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.
Porter Blue Apparel just moved within my radar over the last week and immediately caught my eye. This brand launched a sustainable denim Kickstarter campaign on November 10, and they sure have set an impressive goal! These jeans are 100% sustainable, from the manufacturing process to materials to packaging, and they even are including energy-reducing care instructions within each order. Porter Blue Apparel is starting with three styles: the Rebel Straight, Wanderer Flare and Heartbreaker Skinny. They actually reached out to me and sent me the straight and skinny, which I’ll be reviewing in separate posts soon! I’ll just say for now, right out of the box, they are pretty awesome, both in fit and feel. I’ll be wearing them for awhile to craft more in-depth reviews!
This upcoming brand incorporates BCI Cotton (Better Cotton Initiative) which reduces the normally high water demand of traditional cotton by 40% via alternative farming methods that better monitor soil health. BCI also helps educate farmers to continue more earth friendly as well as economically and socially sustainable practices on their own.
All metal pieces on Porter Blue Apparel’s new sustainable denim line are made from post consumer recycled hardware. The packaging they will be using is both recycled and biodegradable, and all labels on these new jeans are vegan (usually brands use leather). The fibers on the jeans themselves are crafted with LYCRA® T400® Yarn Technology, which makes for an amazing, body-sculpting fit, shape retention over numerous washes and of course, LYCRA® is naturally an eco-friendly fiber, made from dextrose derived from corn. The T400® yarn is made up of 65% recycled plastics and renewable plant-based resources.
I mentioned before that the denim manufacturing process is pretty harmful, basically because of the crazy amounts of water used to create those pretty worn-in washes, as well as the toxic dyes. Porter Blue Apparel is using ozone machines for this step, which turns oxygen into oxygen gas to turn its initial rigid dark fabric to lighter shades. This reduces water and energy usage, as well as harsh chemical exposure to factory workers. They are also using laser finishing technology, which uses infrared light to wear down fibers for a realistic vintage look. This cuts down on the huge amount of manual labor that comes with traditional dry processing methods. Porter Blue Apparel is working with a factory with a top of the line waste water treatment plant to make sure all water exiting the plant is clean and safe for surrounding communities.
Production for Porter Blue Apparel’s sustainable denim collection will begin in January with a plan to send out all styles to backers in April! I truly hope this brand has a long long future ahead of them, because we certainly need more amazing earth friendly examples like this in the fashion industry. You can help support them through their Kickstarter campaign here!
“Welcome to Porter Blue, where Sustainability is at the top of our priority list. We design Eco Conscious, Built to Last Denim. I’m so proud to introduce our premier collection of 100% Sustainable Denim. From the fibers woven into our denims, all the way to our biodegradable mailers and energy-reducing care instructions, each and every step of the Design, Development and Manufacturing processes of this new project has been put through an Eco-filter.”
“All of our Denim is made with BCI Cotton. This stands for Better Cotton and the Better Cotton Initiative. Cotton is a thirsty crop, VERY thirsty! 2.2 Pounds of Cotton can require up to 7,660 gallons of water in conventional farming methods – Yikes! WITH BCI’S alternative farming methods soil health is maintained and sustained year after year and water consumption is reduced by up to 40%.”
“All of our packaging is composed of Recycled & Biodegradable materials. Help turn our packaging components into their next transformable future by Recycling, or Composting after opening your new favorite jeans :)”
“Our Denim has been made with Lycra T400 Yarn Technology. Lycra T400 Sculpts and Holds you like a best friends embrace, and don’t we miss that right now? Wear after wear, wash after wash (although we don’t recommend you do that often) your jeans will go back to their initial shape just like when you first tried them on. Our jeans will mold to you, hold you, and never let you go. No Baggy or Saggy bottoms here!”
“It is a Human Right to have clean water, and yet 750 million people lack access to it. We are proud to partner with a factory that has a state of the art Waste Water Treatment Plant. This is the end step of the Denim Finishing Process. Instead of pumping toxic run off water back into the local communities harming their food and water supply, the water is repurposed through many cycles of distilling and filtering, returning the water back into its original state. Clean and clear and even safe enough to drink.”
Read more about Porter Blue Apparel and support their Kickstarter campaign for this amazing project here!