It is now known that our beloved fashion accounts for one of the largest proportions of environmental pollution. But who is the clothing industry's biggest polluter? The jeans! From the cultivation of cotton to the production of denim material to the design with trendy denim washes, no other item of clothing consumes as many valuable resources and pollutes our environment with dangerous toxins as the popular trousers. One reason why more and more companies are producing environmentally friendly and sustainable jeans. We looked around for you and introduce you to 4 denim labels that are not just fair, but also super stylish!
In recent years, a new awareness of how we deal with our environment has developed, which encourages more and more conscious consumption when buying new clothes. Because nothing contributes as much to pollution as the rapid change in fashion and its excessive production. Jeans too. But what exactly are the factors that cause such major pollution in the manufacture of jeans?
Cotton is attractive to pests and other pathogens like no other plant. In order to prevent this infestation and to guarantee a good harvest for the farmers, toxic and chemical pesticides are used. Better known as pesticides. The devastating consequence of pest control with pesticides: They get into the groundwater or well and contaminate drinking water, whereby not only the environment is polluted, but also men, women and children fall victim to the poison. Poisonings and deaths are not uncommon when using pesticides.
Cotton needs a lot of water before it is ready to be harvested. However, since it is mostly grown in countries where rain is rare, the huge fields are artificially irrigated. A lot of water is used for this, because the cotton alone is used to manufacture classic jeans approx. 8,000 liters of water needed. In many places, artificial irrigation leads to a life-threatening shortage of drinking water, but also to desertification of the soil.
Dyeing jeans also uses a lot of water. And to get the famous denim blue, it is also used by Heavy metals like arsenic, lead or mercury. Why? When dyeing the pants material, the dye "indigo" is used, which can only be removed with chemicals. In addition to heavy metals, there are also up to 2 kilos chlorine used for bleaching a single pair of jeans. In addition to the hazardous or often fatal risks for people, dyeing with chemicals also has an impact on the environment. Because these also get into the groundwater and even drinking water.
As in the rest of the fashion industry, jeans production is also characterized by poor social standards. Mostly manufactured in emerging and developing countries, inhumane working conditions prevail in many places. Factory workers have no health insurance, receive far too low wages, or suffer from additional discrimination.
Moving away from fast fashion to sustainable fashion, so-called slow fashion, which can be bought and worn without a guilty conscience, is becoming the new goal of many customers and brands. In addition to a large number of consistently fair fashion labels, there are more and more fast fashion companies that bring “green collections” onto the market. But are the collections from H&M, Zara and Co. really that fair? You can tell how sustainable a piece of clothing like jeans is from one of the official ones Seal of approval for fair fashion how GOTS, the "Green Button" or the "Better Cotton Initiative". Prerequisites for being able to receive one of these seals are, among other things, the disclosure that they completely dispense with toxic chemicals in the production of clothing and that fewer resources are used. Sustainable materials such as organic cotton or innovative fabrics are also used in production. There is also a Awareness of social responsibilitythat, in addition to a fair wage, there is also a ban on child or forced labor and discrimination in the employment and occupation of workers.
We show you 4 labels that produce sustainable jeans that are not only ecologically and socially fair, but also look super stylish with every look.
A Sustainably produced jeans without any toxins? They are available from the fair fashion label Armed Angels. In order to be able to manufacture the environmentally friendly trousers, however, it was not enough to simply switch to sustainable materials. Armed Angels has simply revised the entire production chain "from cotton cultivation, through dyeing the yarn, to the so-called finishing of the denim". This can ensure that no toxic pesticides or fertilizers be used in the cotton fields, the water consumption when dyeing and washing jeans is reduced, when bleaching the trousers no toxic chemicals – which not only harm our environment, but also often result in inhumane working conditions. The DetoxDenim from Armed Angels is GOTS certified, is made of organic cotton, has heavy metal-free buttons and a chlorine-free wash and is available in many fits. Whether skinny fit, boyfriend cut, mom jeans or wide leg, at Armed Angels you will find sustainable jeans for every style.
DetoxDenim by Armed Angels, model Tillaa, skinny fit with mid-waist, available for 99.90 at Avocadostore.
The name says it all for this label. Kings of Indigo is committed to transforming the denim industry to reduce the negative impact on our planet and people. The label uses for their designs recycled cotton from old jeans, organic cotton or linen in their new denim fabrics. When it comes to refining the jeans, Kings of Indigo does without the most common use of sandblasting, manual scraping, stonewash or bleaching and continues innovative and sustainable production methods and techniques like Laser, Ice Blast and Ozone. Dangerous chemicals such as chlorobenzenes, azo dyes or heavy metals are also avoided in the manufacturing process. This not only reduces water consumption by up to 50 percent and protects our environment, but also the workers in the textile factories. Kings Of Indigo is not only a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, since the end of 2019 the label's entire denim collection has been Recognized as vegan by PETA. From slim fit to vintage cut to balloon jeans, every fit can be found at Kings of Indigo.
Kings of Indigo, Juno model in a high-waisted skinny fit, available for 129.95 euros 89.95 euros at Avocadostore.
Tip for denim lovers: Kings of Indigo advises not to wash your jeans! However, should it ever be necessary, the use of a GuppyFriend wash bag is recommended. Why? This reduces the number of microfibers that can end up in rivers and oceans during washing.
The Swedish label shows that Scandinavian design can also be found in jeans. Nudie Jeans stands for transparency, fair raw materials and social responsibility. The label is a member of Fair Wear Foundation, wears that GOTS seal of approval and produces his designs Fairtrade cotton and recycled materials such as Nudie Jeans itself. Pants discarded by customers that can no longer be sold as second-hand goods are turned into new products made from denim. Should your Nudie jeans have a tear or a hole in the course of their life, you can always put them in for free Repair stores have the brand repaired. If you don't have a store in your city, you can order a repair set online from Nudie-Jeans. From skinny fit to loose cut, with this label you will surely find a suitable new favorite pair of pants that will have a long life ahead of you.
Nudie jeans in a regular fit with a high waist, available for 135.50 euros at AboutYou.
As part of the “Wellthread ™ collection”, Levi's in close collaboration with “re: newcell” has its most sustainable jeans yet launched: Levi's Recycled Denim, made from organic cotton and Circulose, a groundbreaking material made entirely from discarded jeans. The world-famous jeans manufacturer does not only rely on an innovative material for its innovation, but also on changing the product life cycle. How? The new jeans models are made in fair factories from "cottonized" hemp (a fiber that is similar to cotton in fineness and length) and recycled materials using a patented, water-saving manufacturing technology. Every thread can be recycled, which means that the jeans fully recyclable is. No more resources are lost and the end of every pair of jeans becomes a new beginning.
Levi's Wellthread, model Ribcage Straight, available for 130.49 euros from Amazon.
Hand on heart: How sustainable is your daily life? We have collected a few small ideas for a more climate-friendly everyday life that can be implemented without much effort: