Ethical denim brand review – 5 clean jean brands

Kuyichi Nova Skinny Nau Pentacle Pant IOWEYOU capris The AG jeans in water bottle blue Monkee Inkyblack

By Meg | Women
Posted Mar 4, 2013

Formerly a hard labour and rebel clothing item, jeans are now a staple of any modern wardrobe. Having made their way onto almost every booty in the world, by the 1990′s they were once again deemed the bad-boy of fashion. This was due to the traditional denim industry’s intensive cotton pesticide and fertilizer use, deplorable labour conditions, water-intensive dying methods, and toxic chemical finishing processes. Gross.

Lovingly reformed, denim can now be soured from fair-trade, ethical factories which use organic, recycled cotton or certified sustainable fabrics, dyed with natural pigments, and are finished with eco-friendly finishes. In 2013 The international availability of stylish ethical jean shows that it has never been a better time to be able to buy the “perfect” pair of jeans. You can keep the rebel attitude if you’d like.

We’ve taken our top five brands that have the perfectly crafted jeans for girls and boys. Enjoy.

Founded in 2000 by the innovative NGO Solidaridad, the Dutch denim brand Kuyichi offers a quality selection of both mens and womens jeans, knits and jackets to worldwide market. Working  closely with NFP Made-By, they utilize hemp, organic cotton, recycled cotton, recycled polyester, tencel and linen to create a tight collection of classic and trendy pieces that will become the start of your closet. Their S/S 2013 Nova Skinny Jeans are made with recycled cotton, and offer a bright pop of indigo blue to any outfit.

It has been a tumultuous journey for the Portland based-company of Nau. When the recession of 2008 cast a shadow on their future, they successfully navigated investor relation to come out with a stronger business model based on quality style, Cradle-to-Cradle principals and a philosophy of giving back. World-wide they now offer a stunning collection of detail-oriented outerwear, insulation, accessories and office appropriate clothing that caters to the stylish outdoor type. Bonus: When you buy through their online store, you can choose yourself what initiatives you want 2% of your purchase goes towards. We love The Nau Women’s Pentacle Pant is “inspired” by denim. This five-pocket, organic denim twill pant is a sleek staple to build seasonal trends around.

IOU denim
Supporting independent producers and celebrating supply chain transparency, IOU fashions are completely unique as each pair is customized and traceable to the weaver and sewer of the garment. Handwoven garments are both people and planet friendly. You can check out their introduction video on their youtube channel.  Each item is made from a different two meter textile known as a Lungi a fabric hand-woven for centuries in the Tamil Nadu region of India. This is the real madras fabric. The brand even recycles left-over pieces from the Lungis and reuses them in pockets making each denim article 100% unique. The Baggie Capris light wash and pop of colour is the perfect for spring.

AG was founded in 2000 by denim guru Adriano Goldschmied and manufacturing veteran, Yul Ku in LA. Twelve years latter, AG continues to be the only vertically integrated manufacturing facility in the The United States. While not completely “eco”, they are headed in the right direction. From their use of tencel blends to their Ozone Technology,  they apply sustainable thinking to large scale production. To quench your thirst for the spring pastel trend, we suggest the Piper Crop in Water Bottle Blue. This eco-friendly denim is woven in part from recycled yarns made from blue plastic water bottles.

Monkee Jeans
The UK’s Monkee Jeans offer every flavour of jeans, from classic chino’s to super hipster super-skinny sateen colour. Besides being made in the UK, 2008 they were awarded the Organic Soil Association Certification. Their unisex line uses cool fabrics like a bamboo. They also do rad things like keep bees. Now that you are totally in love with them like we are, we’d suggest their Inky Denim series. All elements of this garment are organically sourced and certified as so by the Soil Association and hold the G.O.T.S. certificate (Global Organic Textile Standard).

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