In recent years, the denim market has seen an influx of sustainably-made jeans. It’s no surprise when you look at the numbers: a pair of jeans uses over 3,700 liters of freshwater in its lifecycle and industrial cotton growth accounts for 16 percent of global pesticide use. To address these glaring stats, brands are choosing to work with cleaner factories and more eco-friendly materials.
Both Everlane and Outerknown produce jeans at Saitex, a LEED-certified factory in Vietnam that recycles 98 percent of water used in production. Everlane’s jeans ($68) are made from stretch denim from the Kaihara mill in Japan where Outerknown’s jeans ($128) use organic cotton denim from the Candiani mill in Italy and the Isko mill in Turkey. Even touchstone denim brand Levi’s teamed up with Outerknown on a version of the 511 jean ($128) that is woven with 40 percent Tencel x Refibra, a durable fiber made from recycled cotton and wood.
The jean market is shifting in a more responsible direction and now, there are even aficionado-level jeans made with sustainable practices. Cult-favorite Japanese denim brand Iron Heart is offering its 633 fit in a 14.7-ounce recycled fiber denim. The fabric utilizes 30 percent recycled fibers from the factory cutting process and 30 percent recycled dropped fibers from the factory.
The 633S-RE jeans have a dark indigo shade fortified by light-brown weft yarns. The style features a button-fly, lined back pockets, hidden rivets and a straight-leg fit that tapers below the thigh. Made in Japan, they retail for $320 and are available in sizes 29 to 42. If you’re a connoisseur of denim and have been looking for a high-end eco-friendly jean, these are well worth checking out.
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