Of all the renewable materials around, hemp is definitely the strongest and most versatile. It’s tougher than cotton, and has natural antimicrobial properties. It’s also a fast growing plant, making it extremely sustainable. It can be used for paper, clothing, construction materials, biofuel, plastic composites, bath & body care and so many more, and it’s really unfortunate that it’s not quite reached industrial use yet. However, many companies are working on that by promoting its use, such as Hemp Blue, Nomads Hemp Wear, The Body Shop and several others. It’s always exciting to me to see so many startups working to change the world in terms of sustainability, and I’ve got another one to share with you today: Kahush.
A Few Recent and Amazing Innovations in Denim
I think I’ve said enough that I’m always so fascinated by what’s next in the denim industry…whenever I tell people how many jeans I own or that I blog about denim, I usually get strange or confused looks. Jeans? Really? Yeah, really. It’s amazing what some people don’t know about such a so-called simple piece of clothing, but for any industry, there are some incredibly surprising facets that the general public doesn’t always immediately get to know about. And that’s one of the reasons why I started this blog! Every now and then I get some pretty crazy news about denim innovations in my inbox, and I collect them up until they all make for one big post! So here’s the latest, and I know it won’t be the last…whenever I think I’ve seen it all, there’s always more. The last cumulative post I did on the subject was about a year ago (I am pretty sure this was it), and can be seen here.
Freitag – 100% Compostable Denim
The above image is also from Freitag…but this makes perfect sense in this increasingly-educated world about the importance of sustainability. These jeans are made of an 81% linen and 19% hemp denim twill fabric (dubbed the E500), and stitched with a proprietary sustainable thread for the obvious benefits of hemp as a sustainable medium, but also so that these jeans can be completely compostable. The buttons are made to be removed and reused. This Swiss company (no surprise there) is also known for making bags out of re-purposed truck tarpaulin, and says this fabric is “like no other in the fashion and textile world”. Check out the video below, and visit their website here.
Boulder Denim – For Climbing and Yoga
There’s been a lot of movement in the industry for denim that can be worn as activewear, which makes sense since activewear gave the denim industry a run for its money last year. The competition was for everyday style and comfort, and I’ve never seen so many amazing innovations in denim to answer the call as I had last year. I wrote about a few brands that created denim made for being on the move: Dish Jeans and the Levi’s Commuter line for those who commute by bicycle being two of the biggest ones. Now we’ve got Boulder Denim which is made for climbing and yoga! This was a Kickstarter project which successfully gained $90,530 USD with 686 backers, and all jeans are now available for preorder. These jeans are water and stain resistant as well as eco friendly and cruelty free, and feature an extreme stretch to move with you and keep its shape wear after wear. They also include a trap pocket to prevent your valuables from falling out during upside-down climbing situations. Pretty neat! See the video below or visit their website here.
ODO™ – Self Cleaning Jeans & Tees
Yeah you read that right. The practice of never really washing your jeans already exists amongst the hardcore raw denim community, as washing can be harsh on some of the higher qualities of denim and cause fabrics to break down or lose some of their custom characteristic qualities during the break-in period. ODO™ is another Kickstarter project aimed at creating jeans that never need to be washed due to several pretty neat features. Microscopic “peaks” within the fabric reduce the surface area exposed to dirt, oil, water and other everyday contaminants, lowering adhesion. The fabric is also woven with silver threads which has natural anti-bacterial properties to keep them stink-free from sweat. These jeans come in fits for both men and women, and are currently still in their fundraising stage, but they’ve way beyond surpassed their goal! There are still 18 days to go, so get in on it if you wish, and read a lot more about these sweet technologies here! Here’s a video, too:
FYT Jeans – For Comfortable Sitting
It’s unfortunate that the busier we get, the more we tend to sit…whether we’re traveling, commuting or slaving over a desk job every day. Jeans can get a bit uncomfortable after awhile if the fabric, stretch or fit isn’t quite right, which makes sense why leggings suddenly got so popular! FYT Jeans, however, came forth to fill in this gap! Each jean is made with a flexible waistband to relieve tightness up to 90%, special knee seems which eliminate extra fabric to alleviate pressure by 77% and reduce temperature and humidity, and a concealed rear zipper to optimize fit in all directions while bending or sitting and eliminate pressure by 55%. This too was a Kickstarter campaign, and although the end goal wasn’t quite reached, it looks like preorders can still be made by emailing email@example.com. Check out the video below and visit their website here.
