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Editor’s Picks: 20 of the Best Rivet Articles of 2020

With topics like Covid-19, the Black Lives Matter movement and the overall growing awareness for conscious consumption dominating the headlines, 2020 was clearly a year of lasting change for the global denim industry. The Rivet editorial team was here to cover it all.

From the industry’s pivot to personal protection equipment, upcyling and resale, to denim’s role in creating positive social change, here’s a look at some of the Rivet staff’s favorite stories from 2020.

Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year Should Bode Well for Denim
When Pantone named Classic Blue the 2020 Color of the Year last December, denim heads required no explanation why the confident, calm and enduring hue deserved the distinction.

Why Denim Experts Say Function Will Trump Fashion in the Near Future
During one of the only in-person industry events to take place in 2020, Rivet 50 honorees met at Bluezone to discuss the future of denim fashion. Though the full effect of Covid-19 was then unknown, many already anticipated a greater emphasis on utility and protection.

Italy’s Denim Sector Is at a Standstill, But its People Remain Hopeful
As the U.S. began to see store closures and shelter-in-place policies roll out across the country in March, Italy was deep into its coronavirus nightmare. People from Italy’s denim industry, however, remained hopeful that the crisis would lead to a more sustainable, responsible and kinder future.

Denim Industry Opts for Less Waste, More Substance in Their Marketing Strategies
Even before the pandemic, companies sought ways to reduce packaging, plastic and paper used for events and promotional materials—steps that complemented their ever-growing roster of sustainable product lines.

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Slideshow: How Denim Retailers Shut Down in New York City
New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, famous for its cast iron facades, glass sidewalks and premium denim retailers, represented the dire state of retail this spring when the city became the epicenter of the pandemic.

Quarantine Style: What the Denim Industry Is Wearing at Home
From Milan to New York City, vintage jeans, chambray shirts and indigo knits were among the go-to items individuals in the denim business wore while they adjusted to their work-from-home lifestyles.

Face Masks: Get the Lowdown on Fashion’s New Product Category
Among the unexpected twist and turns of 2020 is the mainstreaming of face masks in the Western part of the world. Manufacturing for medical and non-medical masks swept across the global industry beginning in March as companies like Prada, Mother Denim, Gucci, Citizens of Humanity and more halted regular production or shifted their resources to produce masks for Covid-19 first responders and the general public.

West Coast Way: Is California the Sustainable Fashion Capital of the U.S.?
The Golden State’s legacy of environmental protection runs deep, and for the designers who live there, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword, it’s an imperative.

Denim Executives Map Out What’s Next for the Industry
From Mavi to Boyish, the unprecedented events of 2020 drove executives to recalibrate their outlook for the denim industry.

Amsterdam’s Denim Scene is Still Kicking, But With a More Local Flavor
The cancellation of Kingpins Amsterdam, arguably the denim industry’s premier event, was compounded by the fact that Amsterdam—for the first time in a long time—once again belongs to locals instead of tourists.

Fashion Brands Respond to Black Lives Matter Protests by Fundraising, Pledges for Change
The visceral response to the killing of George Floyd and others victims of police brutality drove some fashion organizations, denim brands and streetwear designers to examine how they can help foster racial equality and social justice within their own companies and beyond.

These Are Your New Favorite Jeans, According to Your Zodiac Sign
With many look to mysticism to guide them in moments of stress and uncertainty, astrology became the hottest marketing tool companies used to connect with consumers in 2020.

Past Meets Future: Discovering the Upside of Upcycling Denim
Whether it’s a mindset forced by financial restraints, genuine concern for the environment or the result of spending long stretches of time indoors revaluating possessions, brands and retailers are anticipating a post-pandemic consumer who will want to shop less and shop smarter. This new mindset is an opportunity for denim designers to tee up upcycled denim as a rags-to-riches story. Denim, after all, is often an entry point for designers interested in upcycled fashion.

Does Denim Still Have a Role to Play in Protest Culture Today?
Denim is no longer rooted in a rejection of social norms—it’s about democratizing fashion and making its wearers feel as if they belong.

Where Are They Now? Denim Industry Shares Progress of Ellen MacArthur’s Jeans Redesign
The success stories of the Ellen MacArthur’s Jeans Redesign participants made a strong case for other companies getting on board.

Thrifted Denim Is a Win-Win for Consumers, Resale Sites and the Planet
Online marketplaces for pre-owned fashion are the virtual counterparts to traditional thrift shops. As consumers become more conscious about the environment and their wallets, sites like Depop, Poshmark, ThredUp and The Real Real are go-to sources to find their next denim deal.

Trim Suppliers Introduce a New Level of Conscious Creativity
Whereas a new season is typically a time for trim manufacturers to introduce novelties that spark ideas and creativity, trim makers in 2020 expected to see a greater demand for timeless and sustainable designs—qualities that will resonate with the post-pandemic consumer.

Class Act: A Look Inside FIDM’s Industry-Led Denim Course
The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) is known for its high profile alums. But over the past three years, FIDM has been incubating one of fashion education’s most specialized advanced study programs—and it centers around a singular, iconic material.

How the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Became Denim’s Instrument of Change
The denim sector has embraced the SDGs as an instrument of change amid growing discourse about the harm and pollution generated by the production of clothes, even as some observers question if progress is stalling or if the goals go far enough—two criticisms fashion firms are no stranger to. Their adoption wasn’t immediate. Nor does it remain complete.

Denim as an Ally: How the Industry Is Taking Steps to Right Its Wrongs
Considering all the Black community’s contributions to fashion, in 2020 it became especially problematic for a brand to stay silent on a conversation surrounding a group from which it benefits—and upon which it was built.