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!
I have been so happy to get back into sharing product reviews with you guys! Every brand I share is hand-picked by me based on my discerning passions on quality, brand missions and sustainability. However, there really is nothing better than being able to feature up close and personal, first-hand accounts of products I value. Last week I reviewed the Heart Breaker Skinny, one of Porter Blue Apparel’s brand new, pre-production pairs from their up and coming eco-friendly denim Kickstarter campaign. I was also sent the Rebel Straight to share with you as well. Denim is normally a pretty dirty industry in terms of the manufacturing process, so it really means a lot to me to help promote the cause of cleaning it up, as many brands have recently taken upon themselves.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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™.