BLUER Denim is making a come-back. Well, actually it isn’t really a come-back as they had never really been gone, just – let’s put it this way – they have a new owner, Rogier Ducloo, and they are re-launching the brand in a big way.

Rogier Ducloo, new owner of BLUER Denim

We talked with the new guys of the company and here is what they are telling us:

“There have been a few surprises, starting with the Cone Mills White Oak plant closing shortly after Rogier took ownership of the company. Bluer was built on the promise of American made, and once the mill closed, we had nowhere to source American selvage denim.” 

“The rebirth of Bluer Denim began with a t-shirt. Specifically a promotional tee. Yes, the ones you throw away after each tradeshow/team building exercise/lucky catch from a t-shirt cannon. (Is there anything less stylish?)

Rogier, Bluer Denim’s future owner, saw all of these shirts being made under abusive conditions using carcinogenic chemicals and sold at rock bottom prices so that a bunch of marketers could fling them out of t-shirt cannons and so that we all could throw them away.

Rogier decided to change it up. He sourced shirts from a factory in Haiti where adult orphans are trained and paid fairly, breaking the poverty cycle. He sourced materials with a low carbon footprint, and minimal chemicals. And he made the shirts in classic styles so that people would actually wear them (unless, of course, you like wearing an extra-large square on your body.)

Problem solved, right? Well, they cost a bit more. So Rogier then hit the streets to convince brands that it’s worth a few pennies extra to shoot a tee that’s aligned to their corporate values. And brands started buying these shirts and shooting them out of cannons. Problem (somewhat) solved.

But naturally, there a lot of unexpected challenges when you re-start a denim company – any company.

Rogier’s background is in sustainable apparel and sourcing, and we wanted Bluer’s foundation to be in sustainability. But the most sustainable factories are in other countries, further challenging the US made brand.

Bluer Denim Greener Jeans

Meanwhile, Rogier and team were looking around at the rest of the apparel industry. The impact of fast fashion was never going to be mitigated with a few promotional tees. Enter: Bluer Denim. The former owner wanted to sell the brand and Rogier introduced himself. Rogier knew he could use his experience sourcing from a sustainable supply chain and apply it to denim. The two worked out a deal, and then Rogier was the proud owner of a denim company.

Next step: build the team. He gathered together five trusted colleagues from the t-shirt days and convinced them to take on Bluer Denim with nothing more than a promise. (No, none of us get paid. Yes, our families are scratching their heads.)

So here we all are: working Saturdays and Sundays. Working at night after our full-time jobs are finished to sling some jeans in an already (extremely) crowded market. Why do we do it? We ask each other that a lot. Sometimes it’s quite personal and the person (me*) doesn’t really want to answer. Sometimes Rogier will talk about sustainability and his environmental anxiety. Sometimes, when Rogier isn’t around the rest of us say, do you think it’s because Rogier just wants to own a denim company and we do it because we like Rogier? (Don’t tell him we say that.)

{*me is Melissa, head of marketing}

Breaking Fast Fashion

What I think it comes down to is that the Bluer team is filled with people who want to solve a problem: how do you make jeans that look and feel good and have a positive environmental impact? We’re not talking about jeans you can hike in — there are plenty of companies that make those. We’re talking about jeans that you would buy because they look great on their own, and then (bonus!) you find out that they are carbon-neutral, made in factories that treat people kindly, using materials that are recycled and sustainably made.

How do you make these jeans and tell the looking good story as well as the feeling good story in a way that makes people value the positive environmental impact as much as they value the fact that their butt looks great? We don’t know! But we’re trying. And we’ll tell you when we’ve solved this problem.”

We, @Denimology, are going to follow BLUER in their step-by-step efforts to re-enforce the brand and we’ll be updating you on all of what’s going on. Right now, BLUER is only carrying men’s denims, but they are already planing on re-launching their women’s line as well. Stay tuned here for more about the women’s project coming up soon!

Meantime, check out some of the blogs from their website which we think are amazing and very spot-on. You can read them here.

Also right now is a good time to shop for their denims, as they have a 15% off promo going on – BUT – only until this coming Sunday, so act soon!

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