denim’s popular Harriet black jeans, made famous by Meghan Markle, have recently been upgraded with “SaveBlack” technology that uses 85 percent less water in the dying process. The brand is a champion of human rights, and provides work opportunities for women at risk of human trafficking in order to break out of the cycle of abuse.
Kings of Indigo
One of the signatories of the Denim Deal, the Netherlands-based multi-stakeholder initiative navigating the challenges of circular textiles, Kings of Indigo has always been committed to sustainability. This pair is made of organic cotton and features a vegan waistband patch and recycled metal trims.
Outerknown partnered with The New Denim Project by sustainable design lab Iris Textiles on a collection made with discarded denim scraps and garments. This chambray shirt from the collection features 30 percent recycled cotton.
This pair of wide-leg jeans is part of Cos’ recent collection of men’s and women’s denim made solely of GRS- or RCS-certified recycled or GOTS- or OCS-certified organic cotton. Each piece is finished with rivet-free detailing to facilitate recycling at the end of its lifecycle.
In March, Tommy Hilfiger launched its first denim products crafted according to the Ellen MacArthur Jeans Redesign circular design principles. This jacket features all of the circular elements, including 100 percent organic fabric, detachable buttons, bar tacks instead of metal rivets and no metal zippers.