close

10 Sustainable Jeans Brands You Need to Know

sustainable jeans
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Kranich17

Despite their popularity, jeans are one of the most environmentally damaging items of clothing that there is. We'll share our top ten sustainable jeans brands to help you keep your wardrobe environmentally friendly.

Why Sustainable Jeans?

Jeans are a staple piece in anyone’s wardrobe, but our trusty denim trousers come with a very dark side. It turns out that the process of making jeans does damage to the environment at every step. To start, the cotton used to make commercial denim is generally grown using pesticides and insecticides, and also requires a massive amount of water. To be exact, growing enough cotton to make a single pair of jeans requires thousands of gallons of water (not to mention the extreme amounts of water needed in the highly polluting denim washing process). Next, turning cotton into denim requires huge amounts of chemicals and energy, and finally, the bleaching and dying that follow inevitably lead to the release of toxic chemicals into the air and into the water. 

It’s no surprise that jeans now rank among the least eco-friendly clothing products out there. One solution is to buy secondhand. The other one is to read on: we’ve put together a list of our top ten environmentally aware brands that offer more sustainable jeans, so you can lose your guilty conscience while still staying trendy. 

Read on: 3 Simple Questions that Will Make You Quit Fast Fashion 

1. Ethical Jeans Brands: Reformation

Pictured: Peyton High Rise Bootcut Jeans
Pictured: Peyton High Rise Bootcut Jeans
(Foto: Photo: Reformation )

Reformation is an LA-based sustainable fashion brand that strives to put women’s fashion and the environment at the forefront of their clothing lines. This American, 100% carbon neutral company produces all their clothes using rescued dead-stock fabrics, repurposed vintage clothing, and low-impact materials. They also design, shoot and ship all products from their facilities in LA, and any clothes that are not made in LA are made in their sustainable partner factories around the world. Transparency is equally important to the team behind Reformation, who get to know all their partners in different countries to ensure equality and ethical practices at every stage of the supply chain. 

The jeans pictured here are made with 66% organically grown cotton, 33% TENCEL Lyocell, and 1% Elastane.

Size range: 0-22

Price range: $$$

Read on: What is Tencel and is it Sustainable? Everything You Need to Know

2. Todd Shelton

Pictured: Pro Original Darks
Pictured: Pro Original Darks
(Foto: Photo: Todd Shelton)

Todd Shelton’s made-to-order clothing brand has a great selection of sustainable jeans which are made to last a lifetime. Their made-to-order philosophy helps reduce unwanted waste by using only exactly the amount of fabric needed. They also source all their materials from biodegradable fabrics and are careful to partner with only fabric mills that strictly enforce labor and environmental protection at all levels of manufacturing.  

Size range: 28-40

Price: $$$

3. Sustainable Jeans: Boyish

Pictured: The Ziggy Carpenter: Krush Groove
Pictured: The Ziggy Carpenter: Krush Groove
(Foto: Photo: Boyish)

Boyish is a sustainable women’s fashion company with ethical and transparent manufacturing and the environment at the heart of everything they do. They are carbon neutral, OEKO-TEX certified, and source all fabrics from recycled products. Their ethical jeans are no exception, which are also made using a fraction of the water that is generally used to make jeans. What’s more, they recycle the water they use to reduce unnecessary water waste as much as possible.

Size: 22-32

Price: $$$

4. Warp + Weft

Pictured: Sun High Rise Slim
Pictured: Sun High Rise Slim
(Foto: Photo: Warp + Weft)

Warp + Weft is a family-owned and run denim company with a focus on mindful manufacturing. Their jeans are made using less than 10 gallons of water per pair, and the water is then treated and recycled. This company goes the extra mile to reduce their environmental impact by cutting out the conventional toxic bleaching process, choosing instead the new Dry Ozone technology to treat their sustainable jeans. They abide by International Social and Environmental & Quality Standards and ensure fair wages and working conditions for all employees.

Size: 00-24

Price: $$

Read on: The 10 Best Affordable Sustainable Clothing Brands 

5. Ethical Jeans Brands: ABLE

Pictured: The Whitney Boyfriend
Pictured: The Whitney Boyfriend
(Foto: Photo: ABLE)

ABLE’s goal is to create sustainable clothing for the consumer and the worker. Their sustainable jeans are made with significantly less water than conventional processes use, and that water is then 100% recycled. All of ABLE’s jeans are made using the ozone process to reduce water wastage and usage. They also source all their denim materials from the western hemisphere to cut their carbon footprint as much as they can.

Size: 23-33 (2-14)

Price: $$

6. Everlane

Pictured: The Curvy ’90s Cheeky Jean
Pictured: The Curvy ’90s Cheeky Jean
(Foto: Photo: Everlane)

Everlane’s jeans are made in “the world’s cleanest denim factory”, Saitex, so you are sure to get a sustainably made pair of jeans from this company. They only use 0.4 liters of water to make their jeans, recycle 98% of the water used in manufacturing, and produce jeans from repurposed byproducts using clean, renewable energy that creates almost zero waste. 

Size: 23-33

Price: $$

7. Top 10 Sustainable Jeans Brands: Tellason

Pictured: Straight Leg Selvege Jeans
Pictured: Straight Leg Selvege Jeans
(Foto: Photo: Tellason)

Tellason is an all-American men’s jeans brand that prides itself on high-quality and durable sustainable jeans. They only use raw denim in their jeans, which means they cut out the laundering process and save a massive amount of water. Due also to the fact that their jeans are made from raw denim, customers themselves don’t need to wash their jeans nearly as much as commercial denim, reducing water usage even further.

Size: 28-40

Price: $$$

Read on: How and How Often Should You Really Wash Your Jeans?

8. Sustainable and Ethical Jeans: Ginew

Pictured: West Fork Red Jean
Pictured: West Fork Red Jean
(Foto: Photo: Ginew)

Ginew is one of the only Native American-owned and run denim brands in the world. They are a husband and wife duo who make quality jeans using techniques passed down to them from previous generations. They use selvage materials from the Nihon Menpu Mill and produce jeans that are made to last a lifetime. The fabrics are all sourced from American-made materials and are produced in the US. 

Size: 30-38

Price: $$$

9. Detroit Denim

Detroit Denim jeans are made to order and designed by you to fit you
Detroit Denim jeans are made to order and designed by you to fit you
(Foto: Photo: Detroit Denim)

Detroit Denim is an American denim company that makes all its products to order and fit, so there is no overproduction or overconsumption in their company. They also have durability and longevity in mind when designing, sourcing, and sewing their jeans to help reduce waste. They are equally as committed to transparency and ethical practices in the supply chain. 

Size: 24-40

Price: $$$

10. Christy Dawn

Pictured: The Billy Overall
Pictured: The Billy Overall
(Foto: Photo: Christy Dawn)

Christy Dawn is an LA-based clothing company that has mother nature in mind at every stage of manufacturing and production. They source all materials from deadstock and their jeans are made from upcycled and organic fabrics. Their farm-to-closet approach supports regenerative farming practices and they maintain a close relationship with their partner farmers in India. 

Size: 24-32

Price: $$$

Read more:

** Links to retailers are partially affiliate links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org because we get a small portion of the proceeds.

Tags: