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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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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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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My Favorite Vegan Picks from the Matt & Nat Sale

How is everyone doing out there in quarantine? I realize not many of us are shopping these days, but if you’re like me, window shopping is still just as fun. There are so many sales going on right now that are totally tempting me…and sometimes it’s great to treat yourself, right? Even if you’re wearing nothing but sweatpants and tee shirts while sheltering in place during the current pandemic, a nice little purchase here and there can really do wonders to lift your spirits and help you stay optimistic about everything returning to “normal” again. Also, when it’s raining sales, it’s definitely the right time to do it. One current sale that is calling my name at the moment is Matt & Nat‘s current offerings, which includes sustainable (recycled and vegan materials) handbags, shoes and apparel.

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Five Independent Apparel Brands Producing Face Masks

Independent Apparel Brands Producing Face Masks

Image: GhostCircus.

I’m sure many of us are seeing more and more ads everyday from brands dropping pricing to keep afloat during these trying times…even though most people are shifting their shopping habits from wants to needs. It’s truly a time to redefine what really matters, and for some, to reinvent ourselves. I’ve seen a lot of patterns floating around for those who can sew and create face masks, even though debate seems to be rolling on about their true effectiveness. Either way, what we do know is that they at least help slow the spread for those who may be carrying COVID-19 and not know it, or are showing some symptoms and need to leave the house for a good reason. Whatever you believe in, I feel it’s better than nothing, right? They are sold out just about everywhere, so like wartime, people all over are stepping up to the plate to do their part, including several independent brands who are most at risk of facing financial hardship and care about giving back.

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The New earthwise™ Eco Friendly Footwear from TOMS

The New earthwise™ Eco Friendly Footwear Collection from TOMS

Image: TOMS.

There definitely has been a huge surge in brands taking the sustainable route, and I’m obviously happy to see it. I realized I hadn’t written much about charitable brands lately, as it seems the eco-friendly train is the one to hop on these days. Because of that, I realize and worry that maybe the term “sustainable” has become a bit much of a marketing buzzword, but at least I can trust some brands who take on both avenues out of the goodness of their hearts rather than simply hopping on the latest trends to stay afloat. I’m sure most of you have heard of TOMS, the footwear company known mostly by their humanitarian efforts, whether it be donating a pair for each purchased, supporting artists in Haiti, supporting Nepal, helping shelter animals find homes, giving the gift of sight or contributing to the cause of clean water for everyone around the world. TOMS has just taken another step forward with a new eco friendly footwear collection, called earthwise™.

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Vegan Footwear from Matt & Nat

Vegan Footwear from Matt & Nat

Image: Matt & Nat

When I shop for footwear I’m usually hunting for leather styles due to durability and luxurious way it softens and breaks in. I’m definitely a second-hand shopper these days to keep things even more sustainable (both for the planet and my wallet), and it’s not too difficult to find the things I need with a little hunting. However, I understand the needs and different lifestyles of others, and I am always interested in finding stylish and durable alternatives to anything that involve animal products. It can be tough with vegan leather since there is so much out there that falls apart easily and also ventures into the not-so-sustainable route with the use of plastics. Two of the vegan leather brands that I always trust are BLANKNYC and Matt & Nat. I have several pieces from both, but for this post I’m focusing on the latter, from which I own a wallet as well as a clutch which I use all the time and it’s held up for many many years. I believe this brand is best known by their eco-friendly vegan handbags, but I wanted to share some of their vegan footwear with my readers as well!

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Real Good™ Sustainable Swimwear from Aerie

It’s that time again…to stock up on swimwear for Summer! It will be here quick…don’t we all know it? Or maybe it’s that time to embark on a warm vacation somewhere to escape this winter cold. Either way, shopping for the perfect swimsuit can sometimes be like shopping for your new favorite pair of jeans. There are so many fits, colors and styles that flatter different body types, or maybe you just aren’t sure what kind of look you’re going for. If I could help direct you to quality swimwear that won’t break the bank and is also friendly towards the environment, read on! I’m excited to see one of my favorite brands, American Eagle Outfitters and their sister brand Aerie, have got you covered with new sustainable swimwear.

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