Eco Friendly Denim from Porter Blue Apparel – Heart Breaker Skinny Jeans Review

Eco Friendly Denim from Porter Blue Apparel - Heart Breaker Skinny Jeans Review

I’m totally on a sustainable denim kick, if you haven’t yet noticed! For real though, the number of eco friendly denim brands starting up right now, regardless of the fact that we are in the middle of an economically-paralyzing pandemic, is something I am raising both hands high in the sky to. Last week I wrote about one of them, Porter Blue Apparel, and their environmentally-kind denim Kickstarter campaign. This brand is impressive with the lengths they are going through, as a fairly new brand no less, to create a new line of 100% sustainable jeans. I am excited to share a first-hand look at what these jeans will be like, as I was lucky enough to be sent two awesome pre-production sample pairs from the brand. First off, I’ll be sharing the Heart Breaker Skinny with all of you.

Eco Friendly Denim from Porter Blue Apparel - Heart Breaker Skinny Jeans

A Quick Recap

Porter Blue Apparel‘s founder and designer, Jen, has been designing for other brands for over 20 years. Porter Blue was a side hustle until Covid-19 hit and she was laid off from her job. Now, the brand is going full speed ahead as her main hustle. Her new brand’s Kickstarter campaign is centered around three eco friendly denim styles: the Heartbreaker Skinny, Rebel Straight and Wanderer Flare. Every style features BCI cotton (Better Cotton Initiative to reduce water consumption by traditional cotton), recycled hardware, recycled and biodegradable packaging, Lycra® T400® Yarn Technology (soft, sustainable fibers made from dextrose derived from corn, which also make for a great fit and shape retention over numerous wears), detailing and finishing via ozone machines and laser finishing technology (to reduce water and energy usage as well as harsh chemical exposure…traditional denim manufacturing is a dirty business), and all waste water coming from the plant will be clean and safe thanks to a partnership with a top of the line water treatment plant. Production will begin in January, and as of today, this campaign has raised over $10,000 of its goal of $15,000! I am stoked to help keep it going. You can read more about their environmental efforts on my post here, or directly from their campaign here.

Porter Blue Apparel - Eco Friendly Denim - Heart Breaker Skinny Jeans

The Jeans

OK, on to the main attraction. The Heart Breaker skinny is a high rise, cropped style with a raw hem. I was sent my usual size of 26, which fits super comfortably and hugs me without being constricting. I could maybe have fit into a 25, but I’d say that’s only because sometimes I kind of sit between the two sizes. So, if you are also between sizes and prefer a tight fit, I would take the smaller size. The waistband isn’t too tight and holds everything up like a dream. Sometimes high rises are irritating on my stomach but these are so soft and giving when I crouch or sit down. To give you an idea on the length of the crop, I am 5’6”. I like that these are right above my ankles. I can enjoy them with flip flops in the summer or under boots in the upcoming winter, and the cropped hem gives it such a lightweight, carefree feel. The fabric itself is sturdy and thick, but not so thick that it’s hard to move in or too warm; the Lycra does what it promises! I know some people aren’t partial to stretchy jeans, but these have the sturdy feel of 100% cotton, just without the rigidness. As far as shape retention, they definitely have broken in beautifully but have not bagged out! I wore them around for a few days running errands and taking care of chores around the house. While they’ve relaxed a little, they have not lost their shape and sit comfortably on my hips without falling down. They’re still a new favorite.

Porter Blue Apparel - Heart Breaker Skinny Jeans

Porter Blue Apparel truly has something going on here…and I am excited to see how this eco friendly denim brand evolves over the years as it definitely appears they will be making their fundraising goal, and then some! As far as premium denim goes, these are the real deal, but with the added bonus of being kind to our environment, which now is more important than ever. As I’ve said before, it’s tough enough being a new denim brand in such an already-saturated industry, but to go through the lengths this brand has right off the bat, is definitely gutsy and pretty darn impressive.