The Hemp Blue Moisturizing Candle
First off, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I took the entire week off, as mentioned in my last post about a week ago, which was much needed. I love creating posts for my readers but everyone has to take a break from time to time! For those who don’t know, I also write editorials and manage brands at Denimology.com along with my 9-5, so as you can imagine I’m often pretty darn ready for a good break! It’s all good though, and today I’m excited to show you a little something special which goes back to back with a post I made a few weeks ago about Hemp Blue, a Kickstarter brand working to change the denim and apparel industry by spreading awareness of the amazing sustainable qualities of hemp through a line of women’s and men’s denim made from this valuable yet insanely underrated resource. You can read all about it on my post here! Along with this proposed denim line comes a line of hemp candles, which are made to not only make your house smell diiiviiiineeee, but also double as a lotion once it’s melted! These candles come with a pledge of $15 or more, but Hemp Blue was generous enough to send one over to me for a review!
When we first opened this cool little package, the scent made my hubby and I drop everything and light it immediately (which, I later thought maybe I shouldn’t have because I never snapped an pre-lit photo of it, but oh well). I am kind of a hippie at heart, so I naturally love the scent of hemp and essential oils, but this isn’t your typical hemp scent and you certainly don’t have to have any sort of hippie running through your veins to enjoy it. It’s made of 100% natural coconut and hemp oil, and you definitely smell the coconut over anything else, but it has a delicious, slightly floral scent to it, which is actually so unique that it’s tough to really describe! It left the house smelling oh so sweet for hours. In fact, we lit it one night, and after extinguishing it before bed, noticed we still smelled it the next morning and upon returning to work later that day, almost as if it had been lit all day! This has become sort of a ritual, every night…
We all know how great coconut is for the skin, and this has such a creamy, non-waxy texture once you scoop some of it out with the included spoon and rub it over any dry areas. It is so luxurious and I felt myself just constantly smelling my hands obsessively afterwards! As delightful as it is over the skin, I’m always afraid to do this too much, as I don’t want to use up this yummy candle too quickly!
I’m not the biggest candle fan…not that I dislike them, but I just usually feel sort of indifferent and don’t actively go out and buy them. I did win a box of Paddywax candles through Lucky Breaks last year, a year’s supply to be exact…and I still haven’t really touched more than maybe two of them! I even have a rose-scented one from Bed Bath & Beyond that I once loved, but never really use. My hubby is more on top of it than I am, but this Hemp Blue candle is my absolute favorite. I love the way it makes the house smell, and I have a ton of issues with dry skin and eczema this time of the year so the fact that it doubles as a lotion is a huge plus! I feel it’s really helped. I also have very sensitive skin, so I can’t handle a lot of scented items, but this was very gentle. I’m all about the cause for hemp and sustainability too, so this candle is a win. I’m cheering Hemp Blue on, not just so I can try out and review their denim sometime, but also because of this super innovative way of thinking, in more ways than one.
Support the Hemp Blue Kickstarter campaign here, but hurry, it ends this Saturday! They are SO CLOSE to their goal, too!
You can also read more about the cause and the people behind Hemp Blue at their website here.
Help Fight Wildlife Extinction with Extinct Sunwear
I think more now than ever has the general public been aware of the serious issues surrounding wildlife populations around the world (thanks in part to social media of course). As we start to see wildlife numbers dwindling at alarming rates (faster than ever before) and unfortunate situations like that of Cecil the lion flooding the news, many of us want to take action, but might not be quite sure how. Either way, there have been numerous organizations out there leading the fight and there is one Kickstarter campaign that now aims to make them even more accessible to you: Extinct Sunwear! Once their Kickstarter campaign is funded to the point where the first run of these cute retro sunglasses can be made, buyers will not only receive a pair of retro shades they can rock with pride, but they will also be supporting three organizations that Extinct Sunwear is working with: Sea Shepherd, The IAPF (International Anti-Poaching Foundation), and African Parks Foundation. I love seeing such needed causes merging with the fashion world…not only does it help spread awareness, but it puts the power in the hands of a much wider spread of people…and makes it fun as well! Extinct will also offer tee shirts along with their eyewear.
