The best sustainable jeans for a more conscious wardrobe

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  • Sustainable jeans aren’t the easiest thing to shop for, with denim being one of the worst offenders in the fashion industry when it comes to carbon footprint.

    In fact, eco site Pawprint estimates a single pair of jeans 20,000 litres of water to create, and has around four to five times the carbon footprint of a t-shirt, even when both are made of organic cotton.

    So what’s the solution? Of course, perhaps the best way to build a sustainable wardrobe and cut down on waste is simply by buying your jeans second hand from an online vintage store. This is often cheaper than buying new, and practices circularity.

    If you’re wanting you invest in new denim though, fret not, for there are a few sustainable clothing brands making a conscious effort to produce denim that has a reduced impact on the planet, and more importantly will last you a lifetime.

    As we all know, find perfectly fitting jeans can be tricky, but when you do find them, you want to wear them forever.

    There are a few things to look out for when shopping for the best sustainable jeans, one of which is the material. 100% organic cotton for example, will be better recycled than a polyester blend, and more durable too. Then there is the production process.

    New guidelines have in fact been introduced by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, which is committed to creating a circular economy. They set out ‘minimum requirements on garment durability, material health, recyclability, and traceability’.

    These include the material as stated above, which should include ‘cellulose fibres from regenerative, organic or transitional farming methods’ and should be free from chemicals. Metal rivets, which have historically always been on jeans, are to be phased out completely or reduced to a minimum.

    As for the production process, information about each element should be made clear to anyone looking. You can read the full guidelines here.

    Boyish, GAP, Reformation, Lee, H&M and Tommy Hilfiger are just some of the brands that have signed up to the initiative, a sure sign that the fashion industry is making an effort to be more environmentally conscious.

    Shop our edit of the best sustainable jeans below, including styles by Sézane, m.i.h jeans, Arket and more.


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