Porter Blue Apparel - Heart Breaker Skinny Jeans - Side View

Eco Friendly Denim from Porter Blue Apparel - Heart Breaker Skinny Jeans - Back View

Porter Blue Apparel - Heart Breaker Skinny Jeans - Backside View

Porter Blue Apparel - Heart Breaker Skinny Jeans - Crouching Down

Porter Blue Apparel - Heart Breaker Skinny Jeans - Closeup Front View

Sustainable Denim from Porter Blue Apparel - Heart Breaker Skinny Jeans - Closeup Back Pocket View

Support Porter Blue’s Kickstarter campaign here!

Sustainable Denim Jeans Kickstarter Campaign by Porter Blue Apparel

I’ve written a lot recently about existing premium denim brands cleaning up their practices to be more sustainable, which is amazing in itself, but emerging as a new denim brand isn’t at all easy, especially if you are taking this responsible step right off the bat! I don’t see new sustainable denim brands often, but when I do see these new efforts, you bet I like to highlight them here to help them out as best I can. There are definitely some obvious steps that brands can take, such as using organic cotton, using less water during the wash process (believe me, it’s usually an obscene amount), or using non-toxic dyes. However, the technology for sustainable jeans is evolving and it’s awesome to see the strides being made. I wouldn’t ever expect a new brand to adopt so many of these new practices immediately, but I’m about to share one that well, basically is.

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Winter Boots and Shoes that Give Back from TOMS

Winter Boots and Shoes that Give Back from TOMS

Image: TOMS

Every time winter comes around I stare at my shelves full of warm winter boots and think to myself…I could add another pair or two, right? I’m more of a warm-weather kind of person, but there are SO many cute winter boots out there that it’s always so hard to resist! If you’re like me and have a little bit of buyer’s guilt when you make a purchase you don’t really need (per se), sometimes it’s nice to know you’re getting a little more out of your money than just a cute new wardrobe addition. For me, that would be supporting a small brand or a cause of some sort. I’m glad that nowadays it’s a lot easier to find brands that give back (even though that doesn’t exactly help my attempts to save), and it’s awesome to see so many dedicated names in the apparel world doing their best to make a difference. One of the most famous ones would be TOMS, and as I have for years and years now, I sure am digging their collection of winter boots this year!

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7 For All Mankind Brings Luxuriously Soft Denim with b(air) Silk

In these strange times where most of us are finding ourselves staying home more often, I’m sure jeans aren’t exactly the first thing on our minds. However, I know denim is still such a pretty solid, coveted closet staple item and it’s not going anywhere soon (or ever). Personally, when I want to feel productive at home, I like putting on something that I might wear to work, but I admit I’ve been opting for leggings instead the longer this craziness drags on. I do still love my denim collection though, and it appears that the industry isn’t letting anything slow them down. Just like when the “athleisure”, or activewear trend emerged, denim brands are still finding ways to make their jeans as comfortable as possible. 7 For All Mankind is a brand that’s always on the forefront of innovation, and they’ve recently taken their most comfortable collection ever, b(air), and made it even better.

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Organic Cotton and Biodegradable Jeans from Weekday

I gotta say I’m pretty blown away right now…when I first started blogging in 2013 or so, the whole concept of sustainable or eco friendly jeans (or denim for that matter) was pretty much nonexistent. Anything Earth friendly or ethical was basically limited to independent brands that produce their goods by hand. Of course, that comes with a much higher price for a reason, and those brands were (and are) tougher to find. Over the years I’m seeing this amazing movement in the more Earth-friendly sense. Call it capitalizing on a trend if you want, which is probably true for some brands, but the fashion industry as a whole is definitely seeing that this is a much-needed direction. One of the main avenues I’m seeing brands taking is incorporating organic cotton in their manufacturing processes. Some are taking it even further.

