Sustainable Denim: Stitching Sustainability into Style

Sustainable Denim: Introduction

Welcome to your weekly sustainability tip where, today, we want to share an eco-friendly tip with you about Sustainable Denim. We understand that our clothing choices can have a significant impact on the environment. Traditional denim requires a lot of resources and often involves unethical labour practices.

However, there is a positive shift towards sustainable denim, which is made with organic cotton, uses less water and promotes fair working conditions. This week, we will explore how choosing sustainable denim can make a difference in your wardrobe and for the planet. We encourage you to join us in making responsible fashion choices that align with our values, whether you’re shopping for yourself, your family, or your business.

Together, let’s promote sustainability in every aspect of our lives!

Non-Sustainable Denim: The History

Denim has a rich history in the fashion industry, starting in the 19th century as a durable fabric for American miners made from ‘serge de Nîmes,’ originally developed in France. Levi Strauss introduced jeans during the California Gold Rush, which marked the beginning of denim’s commercial debut.

Denim’s versatility soon expanded beyond workwear and was used to make jackets, shirts, skirts, dresses, and jumpsuits, each garment embracing denim’s durability and style. It became a symbol of rebellion among the youth in mainstream culture by the mid-20th century, especially popularised by the counterculture of the 1960s and rock and roll music.

This era cemented denim’s place as a staple in the fashion industry. In the following decades, denim was embraced in high fashion, influencing a wide range of styles from casual to haute couture, showcasing its unique adaptability. Despite its widespread use and enduring popularity, traditional methods of denim production involving significant water usage and chemical processing have raised concerns about its environmental impact.

Sustainable Denim - Denim first came to prominence as work wear for miners and prospectors during the US Gold Rush
Denim first came to prominence as work wear for miners and prospectors during the US Gold Rush

Read on to find out about the environmental impact of denim and following that, what to look for when it comes to sustainable denim.

Non-Sustainable Denim: Environmental Impact

The traditional production methods of denim production have a significant impact on the environment, primarily due to excessive water usage and pollution. Creating just one pair of jeans can consume about 7,600 litres of water, mostly from cotton cultivation and fabric dyeing.

Synthetic indigo dyes and other chemicals used in this industry lead to substantial water pollution, which harms aquatic ecosystems and affects local community health. Furthermore, the denim manufacturing process generates a great deal of waste, with large quantities of unused fabric and unsold jeans contributing to landfill growth each year.

These traditional practices rely on non-renewable resources and harmful chemicals, highlighting the need for more sustainable manufacturing methods. Initiatives aimed at reducing water consumption, recycling materials, and eliminating toxic chemicals are gaining momentum in the industry. These sustainable practices help mitigate pollution, address water misuse, and improve the recyclability of denim, significantly reducing the industry’s overall environmental impact.

Sustainable Denim - From water use and harmful chemical to massive over production and waste, denim has a big impact
From water use and harmful chemical to massive over production and waste, denim has a big impact

By adopting these changes, the denim sector can substantially reduce its ecological footprint, offering consumers a more environmentally responsible clothing option. This shift not only benefits the planet but also aligns with a growing consumer demand for ethically produced goods.

Sustainable Denim: What to Look For

Transitioning to sustainable denim involves several essential elements. Choose jeans made from organic cotton, which significantly reduces pesticide use and water consumption compared to conventional cotton. Look for brands that use water-saving technologies such as ozone treatment or foam dyeing to minimise water waste during production.

It’s also important to consider the ethical practices of denim brands and support those that ensure fair wages and safe working conditions for their workers. Seek out jeans made with natural or low-impact dyes that are less harmful to the environment. Responsible manufacturing can be verified through certifications like the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or the Fair Wear Foundation, which ensure environmental and social criteria are met.

Moreover, consider the end-of-life of the product and choose brands that offer recycling programs or take-back schemes to help reduce landfill waste. By paying attention to these aspects, consumers can make informed choices that contribute to a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry.

Sustainable Denim - Look for denim made from organic cotton using sustainable dyes and low water use processes
Look for denim made from organic cotton using sustainable dyes and low water use processes

Next up we feature three sustainable denim brands which we think you will love. There is even more reason to read them as we feature discounts to save you money on your sustainable transition!

Sustainable Denim: Three of Our Favourite Brands

Nobody's Child

Nobody’s Child focuses on creating fashionable denim with minimal environmental impact. Their denim collection, featuring trendy jeans, dresses, and jumpsuits, is made using eco-friendly fabrics like Tencel and recycled cotton. This brand is dedicated to reducing waste and energy consumption throughout their production processes. Check out Nobody’s Child online for contemporary styles that are kind to the earth. Head over to the denim section of their website and use code 15OFF for 15% off your first order.

Sustainable Denim - Nobody's Child dark blue denim wide leg jumpsuit
Nobody's Child dark blue denim wide leg jumpsuit

Thought Clothing

Thought Clothing champions the use of organic and sustainable materials in creating their denim line. Their commitment to environmental stewardship is evident in their use of responsibly sourced organic cotton and environmentally friendly dyes. Thought Clothing produces a variety of denim garments, from classic jeans to stylish jackets and skirts, all designed with sustainability at their core. Visit their website to discover fashion that not only looks good but also benefits the planet. Click the link here to go to their website and use voucher code HELLOMAY15 for 15% off your purchase.

Sustainable Denim - Thought Clothing organic cotton sim straight jeans in dark indigo
Thought Clothing organic cotton sim straight jeans in dark indigo

Mud Jeans

Mud Jeans is at the forefront of the sustainable fashion movement, offering jeans made from recycled denim and organic cotton. Their unique “Lease A Jeans” model allows customers to rent jeans and return them for recycling, reducing waste and promoting a circular economy. Mud Jeans’ commitment to eco-friendly practices extends to using natural indigo dyes and ensuring that all water used in production is cleaned and recycled. Explore their innovative approach online and join their mission to clean up denim fashion. Head over to their website and use code PLAYITGREEN15 for a great discount on your first order.

Sustainable Denim - Mid Jeans Daily Dunn stone indigo jeans and shirt two piece
Mid Jeans Daily Dunn stone indigo jeans and shirt two piece

Sustainable Denim: Wrap Up

Embracing sustainable denim from brands like Mud Jeans, Thought Clothing, and Nobody’s Child allows us to look fashionable while caring for the planet. These companies are leading the way in ethical fashion, demonstrating that style and sustainability can go hand in hand.

By supporting these brands, we contribute to a market that values the planet as much as the products it offers. Let’s continue making conscious choices, starting with our denim. Sustainable fashion isn’t just a trend; it’s a commitment to a more sustainable and ethical world.

Play It Green: Empowering Your Sustainability Journey

Ready to take your commitment to sustainability to the next level? Play It Green stands as your partner in creating positive environmental change. From educational resources on sustainable practices and signposting to sustainable services to initiatives like tree planting and social giving, Play It Green offers a holistic approach to environmental stewardship. 

Join us in the journey toward sustainability—embrace eco-conscious practices and be a force for positive change in our world. All whilst staying relevant, meeting legislation and aligning with the values of today’s consumers and employees.

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