Who doesn’t love a new pair of jeans that fit well? They’re not as hard to find with the amount of options on the market, and the fashion industry has done a good job of convincing us that we need a new pair for every season. (Er, scratch that – every outfit.) Fast fashion companies have provided us with clothes that have an expiry date one year from purchase, and sadly, they’re quickly destroying the planet.
Foaming rivers in Bangalore and unnaturally blue water sources in the “denim capital of the world” show the affects of production on the environment. The chemical leakage of poorly made denim is hazardous to say the least; dyes leach out and chemical compounds like mercury, cadmium and lead swim around in waters that were once safe to play in. Currently, majority of the denim being sold on the fast fashion market is made in China, where pH levels and metals in water sources near factories are far past regulatory standards.
In North America alone, about 10 million tonnes of clothing are thrown away each year, filling landfills with harmful synthetic fibres like nylon and polyester. These chemicals seep into our water, plants, and eventually, our bodies. Fortunately, with the amount of information that’s now accessible about the planet’s environmental crisis, there’s no ignoring that something needs to change. And it can all start with our buying habits.
The question of whether or not companies will recognize consumers taking control of their purchasing power and making greener decisions has been answered with the amount of sustainable denim now available. It’s easier than ever to find a pair of jeans that’ll last a lifetime and cause no harm to Mother Earth when their hip hugging days are over. Keep reading to learn about a few of our favourite denim purveyors to shop from.
Fun fact: Everlane’s denim is made at a manufacturer called Saitex, where their LEED-certified facility recycles 98% of its water. Most manufacturers use about 1500 litres of water to make their denim while Saitex uses just 0.4 litres. Their recycled water is so clean, it’s drinkable.
Fun fact: AG Jeans uses sustainable fibres to make their denim and their factories are saving 100,000 gallons of water a day with two new state-of-the-art filtration systems. In partnership with Water For People, they help bring safe drinking water to people across nine different countries too.
Fun fact: The Vintage Twin was founded by twin sisters with a passion for up-cycling “mature” clothing. They rework pre-owned denim into unique pieces after its cut and sewn into modern patterns. Hot tip: think about your splurge on Vintage Twin denim as giving a pair of jeans that were once destined for a landfill another life.