Androgynous Denim by Dapper Boi
San Diego, CA — (April 21st, 2015) Local company is taking their dreams to Kickstarter, with their launch on April 21st – to help raise enough funds to manufacture their first production of an androgynous line of jeans.
A clothing line aimed to fit the androgynous woman, Dapper Boi launched their Kickstarter today! The company is hoping to raise $18,000 to manufacture their first production line of custom jeans.
After countless months of research and design, the founders truly believe they have produced the perfect pair of jeans. Their slim-straight jeans feature the details and the look from men’s jeans, while also providing a superior fit and comfort to fit a woman’s body – meaning the right amount of stretch. They believe the jeans will be a perfect fit for any closet and have even tested them out on some men who have curves and they loved them too.
Snare Wire Jewelry for African Wildlife by Dsenyo
Kickstarters for charity causes…I just love it! Whenever I see humanity rallying together like this for a good cause in the fashion world you can definitely bet you’ll see it on my blog! Wildlife conservation is a big one to me, as is supporting individual artisans who rely on their humble work to make a living. I know we’re all sick and tired of hearing about poachers in Africa (or anywhere really), and there’s enough heartwrenching images of wild animals killed or caught in snares floating around on the internet to make you sick. There’s plenty of organizations out there that dedicate themselves to the cause but these horrific acts still occur…so it’s always exciting to see small groups stepping up to do their part as well. I just found this awesome Kickstarter campaign from an emerging company named Dsenyo. As stated on the Kickstarter page, “Dsenyo is a social enterprise partnering with artisans around the globe and enabling women to become economically empowered through the sale of fair trade gifts and ethical fashion.” This company already produces a jewelry line through a partnership with fair trade artisans in Zamibia, and plan to expand their Snare Wire Twist Jewelry line which was originally inspired through their student Design for Change competition last year. The goal was to reach $20,000 for the campaign to start the line, and they are currently at around $22,000! Their next goal is to reach $50,000 in order to double production and provide even more support to worldwide anti-poaching efforts!
Rock Hard Premium Denim on Kickstarter
I love rock n’ roll-inspired denim. Through Denimology, I’ve become a big fan of jeans I’d expect to see on rockstars, from Kill City to Cult of Individuality to BLANK NYC. But they aren’t exactly rock n’ roll themed, per se…in terms of specific detailing. Enter Rock Hard Denim, an up-and-coming brand via a Kickstarter campaign, who does just that. This brand is “premium denim with the first of all time, unique, and original guitar-shaped pockets with guitar pick-shaped buttons from Los Angeles.” For those who prefer a little less detailing, they also will have regular flap pockets with the guitar pick buttons, and of course, these will be available for both men and women!
Rock Hard states that they will also include designs to fit the “rock hard” bodies among us, for athletic types that are a bit more muscular from the waist down. These jeans consist of a spandex and cotton blend for a nice, tight, flattering fit. Rock Hard Denim will come in “a variety of styles, washes, finishes, treatments, and colors, including light and dark blue, black and white,” and will also feature denim jackets with the trademark guitar pick buttons. Men’s jeans will be offered in athletic, relaxed, straight and skinny fits, and women’s will be offered in athletic, straight, skinny and boot cut fits. The creator, Jerry Fleenor, has spent “years procuring patents, designing, shrink-testing, and setting up production,” and they certainly look like he’s thought of every single detail!
The Rock Hard Brand Collection is the fusion of Fashion and Fitness with a flare of rock and roll. The current trend is called ‘athleisure’. From premium denim to athletic wear…we will rock your world. The Rock Hard Collection will consist of jeans, jean jackets, tee shirts, tank tops, hoodies, caps and beanies, and will be offered first and exclusively to our community of supporters who order now on this campaign before the rest of the World.”
Rock Hard‘s Kickstarter campaign is to end Friday, January 9th, and have a funding goal of $15,000. Check out the many ways you can contribute (and what you get in return), and read more about this neat brand right here! I know I wouldn’t mind a pair! These are truly unique.