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Shop Earth Friendly Style with the Nomads Hemp Wear Fall/Winter 2020 Collection

If you haven’t yet been able to tell, I’m pretty discerning when it comes to my style. Of course I want to stick with sustainable, good-for-the-planet garb, but that’s still a small market–it’s tough to find pieces that my style within the limited options out there. In addition, by nature, Earth friendly goods are often pricier than your typical mass-produced alternatives. This is why, when I find a brand that breaks the mold in all those areas, I tend to be loyal for life. Nomads Hemp Wear is one of my favorites in this regard, and I’m sure you’ve seen me write about them quite a lot. For today’s post, I’m excited to share their new Fall/Winter 2020 collection, which is nothing less than I would expect from this awesome brand!

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Amazon Prime Day Shopping with Democracy “Curve Equality” Jeans

The body positive movement is growing rapidly, and I’m so happy to see expanded sizes and better fitting jeans all across the board in the apparel industry! Even if you’re a petite size, I’m sure you feel like you’ve been put through the jeans shopping ringer more than once. I get it, shopping for jeans can be a nightmare, and it’s been awesome over the years to see so many brands working on improving that fit, because we all know not everyone is shaped like a runway model. It’s not always about size, but also fit, as people within all size ranges have varying shapes. Good jeans can also be fairly pricey, so if you’re planning on hitting up Amazon Prime Day in an attempt to cure your denim woes, read on! Democracy is a great affordable brand that understands the demand for better fitting jeans in all sizes, and you can find them right on Amazon.

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Stay Active with Sustainable Footwear from Allbirds

Stay Active with Sustainable Footwear from Allbirds

Image: Allbirds.

Depending on where we all reside and whatever laws are in place in our areas for the current pandemic, many of us are reinventing the way we stay active to stay in shape while our gyms are closed. Personally, I am already a runner alongside my gym activities, but I found myself hitting the pavement more often than ever. Thankfully I live in an area where it’s fairly easy to avoid people and stay six feet apart, so that isn’t a problem. But I digress…I know several people have picked up running for the first time in order to stay sane during these tough times! Finding the right shoes can be difficult if you aren’t sure what you are doing, but I prefer going with basic, lightweight, no-fluff options for the best performance. My trusty Asics are nearing their retirement age, and I’ve been keeping my eyes out for the next pair. Enter Allbirds, a sustainable footwear brand that I just discovered, that offers earth-friendly running shoes without all the bells and whistles.

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Ribbed and Seamless Athleisure Styles from Offline by Aerie

Aerie Offline athleisure

Image: Aerie

I know I’ve been posting a lot more about activewear than jeans lately (I mean, my last post featured said subject)…and I’ll admit, the current state of affairs might have something to do with it. Staying home for longer amounts of time means I’m grabbing for more comfortable apparel in my closet, and as surprisingly comfy as many of the jeans I’ve written about in the past are, my leggings have never shined brighter. I honestly just wore a pair of jeans for the first time in months last week! Anyway, it’s interesting watching the market change, as well as our styling preferences. I’m sure many of us might also be investing more in gym clothes for our home workouts since now we have more time to take care of ourselves. American Eagle is one brand that is constantly on it when it comes to industry trends, so it’s no surprise they have been churning out a ton of cute activewear, or athleisure (if you’re doing less gym and more lounging or running errands in your gym clothes), under their sister brand Aerie.

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Edge Up Your Workout Style with Koral Activewear

It’s definitely been more of a challenge these days to stay fit while sheltering in place. I’m definitely a gym rat, so it’s affected me a whole lot, but I’ve gotten creative with weights at home and HIIT sessions with Insanity. During my days at the gym pre-COVID, I was lucky to build up my own kind of motivation to keep up my game based on…well, feeling on top of my game, but it definitely wouldn’t have been the same without proper activewear. In the beginning, I didn’t care about workout style…I was grabbing anything cheap I could find at Ross. However, over time, once I established my routine and momentum, I also built up my favorite, higher-end wardrobe. This wasn’t just for style, but also comfort, ease of movement, sweat management…and just for the fun factor. It really can be motivating and confidence-building to break a sweat with a little attention to your workout style and some fun new pieces!

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