Ok. I’ll warn you ahead of time, this is going to be a long post, but I’m quite excited to share this subject brand with you guys! There’s really never any time when I receive a pair of jeans to review that I don’t like, as it’s always cool to try out and report on a variety of different styles. There’s usually something about brands that I work with that I completely respect and jive with that makes me add them to my ever growing list of favorites and makes me excited to share them with all of you! However, rarely is there a time when I discover a brand that truly hits home to me from every angle. This is a review of the ethical Burning Man inspired jeans from Sonas Denim, and I have to say I am totally in love with this brand! I can’t even remember how I stumbled across them…probably because I was so immediately impressed that I forgot how it all came to be.
Sonas Denim is stationed in San Francisco (where all the manufacturing magic happens), with a story beginning in 2001 at a vintage store on Haight Street. It was then that Dublin-born Gerry, the brand’s founder, found himself after a few years of traveling and discovered a totally unique pair of patchwork jeans. He was on his way to the most famous party in the desert, Burning Man, and the jeans were a match made in heaven. After nine trips to Burning Man, he was determined to replace his beloved (and now worn out) jeans, which proved unsuccessful. The idea to create his own sprouted a project between him and his wife Christine, and wearing these homemade jeans while out on the town gathered a lot of attention and accolades. The two created several more pairs and sold them at flea markets in and around San Francisco. One hundred more were made and were taken down to a trade show in Los Angeles. This resulted in a short article in the California Apparel News, which caught the attention of legendary fashion veteran Allen Chevalier. Allen loved what he saw and helped take Gerry and Christine’s vision to the next level, which led to the creation of Sonas Denim in 2011. These patchwork jeans are still available, and are made to order! Sonas is the Irish word for “happiness,” which goes into everything the brand creates. Their mission is simple: “To create happiness and share it with others—a happiness not limited to human beings, but for our animals friends as well!” Solid.
Everything out of Sonas Denim is one hundred percent cruelty-free, and made almost exclusively from recycled or re-purposed materials. Christine spent seventeen years in a law career defending animal rights, and Sonas’s entire line is ethical and completely vegan. This definitely warms my heart, but what hit me even harder is that a portion of all profits from Sonas Denim will be used to create an animal sanctuary for rescued animals so people can “experience their unconditional love and purity of spirit” as well as learn how we can help keep animals from a life of exploitation and suffering. I actually have a dream of one day opening an animal sanctuary (lets hope I win the lottery), so I was super excited that this brand basically aligns with so many things I love! Not only are they inspired by Burning Man (and similar festivals) and believe in the importance of sustainable materials, but they also believe in the ethical treatment of animals and have a dream like me to one day open a sanctuary for them. Amazing.
OK, on with the actual jeans!
Sonas Denim implements this awesome patchwork design within their denim collection, beyond the famous design that got them started, with beautiful frayed details throughout each section. Every jean is made from fifty individual pieces! The jeans almost seem to be constructed in part like bricks are laid, with each vertical seam in line with the center of the adjacent piece. Gerry sent me a beautiful pair of black and white low rise skinny tie dye jeans and I couldn’t be more impressed! I went with my usual size of 26, which were a bit snug at first but stretched out to fit me perfectly. The fabric content is 98% cotton and 2% lycra, so they are super soft and just a little bit stretchy to hug in all the right places, but they feel very durable. They are pretty low rise, but stay put…although this is the first pair I have enjoyed wearing a belt with because it just looked so cool with them! I’d say they have an inseam of 30”, as they hit just below my ankle. They look so cute cuffed up a little with booties though!
The detailing on these skinnies is just gorgeous. There’s no brand insignia anywhere other than a little button on the hip-side edge of the right front pocket (and also on the fly button), so the pure artistry of these jeans do all the talking. Each of the patchwork pieces have an alternating vertical edge that’s frayed out but reinforced so it lies down flat and does not fray any further (see the closeup shots at the bottom of this post). By alternating I mean, one piece has one that frays to the left, and the piece above or below it has one that frays to the right, and so on. It almost gives an inside-out effect, but much cooler. I seriously want to wear these jeans everywhere, and everywhere I have worn them has garnered a ton of compliments and questions! That’s how I like it…to bring something different out into the world of mainstream copycats and predictable trends. For those who like a jean that can take the attention off the slimming effect on the body for once (although they do look and feel totally flattering on) with a unique look and feel, Sonas is your brand. I have to say these jeans definitely have made me happy, from the original design to the strong values in the realm of sustainability, animal rights and ethical practices that the brand shares with me! Mission accomplished.
Just look at those details!
These particular jeans were a design from the past, but check back as I will update this if and when they are available again! Shop the entire available Sonas Denim line here, and sign up to their newsletter for 20% off your first order. Shop the original patchwork flare jean from Haight Street here!