The 8 best eco-friendly jeans and denim brands to rely on

Posted by for Fashion

The denim production process can take a toll on the environment – but these brands make jeans that are sustainable as well as cool.  

Being conscious with your fashion choices goes way beyond choosing the latest trends, which is why sustainable brands are on the rise. In fact, even some of the longstanding brands we all know and love are making an effort to create items that reduce their negative impact on the planet. As we consider the environmental impact of our fashion choices, we’re adopting sustainable shopping habits and choosing ethically produced pieces. From embracing up-cycling pre-loved clothing to swapping spending-sprees for clothes swaps, they’re all steps in the right direction.

When it comes to denim and, in particular, jeans, it has been reported that it takes a massive 7,600 litres of water to create one pair of jeans. Take into account how many pairs the average person owns – from skinnies to straight and mom – and that’s a lot of wasted water.

Lyst’s Year in Fashion 2019 report found that sustainable fashion is growing for designers and consumers with people searching for specific eco-friendly materials. Weekday’s Rowe 100% organic cotton £40 jeans were the most wanted denim item, and you can shop the exact pair below.

We’ve also found some of the other sustainable brands that are making an effort to create their much-loved denim in a more friendly way. See our top eight sustainable denim brands below…

Sézane

The Parisian clothing label and denim brand delivers the kind of effortless French-girl elegance that looks chic at any occasion. Now Sézane has upped its sustainable credentials with the launch of its new collection Denim (r)Evolution, which uses 100 percent GOTS certified organic cotton, recycled cotton and an eco-friendly distressing processes that significantly reduce water and chemical usage.

  • Sézane

    A paperbag cut high waist design make these bleached denim jeans as fashion forward as they are ultra-flattering. We’re wearing ours now with a colourful statement cardigan; come summer we’ll pair with barely-there heeled sandals and a linen top for a breezy day-to-night look. 

    Shop Sézane The Alvin jean, £105

Boyish 

The last word in California-cool, Boyish’s designs are the stuff our denim-based dreams are made of. Though we’ve fallen in love with its vintage-inspired styles, we’re seriously impressed with their ethical credentials. Boyish starts at the source to scrutinise every aspect of the production process, from ensuring that their cotton is picked by fairly paid workers to utilising vapour-spray washing machines so that machines aren’t filled with more water than necessary. They’ve now partnered with Solar Sister, an organisation which helps women in rural Africa become solar entrepreneurs, in turn enabling villages to stop using kerosene to generate energy. 

  • Boyish

    The millennial equivalent of your foot fitting the glass slipper, finding the perfect pair of vintage jeans has to be the ultimate in fashion fairytales. These high-rise, wide-leg jeans are the treasure that you dreamed of stumbling across after a weekend spent rummaging in the darkest corners of downtown vintage stores. Wear yours with a distressed T-shirt and a statement bag for a look that is pure Santa Monica cool. 

    Shop Boyish The Charley high-rise denim jeans, £235

Weekday

Loved for its denim selection, Swedish high street label Weekday is a go-to for minimal (and affordable) designs. The denim section is always a favourite among fashion insiders due to the great fit and sustainable aspects. 

  • Weekday

    Weekday jeans
    Best eco-friendly jeans: Weekday

    Made from 100% organic cotton, these are the jeans Lyst highlighted as the most-wanted sustainable pair of jeans at the end of 2019. 

    The high waist loose-fit jeans are the everyday pair your wardrobe would thank you for. 

    Shop Weekday Rowe jeans, £40

E.L.V. Denim

Founded by stylist Anna Foster, E.L.V. Denim sources vintage jeans and reworks them into Vetements-style patchworked pairs. Each style is made in east London, minimising waste and impact on the environment.

  • E.L.V Jeans

    Image of elv jeans
    Eco denim: E.L.V Denim jeans

    Short for East London Vintage, these light wash jeans are part of the Net-Sustain edit at Net-a-Porter. 

    The 90s style wash is made to be worn with chunky trainers and a white T-shirt for day. For evening, switch to a cami top and mules.

    Shop E.L.V Denim straight leg jeans at net-a-porter.com, £295

G-Star Raw

G-Star Raw’s collection of recyclable denim is made with upcycled yarns from old jeans. The denim is shredded and blended with organic cotton to ensure maximum longevity and create entirely new styles.

Lindex

In 2017 Lindex launched Re:Design, a collection of upcycled products made from pieces from previous seasons to minimise waste and increase circulation of their denim production. 

M.i.h Jeans

M.i.h Jeans introduced the Paradise capsule in June 2018: five styles in a responsible denim in partnership with Isko, the only denim mill in the world to be awarded the EU Ecolabel and Nordic Swan Ecolabel certifications.

Re/done

Re/done’s Levi’s collection takes apart old Levi’s jeans and repurposes them into new styles. Every pair is a one off and helps reduce further material waste.

Main image: Getty

Images: courtesy of brands

Share this article

Recommended by Harriet Davey