Finding the perfect pair of jeans can be an arduous journey—from fit and cut to length, there are many boxes to be checked. But once the Goldilocks has been found, there is no going back. It will stay with you for many years, seasons, and stains. Needless to say, there’s nothing like a good pair of denim jeans. And what about finding sustainable jeans and ethical denim? Here’s why it’s worth the hunt.
The cotton-based fabric is one of the most used materials in the world. It is estimated that the value of the jeans market worldwide is approximately $110 billion USD. Sadly, denim can have a substantial environmental and human cost. Cotton is known to be a thirsty crop—according to one report, blue water (irrigation) consumption of cotton lint sits at a global average of about 1,900 litres per kilogram. On top of that, pesticides and synthetic chemical dyes can lead to extensive water pollution. It is estimated that 70% of Asia’s rivers and lakes are contaminated by the 2.5 billion gallons of wastewater produced by the textile industry which disproportionately affects local communities who rely on these rivers for drinking and bathing.
Although many brands continue to participate in this detrimental process, others are stepping up and innovating. There are ethical brands going above and beyond to create better, more sustainable denim options. So without further ado, here is our guide to sustainable jeans and ethical denim.