The sustainable denim industry is kicking it lately! I suddenly have so many items I want to share with you all here, and I’m considering posting twice a week on occasion when I find time in my schedule! I’m happy to see a lot of organic cotton or hemp jeans being released, as well as better manufacturing processes (less toxic dyes, less water, etc), but now that knowledge is growing that this is a necessary thing, and consumer demand for sustainable apparel is increasing, it’s interesting watching companies push it forward even more. I’m sure the idea of biodegradable denim isn’t an immediately enticing thought, but think about it: globally, we humans manage to create about 92 million tonnes of textiles waste. Biodegradable doesn’t necessarily mean “break down after a few wears,” but rather created with more plant-based materials that won’t sit in landfills for several lifetimes, like plastic does for example. One company that is taking it to that level is AG Jeans, with their new biodegradable denim capsule collection.
I’ve noticed it totally seems there has been an explosion of sustainable production within the apparel industry since Earth Day last month (or at least more coverage), and I’m excited to have a bit of a stockpile to share for awhile now. Today, I’ll start with a release from a well-known, loved brand that’s been a solid leader in denim for a long time, and just so happens to have released a new line of denim for the summer. I know jeans aren’t necessarily the first thing we grab when it gets hot outside, like it has been lately, but I’m reminded of a style by Joe’s Jeans back in 2015 that was actually designed to keep us denim fiends cool. 7 For all Mankind also has a lighter weight style with their b(air) line, as did Mavi with Mavi Gold Feather. It’s not an entirely new concept, but lightweight summer denim is such a must for those of us who don’t like ditching our beloved jeans, and Madewell has just put together their own collection with a cool sustainable kick.
I know I might not always be on point with creating posts to coincide with holidays or days marked to honor certain causes or groups, but you bet when I see something noteworthy in terms of brands stepping forward to benefit the common good, I’ll definitely do my best to create a post for it. Supporting small artists is one of those things that means a whole lot to me, and I love it when retailers or brands collaborate with capsule collections to help support them. It’s often tough to find some of these artists on their own so giving them exposure and support is absolutely commendable, especially when it’s a high end retailer because such small artists or eco friendly brands get easily lost in the sea of premium goods from other brands available on those online storefronts. I’m always looking at my two favorite internet-based shops, Revolve and Shopbop, for such brands, and I’m totally loving the subject of this post: tote bags celebrating women artists by House of Aama.
Styling together an outfit is all about mixing together complimentary patterns, textures, fits and colors. I don’t always mix more than one pattern in one getup unless they are similar enough without being overwhelming (maybe one is muted down a bit). However, when the same is all considered in the production of one garment, things can get even more interesting! Patchwork is one of those fun mixed-media ideas in terms of designing a piece, and perhaps brings a bit of nostalgia, either from grandma’s quilts or recycling fabrics to make a perfect pair of bell bottoms in the 1970s. It’s a cool category in the denim industry that is always around, but seems to poke its head out from time to time every few years as a new trend. It can be used to portray just about anything from a bold, rebellious street style to a laid-back, friendly aesthetic. It’s been awesome to see how brands get creative with all the ways to create a unique pair of jeans in such a saturated market, and patchwork is always a bright go-to when stuck in a style rut or when you’re just feeling stylishly playful.
For so long, I was shifting my focus more to independent, slow fashion brands, because there were so many more of them doing their part to adopt more ethical and sustainable practices than the big, well-established retailers. However, lately the bigger ones are catching on as demand rises and shoppers realize how important it is to re-evaluate the way we leave our mark on this planet. Every step forward, big or small, is so important for the big picture, but seeing the brands with more power in the game changing their game is so refreshing to see. Some brands were established with more ethical and sustainable signs on the get go, like Alternative, Matt & Nat and Reformation, but I’ve seen fairly new efforts from Aerie, MOTHER denim, BLANKNYC and even H&M over the last few years. The latest to take things in a better direction is Gap!
The sustainable movement continues on within the apparel industry (yessss), and seems to be ramping up exponentially every day! Many brands are seeking out more eco friendly raw materials such as organic cotton, hemp and bamboo, and several are looking within their own manufacturing processes themselves to clean up from the inside out, from reducing water and chemical usage to cutting down on waste. Recycling seems to be a growing practice as we start to realize the growing concern of limited resources and expanding landfills. I’m seeing so many brands recycling pre- and post-consumer waste recently and as much as I love sustainable raw materials, I’m absolutely stoked to see attention given to this area as well since we definitely need to pay attention to consumption itself. About twice a week or so, I’m seeing new brands or capsule collections from existing brands popping up featuring goods made from recycled materials, and the latest comes from one of the pioneers in denim, a collection aptly named 60% MOTHER.
Yeah, I know, I just wrote about BLANKNYC it seems…although it’s been about a month and a half. It’s tough to not keep writing about your favorites when they continue to churn out such amazing work! I’m a huge fan of this brand because of their rebellious rock n’ roll attitude and edgy pieces with plenty of detail and flair, all at prices that won’t break your wallet. I’m also fond of them for their vegan leather pieces, which I always run for when I’m shopping in that category due to their high quality and durability (usually fake leather peels and cracks so soon and easily, resulting in a huge mess). It’s been satisfying seeing them as a great contender for vegan fashion, but I’m really excited right now to see them take their sustainability stance a bit further.
When I want to take a break from denim I usually opt for activewear or leggings, of course in my favorite color, black. I adore a brand that can make edgy pieces with stylish detailing without relying on prints too much. Boldness without being too eye-catching, dark with a twist or edge without flair. I’m not sure if that makes a whole lot of sense to most readers, but that’s how my mind’s flowing at the moment while I’m trying to describe my preferred style. It also goes without saying here, if you’ve been reading my blog long enough, that if a brand can encapsulate all this while being sustainable gives them major points in my book. I prefer to spend a little more for those doing their best to clean up our environment a bit and have a purpose other than simply helping us look good. I’m a fairly big fan of adidas, and I’ve known about their collaboration with Stella McCartney for awhile, but somehow I only now recently learned they’ve got something much more going on within their already-awesome stylish activewear collections.
Sometimes it’s tough being a blogger and looking for new things to write about if you don’t totally align with “trends” or whatever is thrown at you in the industry as the “new hot look” or silly, petty projections and focuses such as “are skinny jeans dead?” I mean, who cares? And, really? I find it fascinating that these so-called “guidelines” exist in a world that has always pushed the idea that fashion is all about breaking the rules. No, skinny jeans aren’t dead (I don’t care either way), and trends do nothing but help people feel like they “fit in” in such an overstimulating world. I have always gravitated to those who wear what they want, who aren’t afraid to flaunt their own style, and who love experimenting with different looks, and I also admire brands who encourage us to do the same. Edgy street style is always an “oooh” factor for me as well.
You would think, being immersed in the festival community, I would have gotten my hands on a pair of harem pants by now. I believe it was something in the back of my mind for awhile, but I never saw a pair that really caught my eye, or that fit my personal style. As a budding yogi, I usually prefer leggings, but there’s something to be said for a loose fitting, lightweight pant that really moves with you and keeps you cool and breezy in warm weather. Low-cut styles are always a fun addition to my closet as well, and that drop-crotch look is something I’ve experimented with a few times with joggers from various brands. I definitely opt for that style when I feel in the mood for a more laid-back, cool aesthetic. Lots of the harem pants on the market looked so flimsy and too trendy to me, so I never paid this style much attention. However, the perfect opportunity just fell into my lap and I’m excited to share with you a quality brand that I’ll be referring people to for years to come.