jean durable

how to wear jeans sustainably

Posted by INDIGITAL Collaborator on

The environmental impact of denim makes buying jeans problematic for environmentally conscious consumers. But more and more brands are developing innovative ways to reduce the damage.

wear durable jeans
Why are jeans so controversial? Is it the 10,000 liters of water needed to grow cotton for each pair ? The dark blue lines of toxic pollution from the Pearl River in China that can be seen from space? Potassium permanganate, widely used to make new jeans look aged, can damage workers' lungs? Or is it because there is no guarantee that these workers will receive a decent wage, let alone overtime pay that they are forced to work?

“The denim industry is at a time hinge", explains Royan Atwood , Senior Director of Global Sustainable Business at Kontoor Brands , owner of Wrangler and Lee, when we met at ART ( Alter Repair Transform ) , an upcycling workshop and denim repair at the Copenhagen International Fashion Fair ( CIFF ) last month. Lee is one of 30 brands contributing to the Jeans project Redesign from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a new initiative governing all aspects of jeans production, from regeneratively grown fibers to washing and finishing techniques - potassium permanganate, for example, is not allowed. Jeans should be made with rivets and hardware that can be easily removed once they are no longer fit for purpose, allowing them to be recycled into something new. The first products bearing the Jeans logo Redesign will go on sale in the fall.

The industry is working hard to become cleaner and more sustainable, investing in new technologies such as innovative dry foam to dye Lee's Indigo jeans - the use of water is all but eliminated, along with the reduction of energy and chemicals and hopefully an end to rivers of toxic blue effluent. Already operating in three denim factories in Spain, Mexico and India, Lee is also launching “compostable” jeans this spring. " They decompose completely,” says Atwood . "We think it will take 200 days. "

There is still a long way to go. According Atwood , there is " A new and emerging environmental issue that we are not yet ready to talk about, which is that denim has become integrated with a lot of synthetic materials. Comfort and stretch movement, athleisure and the ubiquity of yoga pants have given way to a lot more stretch in denim. It's plastic,” he says. And as such, your jeans skinny are responsible for the loss of microplastics.

Appropriately, we gather in the “confessional booth” designed for visitors to confess their fashion sin and record them for a podcast. " Whether we confess our sins i'm here to say i like to wear jeans light,” he says. " A pair of dark denim uses less water in the washing process. The lighter the denim, the more washing processes it has undergone and the more water it has used.

The Designer Duran Lantink , who was commissioned to create a small collection of recycled denim, wears jeans every day (it switches between two pairs vintage ) but is aware of the problems. " I think that buying jeans pre washed, it's ruining it to upside down," he said. "I don't understand. "

lantink is part of a growing group of designers who care not only about the environmental impact of industry, but also about its waste. Bethany Williams, who has perfected the art of stripping and recycling unwanted jeans, has become a cult following. brands such that ELV Denim (abbreviation of East London Vintage) , which is sold at a variety of retailers, including Net-a-Porter , builds healthy businesses using used denim as a raw material. “There are more jeans than people in the world,” says founder Anna Foster. In his studio and showroom, customers can choose between ready-made jeans or tailor-made, ingeniously assembled a few kilometers away at the Black Horse Lane Workshops in Walthamstow.

But slowing production is not on the agenda of major denim brands, which would rather reduce their environmental impact by reducing water and chemical consumption while continuing to produce at the same levels. However, there are some clever and potentially very disruptive initiatives coming from smaller independents. Based in the Netherlands, mud Jeans offers a subscription system that allows you to rent your jeans for €7.50 per month, including free repairs. Once you are done with your jeans, you send them back and they will be recycled. Eight Jeans, which have revitalized the denim industry in Cardigan, Wales, manufactures just 100 pairs of jeans a week. “We're here to try to make the best jeans possible, not the most possible,” he says. It also offers lifetime free repairs.

How to buy jeans sustainably?
Start with vintage.
Whether you're a denim lover or a college student on a budget, you can find jeans to suit your budget and style if you shop second-hand.

Raw is the best.
Raw denim has not been washed and treated multiple times. This is what the denim looked like before it started sanding, bleaching and ripping to give it an aged look. Buy a pair of unwashed jeans and let them age with you.

Avoid stretching.

Let leggings be leggings and jeans be jeans. One hundred percent means the denim in your jeans can potentially be recycled.

Look at the label.
If you are buying new, check the composition of the fabric. You might want to do some research online first. Look for recycled cotton, GOTS certified organic cotton, Better Cotton Initiative cotton or G-Star 's Cradle 2 Cradle Gold certification, which means it's 98% recyclable, 100% organic and uses the minimum amount of water.

Wash cold.
One of the biggest sources of water impact and energy consumption is the consumer use phase. Roian Atwood recommends a cold wash. Hiut Denim has a No Wash Club.

Fix your jeans.
A good pair of jeans can last for decades if you maintain and repair them. Ask your denim brand where you can have your jeans repaired. Levi's has a number of tailor shops where you can customize or repair jeans. Nudie Jeans offers lifetime free repairs in their stores or if you can't figure it out they will send you a free repair kit. Eight Jeans also offer free repairs.

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