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.
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.
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.
Here we are in 2021, and we are still sheltering at home. For the most part, at least…depending on where you live. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t worn jeans much in quite some time now because of all this. I do try to wear them on occasion to jump start my brain to productive mode, but those comfy clothes definitely call my name eventually during the day. Either way, trying to stay somewhat stylish is a bit more effective when trying to stay focused and get stuff done than staying in my pajamas is. So, why not find a middle ground? There are so many fun options for fashionable loungewear out there that are sure to help pick up your mood and get you up and running (in a figurative sense). And of course, there is a lot of great sustainable loungewear out there to fit that mold.
It’s winter, and most of us are not thinking of our next swimwear purchase, I’m sure…but it’s summer somewhere, right? I guess vacations aren’t really a think either due to sheltering in place, but perhaps stocking up on something cute for the next time summer rolls around is a way to stay positive and look forward to happier days in these tough times. A good swimsuit isn’t always too cheap, but I feel if I’m going to spend the dollars on something of quality, I might as well shop for eco friendly swimwear. At least it helps diminish a little more guilt when you know you’re doing your part to reduce your footprint, right? I’ve written a bit about eco friendly swimwear brands, especially those using recycled plastic for their pieces. When I first started this blog, eco friendly brands and products were few and far between, but I’m excited that lately I’ve been discovering so many to feature here, and this next one is pretty cool as well.
I can write about denim all day (as I have for about 7 years), but lets take a little break into something else. As an avid gym-goer and someone who integrates fitness into my everyday life, I’m also just a bit obsessed with activewear. I have some pieces for sweating in, and some to wear as “athleisure” when I’m feeling like actually taking a break from denim in my everyday life, mostly in regards to leggings. There are so many fun brands out there with some pretty dope leggings, and sometimes denim even takes a bit of a backseat when I start discovering a lot that tickle my tastes. Of course, I like looking at sustainability, or whether or not the brands I purchase from are independent. Threads 4 Thought is an awesome sustainable brand that’s been around for quite a few years now, and I’m definitely a fan of their eco friendly activewear, basics and loungewear collections.
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.