Denim. One of the most versatile and favourite pieces of clothing in everyone’s wardrobe. You can dress them up or down, find them in every type of style and there is always a guaranteed new trend with them every season. However, an article in British Vogue states, “The amount of water, chemicals and material that goes into making one pair of jeans is ludicrous…”. Cotton is the main material used for denim and the amount of water used to grow and process this crop is extortionate.
The indigo dye stains the water that is used for washing the denim. This, in most cases, means the water can no longer be used and must be thrown away. This has multiple issues, mainly, the water that is dumped is full of chemicals which pollutes water ways, lakes and oceans. People don’t often think of water as an un-abundant resource, however, when we are dyeing the water with chemicals and tossing it away it does not go back to the earth as a viable nutrient; it just causes detriment to our ecosystem.
“How much water are you wearing”? One of our most favourite and popular sustainable denim brands, Triarchy, make it known that “It takes approximately 2900 gallons of water to make one pair of traditional cotton jeans. That’s equivalent to 10,977 one litre water bottles”. The issue with this is that for every new pair of jeans that same amount of water is used again because of the dying process. Triarchy stands out because they have discovered a new process where they can clean the water that they use with a naturally occurring bacteria, so they are able to repurpose the water to use again. Triarchy also uses a tencel cotton blend material made from wood fibre which saves more water compared to regular cotton.
“From its inception, EDUN’s mission has been to source sustainable production and encourage trade in Africa by mixing its creative vision with the richness and positivity of this fast-growing continent”. This amazing sustainable denim brand creates jobs for skill craftsmen in Kenya. All jeans produced are certified fair trade and made with organic materials. They also partner with the ‘Better Cotton Initiative’ which works to reduce the environmental impact created from the use of cotton.
To help towards the cotton crisis you can become a member of the initiative!
Do you want to have something that no one else will ever have? E.L.V or East London Vintage, repurpose old denim that is on its way to the rubbish tip, into brand new and unique sustainable denim just for you. Step out comfortably for the day knowing that you are dressing with an ethical conscience and helping the environment. Use the #elvgirl to be added to the E.L.V. denim family and potentially featured on their website.
Citizens of Humanity
This brands mission is to create the most efficiently made sustainable denim jeans. Based in California they work very hard to minimize the use of water. This is due to the fact that this state has faced one of the biggest droughts for a long time. In order to conserve water for the public use Citizens of Humanity use new laser technology, and efficient dryers and washing machines to save water, lower gas use and reduce power usage by 70%; but it doesn’t stop there. Every single pair of jeans is sewn and checked by a real person to ensure the highest quality. This whole process contributes to the ethical values of eliminating fast fashion and contributing to the sustainable way of living.
The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world right next to oil companies. There is even the same amount of environmental impact made on our ecosystem. I bet you don’t think about how your favourite pair of jeans or denim jacket have affected the ocean life swimming around in indigo dye chemicals. “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new”- Socrates. In order to save our planet we need to focus on the new technology provided to us to save it, not fight the fact that the way we are creating fast fashion is still the best. Most restaurants and cafes have phased out plastic straws to save the turtles, so why aren’t we making more of a change when it comes to keeping the water they live in clean as well.
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