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.
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.
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.
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.
I usually prefer to write about specific focuses, namely sustainable style for example, but in the meantime, there are so many favorite brands out there I’m always keeping my eyes on. Not all of them are sustainable, but I will always admire creativity in all its forms. So for today, I figured I’d make a general post highlighting one of these awesome names. Closet staples, like a little black dress or classic pair of blue skinny jeans, will always be highlights, but how boring would it be if that’s all we focused on? One of my favorite things to do is throw on one statement piece along with the every day essentials to spark up my look, but there are some days when I just feel totally spunky and decide to go all out. I adore those items that completely break the mold and stand out from the rest! Either way, you deserve those fun, occasional new wardrobe pieces that either define your unique character or keep you party-ready. BLANKNYC is one of those brands that always fits that mold for me, and I’m loving their new arrivals at the moment (as always)!
For most people, jeans are nothing more than a closet staple. It makes sense why they are seen in a classic sense; everyone wants pieces that will fit with everything. Essentials are definitely important, but why not shake it up from time to time? One of the reasons why I love the denim industry so much is because there are so many creative takes to your basic denim jean. Being someone who prefers to wear black most of the time, black denim is a huge part of my wardrobe. I feel I can never have too many pairs of black jeans. To most, that may sound strange…black denim is black denim, right? Well I’m here to throw that outdated idea out the window.
I’m not sure who’s really wearing jeans much these days as we shelter in place, but if you are as denim obsessed as I am, you might be missing them a little by now! Like most, I’ve been opting for leggings more, but I really am missing all the jeans I’ve collected over the years from blogging and from my own interest alone. Jeggings or denim-like leggings with comfortable, superior stretch are definitely not new in the grand scheme of things and we’re pretty much all familiar with them, but it’s just so nice to throw on a pair of smooth, sleek leggings with no annoying seams or waistbands to dig into our sides as we chill at home. Seamless denim, wouldn’t that be nice? It hasn’t really proliferated the market much, although brands like Siwy have introduced them a few times here and there. However, AG Jeans, which is another one of my all time favorite denim brands, now has a collection of their own, and I’m willing to bet they are more comfortable than most others out there.
I hope you all enjoyed my three-post series featuring sustainable denim brand Porter Blue Apparel! Kickstarter, or crowd funding in general, is such a great way for new brands to bring their products to market, and I’m stoked to see so many that are doing so with the means to make needed changes in the denim industry. Along with recycled or organic cotton, hemp is another material that is severely underutilized in the mainstream fashion industry. I’ve written a bit about brands bringing hemp or hemp denim to the market before, but sometimes it’s rather difficult to keep momentum moving in the denim industry as a new brand, MUCH less when attempting to offer the more pricey sustainable options. Either way, I’m so happy to see so many at least planting the seed and bringing forth the message that this needs to be done in the otherwise dirty and wasteful industry. I have yet another great brand to share with you that is getting their start on Kickstarter, with hemp denim, no less!