There are so many gorgeous variations of your traditional blue or indigo washed jeans out there, but my favorite shade lately has been a washed, or faded, black. Dark denim, especially black, is normally seen as a Fall shade, but I honestly love it year round. When it comes to black jeans, most people don’t think much in terms of variation…black is black, right? This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Last Fall, I published a post featuring my favorite dark grey and faded black jeans out there, and since this last month I found myself drooling over this shade again I decided I’d pay the topic a revisit.
Nearly weightless denim has been a big thing ever since people started to opt for leggings over the years, especially during the hotter summer months. As mentioned many times before, athleisure became a new trend and the denim industry went crazy revamping their fits and fabric content to mimic the popular feel of a yoga legging. 7 For All Mankind came out with their b(air) collection in the summer last year, with the tagline of “feels weightless, looks flawless.” I have one of these jeans and I have to say they definitely live up to the expectation, and fit really well!
I am so excited to share yet another new sustainable denim line with all of you! Here’s the spiel again: the clothing industry is quite dirty and wasteful, especially when it comes to denim. Think of the land, water, and pesticides needed to grow the cotton, the water needed to wash the denim and the chemicals used to create those beautiful worn washes and finishes we all love. According to Forbes, 1,500 gallons of water is used just to create one pair of jeans, and a whopping 450 million jeans are sold in one year in the United States. You can do the math.
I am starting to feel a little like a broken record…but it is so fascinating how many new denim lines have emerged to compete with the exploding “athleisure” trend lately! We all know that activewear has moved beyond the gym and into the streets as everyday fashion, and although vintage, 100% rigid denim definitely has its own prominent and fast-growing industry, the well-known complaint about jeans just not being all that comfortable and too restricting still exists. Finding the right fitting jeans is still always a challenge as well (although not quite as much in recent years as in the past), which is why so many brands have worked hard to come out with more lightweight, ultra comfortable fabrics that keep their shape, hold you in, and stretch enough to move with you in every direction. To list a few again: James Jeans, Hollister, Mavi, AYR, Joe’s and AG are just a handful of brands who have re-engineered denim to create the weightless, non-constricting feeling of a yoga legging. Most of the time it’s a denim company making this move, but every now and then, an activewear company creates denim to match some of their best-selling pieces. Athleta, an activewear company owned by Gap, is one of them.
The times they are a’changin’! By now it’s probably no secret that the apparel industry is a fairly dirty one—especially denim. Those pretty denim washes you love take up a lot of water, and oftentimes toxic chemicals. Cotton can contain pesticides, and take up large amounts of land to grow. More and more brands every year are adopting more organic and sustainable practices as the style industry continues to make a huge shift in awareness and manufacturing practices. It makes my heart so happy to see!
I’ve written about several eco-friendly denim lines so far, like Everlane, Sonas, Tortoise and Patagonia, as well as already well-established brands that have improved their production methods, like Joe’s and True Religion. I also did a summary in honor of Earth Month in April of 2015 of a bunch of other eco friendly denim lines. One of the brands I highlighted was Kuyichi, which continues to make awesome strides in sustainable fashion.
Kuyichi got its name from the Peruvian god of the rainbow who brings color into society. They are a Dutch denim brand which started the “organic revolution” by being the first to create organic jeans, sourced from Tanguis cotton from Oro Blanco in Peru. After witnessing the polluted and poverty-stricken cotton industry in Peru in 2000, the brand’s founders were motivated to make a change. Since jeans are the most common product created with cotton, they founded their journey by creating 100% organic cotton denim. Kuyichi also takes social responsibility seriously, working to improve manufacturing conditions in the industry. The brand also now incorporates recycled materials into their product lines, and releases sustainability reports every year which also includes information about their suppliers and code of conduct.
As I’m sure you know, fast fashion is insanely wasteful, both in quality and the idea that new clothes must be purchased each season. Kuyichi prides itself in supporting the “slow fashion” movement, creating timeless denim pieces that keeps its value all year, removing seasonal collections from its product offerings. In 2016, Kuyichi made a new start by bringing in four new owners, one being Dutch Televison host Floortje Dessing. This awesome lady knows sustainable fashion like the back of her hand, as she is the owner of two ethical fashion shops in the Netherlands since 2006 called Nukuhiva. Kuyichi also takes a step further in 2016 with their jeans by stopping the use of leather as brand patches, and instead using jacron which is a very durable material made from recycled paper.
Kuyichi is definitely a brand to keep your eyes on!
“We started the organic revolution as being the first brand to produce organic jeans. Along the way we realized that our collection is timeless and keeps its value. We started loving the concept of slow fashion. A beautiful pair of jeans keeps it’s value. That’s why we have let go of the season collections.”
“Kuyichi uses organic and recycled materials. Our collection is made of recycled denim, recycled PET, organic cotton, organic linnen and Tencel. All the cotton we use is GOTS certified.”
