sustainable denim

Because we are becoming more and more aware of the undeniable fact that the future starts right now. That if we don’t radically change our ways of shopping, recycling, garbage reduction, and water conservation, there will be no (live-able) future.

This is why the more information we get about anything sustainable, the better. And this is why we are re-posting a very informative and interesting post from BLUER Denim.

What does sustainable denim mean and how is Bluer Denim combating the effects of fast fashion:

Bluer Denim is committed to being a sustainable alternative to mass-market jeans. Sure, people can argue that the world doesn’t need another denim brand, but combating the effects of fast fashion starts with companies willing to change their approach to design and production and educate customers on why sustainability matters.

Starting with Sustainable

Sustainable apparel is generally believed to be simply a greener supply chain. In reality, it’s a more holistic approach, one that promotes the principles of slow fashion: fewer, better pieces that are designed to last, instead of the mass market model of overproduction and cutting costs with no regard for environmental or human rights abuses. Dr. Hazel Clark, a professor of Fashion Studies and Design Studies at Parsons School of Design, is credited for defining the slow fashion movement, which is comprised of three tenets brands need to uphold to be sustainable:

  1. Demonstrate the value of local resources and believe in distributed economies, i.e. smaller enterprises working together for efficiency and innovation
  2. Have transparent production systems with a streamlined process to minimize the intermediaries between manufacturing and finished product
  3. Products need to be long-lasting and therefore more valuable than average goods

Know Your Sources

“One of the benefits of being a small, startup brand is choosing the partners with which we do business, ones whose values align with our own. The most important decision we made is where to source our denim. Our most recent supplier, Cone Mills in North Carolina, known for their quality selvage denim, recently closed their doors so we began the search for a new mill. After much research, one mill we chose was Candiani Denim, an Italian company considered, one of the greenest mills in the textile industry.”

“Approximately 40% of the cotton they process is sourced from the Better Cotton Initiative, an organization committed to making global cotton production better for the people who produce it, the environment and the future of the cotton industry. Of course we acknowledge the impact of our denim mill being abroad so we purchase carbon offsets from Terrapass to neutralize our footprint. We’re also members of 1% for the Planet, a non-profit that facilitates donations from for-profit businesses (like us) to environmental non-profit organizations.”

Minimizing Waste

“Our jeans are designed in Portland, but we chose to have them manufactured in Los Angeles in a facility renowned for their denim know-how and innovative solutions to reduce waste. They also pay fair wages and provide safe working conditions for their employees. The proximity to our design team allows us to work more collaboratively during the cut and sew stage, which means fewer discarded samples and a more streamlined process to get to the final product.”

“One of the challenges in apparel design and production is managing inventory. We opted for a direct to consumer model, so you buy directly from us versus through an intermediary like a boutique or department store. This means we can produce smaller runs, so we don’t end up sitting on surplus, which in mass market models often gets discarded or destroyed. “

Buy Less

“Bluer Denim sells jeans, but we want you to buy less. When you browse our website, you’ll notice we don’t have countless styles, instead we offer a few classic fits for men and women. We don’t succumb to trends because we want our jeans to be versatile enough to go with everything and timeless so you can wear them forever. Our jeans are designed to last but if you get tired of them (or grow out of them), they can get a new life through our Denim Rescue program. Just send them to us and we’ll give you a $10 credit towards a new pair. If your old jeans are in good condition, we’ll deliver them to a Pacific Northwest shelter. If they’re well-loved, we’ll recycle them into earth-friendly insulation materials. We’re also exploring ways to recycle jeans into new selvage denim.”

“We’re heartened that more people are coming around to the impacts of fast fashion and looking to support companies that are committed to changing the industry. As shopping habits continue to change, including the increase in resale and recycling, the fashion economy will become more circular and less is more will be more than just a mantra. For now, we’ll keep looking for ways to make Bluer Denim a little more green.”

You can shop for sustainable BLUER Denim on their website.

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