Producing denim is one of the most water-intensive, toxic processes in the entire fashion industry. When you consider the full lifecycle of producing jeans, it includes:
- Growing the cotton fibers (think: water, pesticides)
- Transporting the cotton to a factory
- Processing and dying the cotton into denim (using toxic chemicals to dye)
- Sewing the jeans
- Washing the jeans (often several times to get the “distressed” look)
But jeans are everywhere. People wear them for almost any occasion. So what’s an eco-conscious girl to do? I know jeans are an integral part of my wardrobe – I even wear them to work. However, my favorite pair of jeans just recently acquired a poorly-placed hole, leading me to discover denim brand DL1961.
DL1961 is a New York City based brand that produces “smart denim”, using sustainable resources. They are on a quest to create perfect fitting jeans – embracing curves and all. DL1961 boasts that production of their jeans requires 50% less dye, water, and energy compared to traditional denim production. That’s a huge reduction! In Fall 2016, even star and eco-nut Jessica Alba collaborated with DL1961 to create a collection, so you know it’s good (more here).
DL1961 at South Moon Under
I stumbled upon these DL1961 jeans at my local South Moon Under store. They are made from ethically sourced Cotton, and eco-friendly Modal and Tencel. The style shown above is “Margaux in Acetate Asymmetrical Hem Skinny Jeans” (click to shop here). DL1961 also incorporates Mild and Hybrid Elastane for comfort, stretch, and contouring. I especially love the asymmetrical and fringe detailing at the bottom of these jeans! Adds a little something extra.
It’s also important to note that major strides can be taken to reduce water and energy consumption by simply washing your jeans less. Less laundry + conserving water and energy? Sign me up! According to Levi’s 2015 lifecycle assessment, in one year you would save 737 liters of water simply by washing your jeans once a month instead of weekly (slide 18). You would also reduce your yearly CO2 emissions by 7.93 kg by washing your jeans in cold water and drying your jeans once a month instead of weekly (slide 19).
Would you consider buying jeans from a lower-impact company?