I love jeans. It’s no surprise and it’s been the way I’ve been for pretty much all my life, usually having opted for pants and denim over anything else (despite my older sister’s efforts to put me in tights and a dress when I was 4 for a birthday party)! Now that I’m concerned about the environmental and ethics, finding sustainable jeans and ethical denim is important, but, thankfully, not difficult!
When I first starting learning about sustainability (or rather the lack thereof) in fashion, the most common thing I saw was how detrimental the production of denim was. Talk about a sad day in my denim-loving world. The two main problems are the very high amount of water used to make denim and then the pollution of that water.
Thankfully, a number of companies have worked to diminish the need of 90% of the water usage and more and more factories have treatment systems in place to clean up that waste water.
Add to that the importance of ethical treatment of all the people involved in making denim. And then there’s the possibility of using organic cotton, recycled cotton, and even recycled elastane and nylon to give you that beloved stretch in jeans.
But does sustainable jeans mean ugly jeans? Basic jeans? No and no!! Sustainable denim companies and ethical denim brands are at the cutting edge of denim design and quality. My favorite brand, pictured just below, and discussed first make some of the best jeans I’ve ever worn – and I wear good jeans!!
And remember sustainability of jeans doesn’t stop when you bring them home. Read about how often you should wash jeans.
Ética – Ethical Denim
Ética is an innovative, sustainable fashion brand that creates premium denim jeans. Their organic range of jeans are made using organic and recycled cotton, plant-based eco fibers, and plastic-free stretch fabric that reduces the environmental impact of fabric production.
ETICA DISCOUNT CODE: Use lucismorsels for 20% off
Dl1961 is a fashion brand that prioritizes sustainability and environmental consciousness. They work with Recover™ to break down textile waste from landfills and turn it into sustainable, recycled fibers to create their jeans.
It takes less than 10 gallons of water to produce each pair of jeans, and Dl1961 recycles 98% of the water they do use in their in-house treatment plant. Additionally, they use polyesters made from recycled plastic wherever possible and incorporate Tencel™ fabrics which are biodegradable.
All of their cotton is responsibly sourced and meets at least one of four international certifications for quality and impact. With Dl1961’s sustainable jeans, you can look great and do good for the environment!
Be sure to read my full DL1961 jean review!
AGOLDE is dedicated to creating sustainable jeans that combine fashion and function while having minimal impact on the environment. Their denim is produced from organic cotton and low-impact dyes.
They use innovative technologies like KITOTEX® and INDIGO JUICE®, which reduce water, chemicals, and energy usage compared to conventional dyeing processes. They also incorporate recycled thread for the stitching of their Citizens of Humanity denim products and use recycled plastic bottles and post-industrial waste for their pocketing fabrics.
AGOLDE is a leader in sustainable fashion solutions that bring together modern fit and feel with an eco-friendly approach.
Outerknown is a sustainable fashion brand with a mission to create stylish and ethical products. With their signature sustainability-focused jeans, Outerknown is committed to using eco-friendly materials and organically produced cotton to reduce the environmental impact of production.
They’re Fair Trade Certified and support farmers’ implementation of Regenerative Organic CertifiedTM (ROCTM) practices and partner with two B Corp Certified suppliers that run on renewable energy. These actions demonstrate Outerknown’s commitment to creating stylish apparel while reducing their environmental footprint.
Boyish – Sustainable Jeans
Boyish is changing the face of sustainable fashion with their stylish, timeless pieces crafted from recycled and organic materials. Their jeans are made from OCS 100 certified organic cotton, recycled cotton, and Tencel™ Lyocell.
They use reduced indigo from Dystar, with about 80 percent less sulfates, and recycle water to keep harsh chemicals out of freshwater streams. With a commitment to reducing their environmental impact, Boyish is leading the way in sustainable denim.
Frank and Eileen
Frank and Eileen is a B Corp Certified, woman-owned, sustainable fashion brand. All of their garments are made from organic cotton, recycled materials, and vegan leather to ensure the highest quality while reducing their environmental impact.
Their commitment to sustainability extends beyond their materials, also reflected in their production processes and labor standards that prioritize the safety of workers and the planet. With a timeless style and sustainable construction, Frank & Eileen is sure to become an essential part of any wardrobe (beyond just their jeans). Their button ups are a crucial part to my fall capsule wardrobe basics!
Sézane is a French fashion brand dedicated to sustainability. They make stylish and fashionable pieces using organic cotton. This B Corp Certified company ensures ethical and sustainable production of its denim garments.
Their mission is to create clothing intentionally while considering the well-being of their customers and the environment. Customers can be sure they are investing in sustainable fashion with long-lasting pieces when shopping with Sezane.
Eileen Fisher is a leader in sustainable fashion and they are committed to creating quality, timeless pieces that are made with sustainability in mind. They use organic farming to support clean water and healthy soil. By supporting their line of sustainable jeans, you are investing in a better future for our planet. Eileen Fisher is a B Corp certified business.
ABLE is a sustainable fashion brand that creates beautiful, high-quality jeans (complete wardrobes, really). They are committed to ethical sourcing and eco-friendly practices, and their denim initiatives are sourced through the western hemisphere to reduce their carbon footprint in the shipping process.
Their denim vendor recycles 100% of its water for washing processes and runs it through some of the most innovative cleansers on the market before releasing it back into nature to ensure its safety and cleanliness. With ABLE, you can look good and do good – all while wearing sustainable jeans that are made with love!
Boden is a clothing brand with an impressive commitment to sustainability. They recently earned certified by the Responsible Animal Fibre Standard. They also offer denim jeans where 20% of the composition is recycled cotton.
Additionally, all their packaging materials are 100% recyclable. Boden continues to aim to reduce their carbon footprint and promote sustainability in the fashion industry.
You’ll also want to check out this list of second hand clothing from brands you love, my tips for creating (and maintaining) a minimalist wardrobe, why you should always buy quality clothes (because then you’ll always have something to wear), and these stylish and sustainable shoe companies!