October 20, 2018

BETTER DENIM

Did you know the first thing we did (by mistake) on our journey of ethical clothing was Jared buying what I thought were crazy jeans. Crazy expensive jeans.
A few years later as I dug into the whole realm of where clothes come from and tried to source clothes ethically I discovered that what he was actually paying for was fair working conditions, organic cotton, and free repairs for life to make the denim last, saving resources. At this point, I was wearing jeans I already owned, and borrowed maternity jeans. I haven’t had to buy new jeans for a while but post second baby it’s time. I own one pair and I needed a second for the winter, I’m pretty minimal!
I went on my own journey of looking at the pros and cons of the different options out there.
In short I started thinking I’d buy the same brand as Jared for those reasons. ‘But the price’ … ‘but I value their values’… I went on to look at a couple of other solid options (see more below) at a more affordable price paying real attention to the sourcing, working conditions, and delivering quality jeans that last. The choice I made is at the bottom, and if you want more information on the reason I went the way I did, I highly recommend the documentary River Blue. That said any of the options below are denim I would buy knowing I’ve made a better choice for people and the planet so I hope the options help!

Nudie Jeans 

Jared’s had his for 5 years and still loves them, they’ve been repaired for free in London and he’s still rocking them all the time. They’re pricey, but you can’t get a better price for what they are.
Price: $185-$210
Why they’re better: All organic cotton, fair wages and working conditions, and a free repair program to help them really last.
Extras: Their T shirts and non denim apparel are fair trade certified, and they also have some used pieces for sale too.

Able

Price: $128 – $158 (with some sale items)
Tricks: Use THIS LINK for $20 off your first purchase, and sign up to their newsletter for 20% off if you haven’t shopped there before.
Extras: And while you’re there, my fave pendant with C + R for my kids is also from them!
Why they’re better: They give huge transparency about their employees and garment makers even publishing wages. They’re committed to social impact and employing women with the goal to “leading all of us a step closer to the end of generational poverty. They’re really committed to seeing change in the industry, not just having the appearacen of ‘ethical’ and I love that. 

Everlane

Why they’re Better: It’s no secret Everlane is one of my favorite stores! With their tagline ‘radical transparency” they’re making widespread transparency in a big company a doable thing, and their factories are very traceable with the option to see inside them online. They also make it available at a great price by selling direct to the consumer rather than paying anyone less than they should.
Price: $68-78
Extras: I’m really excited about their ReNew range using plastic bottles. They’ve also committed to have no new plastic from products to shipping to offices by 2021 which you know I LOVE!

Mud

If you’re in Europe look at Dutch brand MUD jeans. They’re 119 euros, but they have a lease program for 7.50E/month. Pretty amazing. They’re also made with organic cotton like Nudies but they include recycled fibers too which is amazing! www.mudjeans.eu

Buy second hand: Poshmark and Thredup

 

After looking into the brands above down to what percentage elastane the jeans were… I realised I just had no need to buy new. My one existing pair of jeans I love are Madewell. I didn’t want to buy new Madewell again as they’re not made by the values I wanted, but there’s a lot of second hand Madewell online. I first looked at Thred up which I’ve used before and there wasn’t a pair there but Poshmark had so many! I knew I wanted black and high waisted and I knew my size from my other pair. I paid $70 and 3 days later I was wearing them! I love second hand because there’s no huge weight of resources used to make them, and you’re saving them potentially from landfill. (Did you now 6% of New York trash is clothes?!) It’s a very eco friendly way to shop, and if you can do it locally with no shipping involved even better but mine arrived with no plastic just wrapped in paper!

Also notable: 

Levi’s Waterless Denim

Gustin

While these two brands aren’t celebrated for fair labor, they are taking steps, and they’re jeans we’ve bought in the past. The denim industry uses and contaminates large amounts of water in parts of the world where it’s scarce, so Levi’s started their waterless line to combat that. Gustin are crowd funded which means they are made to order, the beauty of this is that there is very little waste, and a lot less than any other manufacturer who creates more than they likely sell. Both of these things put less demand on resources, and create less waste so I thought they should be mentioned!

 

If you want to read more about our clothing journey: 

It started with Food: Is a blog post explaining how a journey that began at healthy food naturally progressed to what we wear and discovering the story behind every purchase we make.

14 Ethical Clothing brands we’re loving and Concious Clothing Solutions are two posts with some ideas of companies we love that make clothes more consciously for people and the environment.

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