Image: Kuyichi. Gita PLP LS Sweat[/caption]
“At Kuyichi we believe in taking environmental en social responsibility for our actions. This includes more than making just good products at the right price. We want to give a positive impulse to the garment industry by choosing organic and recycled materials. We select our suppliers with care and want to improve conditions in this industry. Since the beginning of Kuyichi in 2001, this has been the core of our company.”
“OUR name KUYICHI is derived from the Peruvian god of the rainbow who brought color in society as well. Why Peru? The first organic cotton we used was Tanguis cotton from Oro Blanco in Peru.”
Shop Kuyichi at their website here, or shop a few other denim options from the widget below:
It can be pretty hard to search out eco friendly apparel brands out there in the sea of fast fashion retailers, but it’s finally beginning to get easier. More and more well established brands, whether they have already staked their claim in the premium denim market or not, are realizing the importance of sustainability and environmentally friendly practices as awareness slowly but surely grows. Everlane is one brand I’ve had my eyes on for awhile, as a brand that provides modern, classic and mature wardrobe staples. Denim has never been part of their lineup, as denim is usually a very dirty industry. Creating those beautiful washes we love uses a lot of water, and often releases dangerous toxins into the environment. However, Everlane stayed true to their values and finally found a way to add a denim shop to their expansive collection of apparel for both women and men.
I know I was on a roll reminiscing on the wonder that was the Global Eclipse Gathering a few weeks ago, sharing anything that has to do with independent and sustainable apparel designers I discovered there, but I can’t neglect the denim aspect of my blog, can I? I at least try to keep a healthy variety! I am still always keeping my eyes on what’s new in the world of denim, and one thing I noticed is the competition between the still-growing athleisure industry is still going fairly strong. At music festivals, I never wear jeans and opt for leggings, but in my everyday life I could never give up my beloved denim collection. Although I’ve grown a taste for the vintage denim trend that’s grown lately in a response to all of the supersoft and stretchy fabric technologies out there, it’s still amazing to me how comfortable these denim fabrics are. They definitely give a lot of the leggings on the market a run for their money!
It’s obvious I pretty much live in denim…the review for Sonas yoga leggings I did last week was definitely something new for me (although I’m just about always wearing leggings at festivals). When summer comes around and it’s the usual time for weeks-long heat waves here in California, wearing jeans is not always practical. For work hours, I usually opt for knee-length bermuda shorts to satisfy my denim preferences. However, the cool thing about denim is that it comes in so many different forms, and I’ve been seeing some super cute options in the form of denim dresses! Shopbop recently ran a denim dress campaign, and I also found myself swooning over several varieties from Revolve. I’m definitely loving the black denim dresses from Etienne Marcel (above) and DENIM x ALEXANDER WANG (below)! That patchwork number from GRLFRND (also below) is one to add to the wish list as well. I don’t yet have any denim dresses (I know, a surprise) as I usually just prefer to wear denim below the belt, but these are making me think twice. I’m usually into the darker styles, but I tried to get more of a variety of washes and cuts here for everyone to enjoy. Which one is your favorite?
Here are several more styles of denim dresses to choose from:
When it comes to denim, I’m sure Abercrombie & Fitch really hasn’t been on anyone’s radar lately. I realize it’s kind of had a tarnished image in the media over the years, but I really have to say, their denim has been some of the best fitting I’ve ever tried. Every time I walked by my local store, its constant sale signs on the front windows showed the sign of a struggling retail market, as well as brand image, and although I know every brand has to learn its lessons to stay afloat in the competitive fashion industry, I still hoped it could make a turnaround. When I was in high school, this brand was a bane of my existence…as I was definitely not one who cared about status symbols or felt like I “fit in” with the “preppy” crowd that always strutted around wearing A&F, so in a way it did not leave a good impression for me on the get go. However, as I eventually became obsessed with and more educated about denim, I realized just how underrated their jeans really were.
I guess it appears I’ll be swinging one post a week for a little while here, as things are getting quite slammed over in my neck of the woods…and I have a big vacation in August to look forward to (thank God FINALLY). The summer months are always pretty busy with it being the time I’m preparing new product on a website at work, along with the usual fun events and DJ gigs. With the latter, I love wearing whatever the heck I want and getting creative. Shorty shorts are never out of the question when the sun is blaring! However, for the former, although my job is pretty lax when it comes to personal style, I still prefer a more modest option. When it’s REALLY sweltering I’ll opt for a skirt, but I’m not much of a skirt person. Not every gal has a thigh gap so chafing is always an issue, and I usually prefer the security that a pair of jeans or shorts gives!
Bermuda shorts are a great option for anyone who wants to wear shorts at work or out and about while staying more on the conservative side. Just about every one of my favorite denim companies offers knee-length options in the form of denim or soft twill, and there are definitely a lot of options to choose from out there. Colored, destroyed, cuffed, frayed…it’s just about all out there. Here are some cute styles I’d find myself wearing!
Looking for more options? Here are several more, in a wide assortment of price ranges.