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Sustainable Denim Brands That Make Eco-friendly Vegan Jeans


Best vegan jeans - Eco-friendly sustainable denim Nudie Jeans - Best sustainable denim brands
Denim is really our best friend. We've grown up in them, it is an essential part of our life and I am sure there won't be any wardrobe on earth without a pair of denim pants in them. And no matter how many jeans we own, we all have that perfect pair that we wear everywhere we go - from walks and shopping to a night-out.

But there is a scary reality behind every pair of jeans we own and every denim jacket in our wardrobe - they come from excessive harm to the planet. Shocked? So was I when I learned about it. Let me show you how with some verified numbers.

It takes about 3,781 liters of water to produce a single pair of jeans. Oh yes, 3-7-8-1 liters for just one pair - I am not making it up, its an official figure from Levis Strauss. Much of this wastewater is full of hazardous chemicals (some carcinogenic too!) and toxic dyes, and once they flow back into our rivers and oceans, these substances have a permanent destructive impact on ecosystems and local communities. Did I mention the exposure of workers to those toxic dyes and its impact on their health? And the process of sandblasting that gives denim its distressed look also poses significant health risk to workers.

That's not about it. Jeans are made from H2O guzzling fabric - cotton, which also uses massive amount of pesticides to grow. While cotton only takes up 2.5% of agricultural land, it accounts for 16% of all the insecticides and 6.8% of all herbicides used worldwide. All those precious natural resources, like water and land, getting sucked up by a pair of jeans - makes me think about my next denim purchase.....

If you are vegan, you also ought to know that most denim jeans and even jackets come with a leather patch at the back and we all know the problem with leather.

Long story short, jeans are one of the least eco-friendly clothing items to produce and has serious environmental and social consequences.

Isn't the quest for finding the perfect pair of jeans challenging enough, that now you also have to consider sustainability into the equation? Imagine all those hours spent getting in and out of piles of denim in those dirty and cramped fitting rooms to find the perfect fit, color and length.

Does it mean you have to say goodbye to denim from your life? No silly. Some denim brands are challenging the damaging traditional practices of producing denim. Right from ensuring the people making them are paid a living wage and using sustainable materials (think recycled fabrics and organic cotton) to reducing their energy consumption and using non-toxic dyes, the wave of new eco-friendly denim brands are changing the way how your pair of jeans are produced.

As a hard-core vegan, its very important that my jeans are not just sustainable and eco-friendly but uses no leather patch or other animal materials. So I did my research, and found many amazing eco-friendly and vegan denim brands. In fact, I already have some of them in my wardrobe!

Don't worry, I am not talking about the brands that are culprits of  "Greenwashing" in the name of sustainability (no H&M and Zara here). These brands are serious about their ethics and have sustainability in their DNA. Without further ado, here I highlight some of the best.


Nudie Jeans

Ethics: Fair trade, eco-friendly (production and packaging), vegan, offers free lifetime repairs
Country: Sweden
For: Men & Women
Starts at: $185
Best vegan denim brands - Eco-friendly jeans and best sustainable denim brands
Swedish denim brand Nudie ticks pretty much every eco-friendly box with its sustainable jeans. For starters, all their jeans are made from sustainable materials, mainly certified organic cotton and recycled cotton. The brand has a one-of-its-kind free repairs service at every store to prolong the life of the garment and save it from going into a landfill. They also give you a 20 per cent discount when you give them your old Nudie Jeans back, which they sell under their Re-Use collection, after washing and fixing it (of course). That's  genius!

No human or animal exploitation is done in the making of Nudie jeans! This sustainable denim brand is also a member of Fair Wear Foundation (FWF),which means all their workers are paid fair wages.
The best part? All their jeans are vegan. The leather patch at the back of every Nudie jeans is actually made from paper - FSC certified jacron patch.

I've been wearing their Hightop Tilde style in black for over a year and I love the fit. It stayed put after several washes, and the color has just slightly faded. I can say that it is, almost, as good as new.

Armedangels

Ethics: Fair trade, eco-friendly, certified vegan
Country: Germany
For: Men & Women
Starts at: $97
Vegan fashion Best eco friendly jeans - Sustainable Denim Brands - Vegan Jeans
Beloved for nailing sustainable fashion, the German fair fashion brand Armedangels makes fabulous eco-friendly jeans under its #DetoxDenim collection. Each pair of your sustainable jeans is produced with 40% less water, 64% less carbon emissions, and uses zero toxic chemicals and chlorine. Their jeans are made from sustainable materials including GOTS certified organic cotton, tencel, recycled polyester and stainless steel buttons.

I love the fact that it is also Peta certified vegan. They use jacron logo patch at the back instead of leather. What's not the love?

I have the Tillaa style from their collection in stone wash - the skinny fit mid-waist jeans. It fits perfectly, the color is gorgeous and the fabric feels nice. I did, however, got it tapered a little bit at the ankle, as it was too wide for me.

DL1961

Ethics: Fair trade, very eco-friendly, sustainable and vegan
Country: USA
For: Men & Women
Starts at: $168
Best vegan denim brands DL1961 Jeans - Eco friendly jeans and best sustainable denim brands
I bought my first DL1961 pair in Bloomingdales Dubai and the reason I picked this brand was because it had no leather patch.

