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Many brands worldwide are making an effort to become more sustainable to better our communities, our environment, and the future. We live in a world where everything has become so fast-paced and easily accessible that it's often easy to forget about the impact this has on our planet. Fast fashion, as convenient as it may be, is detrimental to our environment. To put it into perspective, it takes approximately 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to produce a single pair of denim jeans. This helps explain why fashion is responsible for 8% of carbon emissions.
One way to avoid contributing to these harmful cycles is shopping sustainable brands that source recycled denim, implement more efficient production processes, and/or use other strategies to create your favorite pair of eco-friendly jeans. Given how denim goes with almost everything, it's a great idea to invest in some pieces that balance style and comfort with a smaller carbon footprint. Keep reading for 12 sustainable denim brands to shop now, each of which are helping to pave the way for a more environmentally-conscious fashion industry.
DL1961 Denim, a family-owned brand, has been creating denim with sustainability in mind since 2008. The team oversees the entire process, from fiber to finish, to ensure every part is following ethical practices. DL1961's denim production starts by shredding old jeans and plastic bottles into small pieces to create new yarn, resulting in jeans that take less than 10 gallons of water to make.
Re/Done started as a brand that marketed perfectly tailored vintage Levi’s not only as a more viable option, but as an individualized experience. This approach is easier on the environment since it uses existing materials to create a range of denim that looks and feels fresh. The brand continues to offer upcycled vintage Levi’s, as well as their own styles, keeping heritage brands relevant while creating new and modern fits.
Since 1853, Levi’s has been the leading manufacturer of denim in the fashion industry. Each pair of jeans is durable and only wears better with time. The brand even offers repairs or redesigns for any product to make sure it truly lasts you a lifetime. Additionally, Levi’s set a goal of using 100% sustainably sourced cotton by 2025.
With a goal of transparency that makes sustainable fashion easier than ever, Everlane produces its denim and other ready-to-wear offerings in the most ethical factories around the world, only partnering with those who reach a score of 90 or above on its compliance audit. Rather than capitalizing on fleeting trends, the sustainable denim brand creates timeless pieces from materials that are made to last year after year.
Aiming to provide the perfect fit, Boyish makes denim that feels like a second skin for comfortable everyday wear. With plant-based dyes, recycled cotton, and deadstock fabrics, Boyish denim is Oeko-Tex approved, which means the materials don't expose the wearer to any harmful effects.
Since its founding in 2009, Reformation has been creating a fashion-forward space with a focus on sustainability. And while the summer dresses are perhaps the brand's most recognizable pieces, you can also find pretty much anything on the site, including activewear, shoes, and denim. It takes time and hard work to create a sustainable brand, and Reformation strives to put its workers and team first. Carefully moving forward each step of the way, the brand plans to be climate positive by 2025, meaning processes will save more greenhouse gases than they generate.
Mud Jeans has future generations in mind when making sustainable denim, using two main fabrics: organic cotton and recycled cotton. Jeans are one of the most polluting items in the fashion industry, and Mud offers many ways to recycle and reuse denim, from offering a leasing option to accepting old pairs to recycle into a new pieces.
Australian-born and ethically raised, Outland Denim is making strides in the industry by giving work to survivors of human trafficking. The sustainable denim brand provides a safe, fair-working environment for people of all backgrounds, giving back to humanity as much as it does to the planet.
With a label that reads "Love the World," Desigual prioritizes both the joy of fashion and a sustainable ethos. The brand allows consumers to view its sustainability reports from 2018- 2020, and is making necessary changes to reduce its part in the fashion industry’s carbon footprint. Within the next three years, Desigual will be using 50% sustainable fibers.