10 ethical & eco friendly denim brands you need to know about

I'm excited to present the first ever "Where to?" entry! The "Where to" series aims at providing readers withbrands that offer ethical/eco/fair/vegan (all 4 when possible) alternatives to a product worn regularly. Indeed, before starting the blog, I would spend hours researching brands where I could get that perfect little dress or a cool bag for the summer without compromising my values. And I know it can sometimes be a bit discouraging.. So here it is! If you're already planning on buying differently, I would like to make it simple for you and support you in changing your consumption habits, just like a good friend with cool addressees she likes to share :)

 

While I thought about various different products to talk about and hesitated for very long minutes... I then realized that there was something I wore pretty much every day and that I should probably start there: JEANS!

Jeans production is indeed often linked to toxic chemicals poisoning water and garment workers, slavery, and intense use of pesticides. Pretty bad right? Doesn't have to be anymore, below are 10 denim brands you can buy that are good for you/the planet/its human inhabitants!

MUD JEANS

Where from? Utrecht, the Netherlands

Values: Circular Economy, Recycling/Upcycling, Retyrn, Lease or Buy, Organic

Price: Leasing 7,50€ per month, Buying 70-100€

A pioneer in sustainable fashion, MUD doesn’t do things half way. Whether you lease or buy a pair of jeans, MUD retains ownership of its raw materials and asks consumers to send back their jeans once they are done wearing them. With the returned products, they recycled them into new jeans or other items. The brand also uses laser and ozone tratment in some of their products instead of the traditional toxic and pollutng methods and is a partner of Fair Trade Netherlands. Personally, we love the idea of leasing a jeans for 12 months and then returning it to close the loop! Circular Economy all the way!

 

NUDIE JEANS

Where from? Gôteborg Sweden

Values: Organic, Fair Wear, Free Repair, Recycling

Price: 100-200€

From 100% organic cotton in ALL their jeans to the possibility of getting your jeans repaired for free so you don’t toss them away the first change you get, NUDIE proves that trendy can definitely be eco. We love the wide range of styles they offer that enables everyone to find their dream pair.

Finally, each product can be returned against a 20% off on a new pair and is put back in the shop as second hand articles. So you can buy a new best friend both eco and fair!

 

MONKEE GEENES

Where from? Derbyshire, UK

Values: Organic, Ethical,  Gives back, Made in England

Price: 60-95£

“Why Organic?” is the question you’re being asked when you arrive on the MONKEE GEENES website. And the answer couldn’t make me happier: “organic is not an inspiration, it’s a choice of life. Nature is a pure balance, which we all need to protect”. And this is what seems to guide all the brand’s activities. They offer organic jeans from Indonesia, ethically procuded jeans from Turkey and grassroot jeans made in England. Best part about it? The price! All their products are super affordable! No more excuse!



GSTAR RAW

Where from? Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Values: Sustainable materials, Plastic reduction, Fair wage, Gives back

Price: 100-180€

You may be familiar with G-star thanks to their well advertised collaboration with celebrities like Pharell Wiliams and Liv Tyler but the G-star is not your traditional trendy jeans brand. The brand uses organic and recycled cotton to manufacture their products but also materials such as recycled water bottles and Tencel to reduce their impact. Through their foundation, created in 2007, GSTAR aims at supporting education and entrepreneurship in the communities where G-STAR products are manufactured.

So basically, you’re giving back while looking cool. Fine by me!

 

PATAGONIA

Where from? USA

Values: Organic, Fair Trade, Major commitment to sustainability

Price: 100$

What can I say about Patagonia except “I love everything they do”? The outdoor group is one of the most established “eco” brands out there with countless commitments to the environment and our planet. When it comes to jeans, the brand launched In 2015 a campaign called “Denim is a filthy business” while launching a new collection made from organic cotton and Fair Trade Certified for sewing that are manufactured in a way that uses 84 percent less water and 30 percent less energy and that emits 25 percent less CO2 than traditional denim dyeing processes.  Typical Patagonia and I love it.

 

NOBLE DENIM

Where from? Cincinnati, US

Values: Made to order, American made

Price: 230$

Noble Denim is kind of a newbie in the industry. Launched in 2012 with 12 sewing machines and 200 pairs only, they’ve grown since and are now offeringtheir long awaited women’s lines. The brand’s philosophy is to produce small batches in America that are made to order, providing as such a durable product so people can buy less things.  Slow fashion at its best!

 

PIESZAK

Where from? Bjert-Kolding, Danmark

Values: Nordic Swan Ecolabel, Environmental and Social Sustainability

Price: 100-175€

The youngest brand here! The denish manufacturer came on my radar after it received the Nordic Swan Ecolabel which imposes strict requirements to a brand throughout its supply chain both in terms of environmental but also social sustainability. Their certified line isn’t available until May 2017, but I’ll certainly check it out when it launches to show supportas committing to sustainability can be a scary and risky move for a brand without the a strong support from its customers.

 

AG JEANS

Where from?  Los Angeles, US

Values: Integrated Production, Water Conservation, Eco-friendly materials

Price: $178-225

AG Jeans is just one of those brands that exult coolness. They have something for everyone from men to women, hipster to hippie, parents to children. But what’s even cooler is that they make all of their products in vertically integrated facilities that enables them to monitor and control their production’s impacts on the planet but also on people. They use Ozone Technology which reduces water consumption by 50 percent while minimizing the use of chemicals and energy and many of their products contain Tencel and Modal which are natural and biodegradable fibers.

 

KUYICHI

Where from? Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Values: Organic, Eco-friendly, Fair Trade

Price: 80-120€

A pioneer! Kuyichi was the first brand to introduce organic cotton jeans wear back in 2001 and since they’ve expanded to other sustainable materials such as recycled cotton and recycled polyester. They don’t use sandblasting which is highly toxic to workers and are a member of Fair Wear Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving labor conditions for garment workers. Kuyichi does not believe in fast fashion and encourages consumers to donate their jeans to charity or drop it in a textile recycling container when they’re done.

 

MONKI

Where from? Sweden

Values: Organic Cotton

Price: 30-50€

I know, I know, hold your horses! Monki IS fast fashion, it’s H&M, it’s evil, we know.

However, they have  really cool affordable jeans made out of 100% organic cotton for as little as 30 euros. While if you’re looking for a truly ethical alternative to traditional jeans, this probably shouldn’t be your first stop, if you’re really short money wise and still want to buy “eco” then go for it! Plus, you’ll be showing big corporations that consumers care and favor sustainability!