Later I dug up more about the brand and was impressed with its ethical credentials. This New York based label sources ethical cotton (GOTS, organic  or recycled), sustainable fabrics like tencel and modal, and uses natural indigo dye (from DyStar®). Their jeans are then made in DL1961's own factory that's powered by solar energy and it's own in-house power generation plant. They have also installed a state-of-the art water recycling system to ensure the water flowing back in municipal drains is clean and toxin-free. Impressive!

Instead of washing their jeans in the traditional way, DL1961 uses innovative ozone and laser processes, which reduce the amount of water considerably, as well as reduced the chemical pollution of water. The brand tracks its water consumption and dye usage via Environmental Impact Measurement (EIM) software by Jeanologia. While a traditional pair of jeans uses on an average 5678 liters of water, DL1961 uses less than 30 liters to produce a pair of jeans. Isn't that amazing?

Their circular model allows them to turn send excess fabrics to a non-profit Fabscrap for upcycling. Their attention to detail doesn't stop there. The brand also ensures that their packaging is fully recyclable, compostable and biodegradable.

Among most sustainable denim brands, I have to say they offer one of the widest styles, colors and fits and are also easily available around the world.

In case you are wondering, I am wearing their Florence style in dark wash.

Monkee Genes

Ethics: Fair trade, eco-friendly, sustainable and Peta approved vegan
Country: UK
For: Men & Women
Starts at: $60
Best Sustainable Denim Brands  Monkee Genes - eco friendly vegan jeans
Monkee Genes is actually the first sustainable and vegan denim brand that I came across. It was almost six years back I stumbled on the brand while searching for vegan denim brands. Later, I spotted them at sustainable fashion trade show in Berlin, now called Neonyt, and thereafter several sustainable fashion stores in Berlin and UK. Somewhere in 2014, the British denim brand almost had a fallout, but they came up with a bang and are definitely one of the most popular ethical denim brands in the market.

While I am yet to find a Monkee Genes that fits me right, my eco-conscious friends love theirs. They're crafted from certified organic cotton and recycled polyester, use 80% less water than traditional methods and the company ensures the labour is paid fair wages. They closely monitor their supply chains and ensure everyone within their chain holds an ethical certification.

In fact, the brand has introduced a new Black Jet Collection, which is even more eco-friendly as it uses 95% less water, 40% less energy and 90% less chemicals compared to conventional production methods.

The best part? This sustainable denim comes with an affordable price tag and will last you for years to come.


Boyish

Ethics: Fair trade, eco-friendly, sustainable, gives back and vegan
Country: USA
For: Women
Starts at: $148
Best sustainable denim brands - Boyish Jeans eco friendly and vegan jeans
Exuding Californian cool, the LA-based sustainable denim brand Boyish creates timeless styles that are high on style and ethics. Crafting jeans from sustainable fabrics, using water and energy-efficient production techniques, paying fair wages to workers, using eco-friendly packaging and cruelty-free practices - the brand checks all the ethical boxes.

The brand also strives towards zero waste production by recycling all its cutting scraps. That's not it. they are also part of 1% for the Planet initiative, which means that they give back atleast 1% of their revenues to various causes.

Interestingly, as part of its goal to be a transparent company, they also publish an annual sustainability report covering everything from their carbon emissions, water preservation initiatives, factory audit brief, materials used in production to the list of their certifications. The cherry on top is that all Boyish jeans are vegan friendly.

In case you are wondering, I am wearing their Florence style in dark wash.

MUD Jeans

Ethics: Certified fair trade, eco-friendly, sustainable, B Corp certified and Peta approved vegan
Country: Netherlands
For: Men & Women
Starts at: $148
Best vegan denim brands - Eco friendly jeans and best sustainable denim brands MUD Jeans
Dutch brand MUD Jeans is on a mission to create a circular economy in the fashion industry. The transparent company offers free repair services, resells second hand products and also recycles worn out products.

The company requests customers to return their worn-out jeans so they can be shredded, cut into pieces and blended with Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton to create new denim yarn. Every MUD Jeans are made with up to 40% recycled content and the rest is organic cotton - hence reducing water, energy and chemical usage. In fact, every pair of MUD jeans is carbon neutral.

Like Nudie, MUD Jeans also offers free repairs service, motivating the clients to wear their jeans as long as possible. After your jeans are no longer of use, you can return them to MUD and get a discount on your next MUD purchase.

Their sustainable production methods are top-of-the-line too. By using ozone, laser, stone washing and water recycling techniques, their jeans uses 78% less water and emits 61% less CO2 when compared with traditional manufacturing methods. They use certified eco-friendly indigo dye and use only four different types of fabrics to produce their jeans so it can be easily recycled.

And as if that wasn't cool enough, Mud Jeans also offers Lease a Jeans subscription system to tackle the waste built up by fast fashion. Under this program, you can lease a pair of Mud Jeans for €7.50 per month and exchange them for a new pair when you’re ready to switch things up. The returned pairs will either be leased to someone else or recycled. They also have a Vintage program under which they sell their washed and repaired used MUD Jeans.


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