Let’s face it, jeans are a wardrobe staple. Casual, practical and, when paired with a nice top, perfect for going out. But are our wardrobe essentials good for the planet?
The short answer is no. As they are made from cotton, jeans have a high environmental impact. A study by Levi Straus – possibly the least likely company to paint denim in a bad light – found that one pair of their jeans takes a whopping 3781 litres of water to make. The high-water use of cotton is especially damning considering it is often grown in arid conditions, meaning farmers use irrigation methods to extract ground water, contributing to droughts.
Added to this is the harmful chemicals used in growing cotton. 16% of the world’s insecticides are used to grow the natural fibre, although only 2.5% of land is used to grow cotton. But fear not! Go Eco are here with a list of sustainable places to shop for your jeans; focusing on organic, recycle and repair schemes, this list will give you plenty of ideas on where to purchase your next pair.
Our Top Picks…
Company: non are into gender neutral, minimalistic design which lends their eco-friendly jeans a chic, timeless feel. Their clothes are made to last and they’re big on circular economy initiatives, demonstrated by their exclusive selvedge denim; half-organic and half-recycled cotton. All their goods are made by partners in Turkey, meaning they have a complete hold on what’s happening in their supply chain. As well as sustainable cotton they also use recycled polyester for zips and fastenings, meaning no virgin plastic is used in their products.
Product: non’s lines are agender and therefore suitable for everyone; check out their jeans (make sure you look at the fit guide) but while you’re at it they also have an adorable range of totes and bucket hats for those of you who enjoy a denim accessory.
Company: You may already know Lucy and Yak for their signature dungarees, but their foray into jeans is just as good. 98% of Lucy and Yak’s products are made from organic or recycled materials, with their organic fibres certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). This means that their cotton is grown to sustain soil health and is planted in areas with high rainfall, so no concerns over irrigation. Lucy and Yak are also diligent when it comes to producing their instantly recognisable bright colours and patterns, with all of their dyes certified by GOTS and Okeo-Tex.
These folks also have an innovative repair system; the Re:Yak network. This scheme brings together a network of artisans and craftspeople around the country so owners of their products can find someone to do repairs or update their clothes for them.
Product: Although we love their dungarees on this occasion we’re suggesting you check out some of their gorgeous patterned flares. It might be a bit out there but there’s a 70s revival going on so embrace the psychedelic and get into it!
Company: Nudie jeans are as versatile as they are sustainable and provide the perfect guilt-free wardrobe staples for the concerned consumer. They use 94% cotton that is either recycled, fairtrade or organic, and are also GOTS certified. Nudie also runs a fantastic repair service as well as a recycling scheme; they really are a circular economy sensation!
Product: This time we’re telling you to check out Nudie’s denim jackets, the cut and colours are timeless and flattering on everyone! They have a lovely Rebirth range made from 20% recycled materials that is certainly worth a peak.
Company: Mud are crazy about circular economy principles and invest heavily in using recycled cotton in their products. Mud Jeans was founded back in 2012 by a man who had had enough of the wasteful, polluting fashion industry and since then they’ve set themselves apart from the crowd.
Mud have saved 20,000 jeans from landfill, saved 522 million litres of water, and preserved 160,000 m2 of land through their eco-friendly business model. Not only a certified B Corp, they are in the top 5% of B Corps and have a groundbreaking rental service in addition to upcycling old products.
Product: We want you to try something different and go for Mud’s rental range. The basic premise is you have the jeans for a year before deciding whether to keep them or send them back. Clothing rental could well be the future, so why not get started today?
Company: Baukjen have a whole range of eco-friendly garments available, and their jeans and denim is in keeping with the company’s green ethos. Thanks to offsets and emission reductions made Baujken are actually carbon negative, and their B Corp status is well earned with 85% of their materials responsibly sourced.
The folks at Baukjen have signed the CANOPY pledge to help protect the world’s forests and they champion slow fashion; running a voucher scheme where customers can earn £20 for giving in old and unwanted items. These clothes are either recycled, resold or repurposed with 50% of resale profits going to Oxfam.
Product: There are so many great Baukjen garments to choose from so for this one, we’re going to recommend you check out their side bar. There’s a section where you can filter items by their ‘eco attributes’ for example, organic cotton, ethically made or low-water use. This is a great way to engage with the origins and impact of your clothes and receives a big thumbs up from us!
We do our best to research and find the most environmentally-friendly companies to recommend at GoEco. However, if you have any suggestions that we might not know of, or disagree with any of our recommendations, please get in contact: email@example.com. We always want to learn more about the companies with the potential to save our future!