sustainable denim

Following up with my first post about sustainable denim, here is some more information about what denim experts have to tell us, as well as more denim brands to shop when looking for sustainable denim.

Jeff Shafer, one of my denim gurus and a very good personal friend, has years and years of experience with denim. Former owner and CEO of Agave, and now owner of BLUER Denim, he went totally sustainable long before it even became “fashionable”.

Here is what he tells us:

“There is no way visually to see “sustainable denim.” There is no such thing as sustainable denim, really. It like saying clean coal.

Some denim is “better” or more sustainable but this is debatable and would need to be verified.

Things like these make it better:

Tencel fibers
Recycled Cotton
Recycled Poly
Waterless
Ozone bleaching
Fair Trade Organic

 – THE MOST SUSTAINABLE DENIM PRACTICE IS VINTAGE. –

The industry is working very hard on this. And there are no easy answers.”

As for Vicunha Textil, Brazilian mega denim manufacturer (we’ve posted tons about their sustainable denim already here), see what Deborah Turner, their Marketing Manager for Europe, tells us:

” I think it is virtually impossible for a consumer to see the difference between a sustainably made pair of jeans and one that is not, and therefore it is about customer recognition of what is right and wrong and then trust in the brand that is selling this product to you. Sustainability means many things, it can mean using less water for growing of the cotton, it can mean ensuring there is minimal impact on the environment, it can mean re-using water and chemicals, using energy efficient production methods and caring for the environment, these things do not affect hand feel of fabric, these are just about respect.

So the question is do you care.

Vicunha recently launched an ECO range of products using recycled cotton and using 80% less water in the indigo dye machine.”

Shop for sustainable denim:

BLUER Denim – you can read about the brand above

M.i.h. directly sources their fabrics, and work to reduce their carbon footprint and minimize water waste during all stages of their production. Plus, their denim is crafted in mills that adhere to the standards of the Better Cotton Initiative, meaning it’s better for both people and planet.

AG makes all of their denim in vertically integrated facilities which gives them the ability to control their impact on people and planet. Their production utilizes sustainable fibers including Tencel® and Modal® and they’ve decreased their water consumption by 50 percent using Ozone Technology.

EDUN – In keeping with its brand ethos, its jeans are made in Kenya by artisanal craftsmen and are both certified Fair Trade and organic. Edun works with the Better Cotton Initiative, which aims to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of cotton production.