QCut Kickstarter Campaign Offers a Better Way to Size Jeans
Anyone who’s ever left the house to shop for a new pair of jeans immediately knows the risk of potentially entering entering an environment that will leave you with nothing but missing hair and a migraine. Women’s jeans, unlike mens, are not consistent size-wise, and even if they were, what’s a girl to do if she’s between sizes? Add online shopping into the mix, and most would rather resort to wearing their PJs out than dealing with the pain. I’m happy to note that online shopping HAS gotten easier, with several jeans like Bluer and AYR offering free shipping and returns both ways to make finding your right size at least a little less painful. However, there’s still a waiting period involved, no matter how amazing a company’s customer service is, and few people care to make trips back and forth from the post office. Also, how many times have you found yourself smack dab in between two sizes? I have, and it can be quite frustrating. Enter QCut, a new brand offering something very new: Jeans that come in 400 sizes. Yup.
When the Kickstarter campaign is over on December 3rd, as long as QCut reaches their funding goal, the brand will send out fit surveys to everyone who pledged at least $10 towards their campaign. The survey will be used to develop their wide range of sizes, so the brand is asking women of all sizes and shapes to participate! The survey will begin with just five simple questions: your height, weight, shoe size, bra size, and the size of your favorite pair of jeans. Then, it will ask more specific questions, regarding your usual frustrations when you go to try on jeans. The funding goal is set at $75,000, however, QCut states “If we raise $500K, we have an investor committed to building a factory to make Qcut jeans. Having our own factory means we can control production and turn orders around in days instead of weeks.” I’m intrigued!
Every woman tells me: ‘I’m hard to fit.’ But there’s nothing wrong with you – the way clothes are sized today is fundamentally broken.”
This QCut campaign is over in less than a month, with $65,071 pledged as I write this towards their $75,000 goal, so go contribute asap if you are interested! This is sure to be an interesting one, in a very good way. Check it out here!
Or, if you don’t want to pledge, view their website now and complete a fit survey here!
Silk Lined Raw Denim by Koben
I’m guessing by now it’s no secret I like to help out the little guys with awesome ideas…I’ve previously featured two Kickstarter campaigns: Barbell Denim and Art Wear by Sociale Revolution. It’s fascinating to see what creative things people are coming up in today’s very competitive fashion world!! I just stumbled across another great campaign, by a clothing company named Koben Jeans. There has always been a fascination with raw denim (denim that is untreated and 100% cotton), and I remember way back when Rich & Skinny used to line their waistbands with luxurious silk. Well, Koben goes the extra mile, creating raw denim that is completely lined in silk that comes in your choice of color, both for men and women! As Koben says, “Business on the outside. Party on the inside.” Say whaa?
Founder T Hughes was on the hunt since 2009 for quality, comfortable jeans that fit his casual yet professional lifestyle, and opted to create is own. He has experience both at Land’s End and J. Crew, so he kind of knew what he was doing. He took his favorite pair of jeans, lined them with silk, and knew he had a great idea on his hands. The greatness of his idea was further verified when he was on a long flight wearing these jeans and the air conditioning failed while he was asleep. When he woke up, he found himself sweaty everywhere except for his legs. Turns out silk has its own way of regulating temperature and whicking away moisture!
So obviously, Koben jeans will help regulate your temperature (help you stay warm when it’s cold, and vice versa), and help you stay dry—silk actually holds up to 30% of its weight before it loses it’s ability to regulate temperature, according to Koben’s Kickstarter page. These jeans have also gone through nine revisions to get the fit just right, and are meant to be dressed up or down. To top it off, these jeans are made in Los Angeles, California, and the denim is brought in from North Carolina’s Cone Mills. The silk and stretch denim is sourced from China.
How freakin’ awesome is this? This is why I love denim! You really never know what is coming up next, and the magic really does lie within the individual, unknown creatives rather than the larger, more established brands. I love seeing things like this, and I truly hope to try a pair of these babies! I adore how they look cuffed, with that perfect pop of color!
A New Fusion of Art and Fashion by Sociale Revolution
Like the next fashionista, I love the large, established, tried and true seasoned brands. However, I also have an affinity for the little guys…it can’t be easy in this overly-saturated market. It’s fascinating to see how creative startups are nowadays, especially with Kickstarter projects like Barbell Jeans (previously featured on this blog) and now Art Wear by Sociale Revolution. Sociale Revolution is a collective aimed at making art more accessible and upfront by encouraging its use for social debate. The group states “We’re giving artists a grand state and making their art more accessible, all while giving back to our cultural roots.” This new Art Wear Kickstarter project is an extension of this vision, allowing artists to expand the influence of their work beyond the galleries and into the hands (or onto the bodies) of fashion-forward people everywhere for a truly unique movement of personal expression.