5 Sustainable Denim Brands

Jeans can be one of the biggest fashion environmental offenders. The manufacturing process is extremely energy and water intensive. Exhibit A: some jeans are washed multiple times BEFORE they even make it to the store. Imagine that on an industrial scale. Of course jeans are a staple in any American wardrobe. Heck, I have multiple pairs and wear them all the time. So what’s an eco-conscious fashionista to do?!

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Within just a matter of days this past week, two major “regular” (aka not traditionally sustainable/eco-friendly) brands – Madewell and J Crew – came out with lines of sustainable jeans. They were produced at the same manufacturing plant in Italy, just two different fashion lines and looks from two different brands. Funny how that works right? In fact, they’re produced by the same company (Saitex International) who produces Everlane jeans.

Lucky for us – and the planet – you can now shop a bunch of sustainable denim options from well known, easily accessible brands. I’m breaking it all down for you below!

Madewell & J Crew

Both Madewell and J Crew came out with new eco-friendly jean collections this week. Coincidence? I think not. Both companies partnered with Saitex International, arguably the world’s most sustainable denim factory. Here are the deets.

Saitex International

My style picks from Madewell’s Eco Collection jeans

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~ The high-rise skinny jeans in dark wash, available for $110. Perfect to wear literally anywhere. Weekend or week day because of the classic, dark wash.

~ The jean jacket, available for $118. Great for those chilly fall evenings. Can be paired with dresses, black leggings, white jeans, colored denim, and more.

My style picks from J Crew’s Eco Jeans collection

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~ Vintage straight eco jean with button fly, available for $89. Could be worn with a cropped top or tucked in to show off those buttons!

~ Vintage straight eco jean ripped light wash, available also for $89. I love the ripped look on these jeans – just enough to be tasteful!


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! Most styles are made with a combination of Tencel and ethically sourced cotton.

My Style Picks

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~ Florence Mid Rise Skinny, available in light and dark washes on sale for $132.

~ Chrissy Ultra High Rise Skinny, available in black for $179.


High style brand Reformation also does a good sustainable denim. Plus there’s a chance one of your favorite celebs might have these jeans, too. Reformation is popular with celebs, models, Kardashians, etc…

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~ High & Skinny Jean, available for $98. Yes, that’s right. Sustainable denim under $100! Also it has a very classic style. Made with 78% modal, I’ll take one in each color, please!

Amour Vert x AGOLDE

I think you guys know that Amour Vert is one of my favorite eco-friendly boutiques. They teamed up with AGOLDE to create an exclusive line of eco-friendly jeans. While on the pricey side, you can be sure these jeans will be an investment to live up to the price tag.

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~ AGOLDE Exclusive Jamie Hi Rise, available for $188.

~ AGOLDE Exclusive Sophie Regular, also available for $188.

Denim Care

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).

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