5 Ethical Jeans We Love and You Should Too

By May 26, 2016Lifestyle

Jeans are an absolute necessity in almost every wardrobe and there’s no sign of our love affair with denim abating. Given how vital jeans are to most people’s daily attire, there’s every reason to invest in a well-made and ethical pair. So we rounded up our favourite ethical jeans to help your legs walk the walk.

It turns out Australians are really good at buying jeans. According to a Roy Morgan report, 1.7 million of us buy a new pair every month. And usually from low-cost stores like Kmart, Target and Just Jeans. Sadly, these are all stores which usually don’t have a great rating when it comes to their impact on the environment or treatment of workers and animals.

It’s sad to think that our beloved jeans might be hiding a dirty little secret. Behind the faded blue facade, lurks a somewhat unsettling truth: denim, made from cotton, can also be highly labour intensive and environmentally unfriendly.

But don’t worry, you can have your jeans, and wear them too, thanks to our handy list. Now you can go out with confidence, wearing denim with style and a clear conscience. Guaranteed to make you smile when you’re feeling blue!

Have you got the free Good On You app yet? Get it now to find more high rated brands!

Nobody Denim good on you great rating

Nobody will be able to wear these timeless pieces without drawing attention!

Made in Australia, and certified by Ethical Clothing Australia, Melbourne-based Nobody Denim  features slick trendy denim. Think skinny fit, strategically ripped, day-to-night style. But Nobody Denim is so much more than just a pretty face – um, I mean leg – they have also partnered with Sustainability Victoria to improve their environmental impact too!

We love their values just as much as their style, and the fact that they are locally owned and made is just an added bonus.

Nudie Jeans good on you great rating

Swedish brand Nudie jeans bring you timeless denim with its values in the right place. Think 100% organic cotton, Fair Trade accredited products, and free repairs for your well-loved jeans. Did we mention they also look and feel great?

Swedish style with an ethical twist? Just say “ja!”


Levi’s good on you great rating


One of the most iconic and classic jeans around. Who doesn’t love a good, well-worn in pair of 501s? Levis will last for years if you treat them right. (Or just cut them up for summer shorts!).

Levi’s have become a bit of a leader in the sustainable fashion space in recent years. As a brand, they’re committed to reducing their impact through renewable energies and a big advocate for reducing their water in manufacturing. By 2020 they plan to use 100% sustainable cotton and have zero discharge of hazardous chemicals from their production. Their Waste<Less collection uses materials made from 20% recycled plastic bottles (that’s up to 8 bottles per pair of jeans) and uses 96% less water than their other jeans. They have also banned sandblasting, which is usually used to get that faded, worn look, and can cause health issues for workers who inhale the tiny particles.

That’s a lot of information, but when it comes to sustainability, Levi’s are striding ahead of the competition.

Braintree good on you great rating


The UK brand Braintree has created jeans that will get to know your body and adapt to it. Made from organic cotton, these jeans will keep your legs looking fine, from season to season, year to year.

Braintree uses a range of ethicals fabrics, made from sustainable materials such as tencel, hemp and organic cotton. They also have great labour practices and devote themselves to ongoing positive relations with the people who manufacture their products. With an emphasis on transparency and accountability in the supply chain, you can stop worrying about ethical shopping concerns, and turn your attention to other important shopping matters. For instance: do you need the rust coloured jeans, or the charcoal?

Monkee Genes good on you great rating

Don’t be fooled by the cheeky brand name, Monkee Genes are serious about style and sustainability. With gorgeous jeans made from GOTS cotton and sustainable bamboo, you know that the material going into your Monkee Genes has been ethically sourced!

Based in the UK, there’s no monkey business in the manufacturing process either – they have ongoing relationships with all of their factories, doing away with complicated supply chains.

With their emphasis on comfort, quality and long-lasting fashion, it’s easy to see why everyone is going bananas over Monkee Genes!

So there you have it. Five brands that deserve your love. What’s your favourite denim brand? Find out how they rate on the Good On You app.

You might also like

Walking the Walk – How Etiko Became One of Australia’s Most Ethical Brands


Feature Image: Imani Clovis

Image credit: Nobody Denim; Nudie JeansLevi’sBraintree; Monkee Genes

EDITORS NOTE: Ratings are correct at time of publication.

Yvette Hymann

Author Yvette Hymann

Yvette likes writing, reading and long walks on the beach. She has been described as a crazy cat lady more than once in her time, and is actually quite okay with that.

More posts by Yvette Hymann

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Dee says:

    I am shocked to see Levi on the list. I applaud them since they are a household name. Now off to see if they partake in fair trade and are committed to further ethical treatment of their outsourced factory workers (e.g. Fair wages…).

    • Gordon Renouf Gordon Renouf says:

      Hi Dee
      No doubt Levi’s are not as good a choice as brands that put ethical and sustainable production as their number one value. But they do appear to be the best of the large mainstream jeans brands on many issues. In April Fashion Revolution and Ethical Consumers UK rated them best of the 40 largest major clothing brands in the world on the issues they considered including transparency : http://fashionrevolution.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/FR_FashionTransparencyIndex.pdf.

      Similarly Good On You has rated Levi’s as 4/5 (Good) drawing on the review of brand’s labour rights by Baptist World Aid, and published information on policies and practices towards workers and the environment from Shop Ethical and The Good Guide and on animals from Shop Ethical and the brand’s own statements.

      One of Good On You’s objective is to highlight and promote the most ethical brands; another is to help people choose between the brands readily available to Australian consumers in the shopping centres they go to – and here Levi’s stands out from the other mainstream brands.

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