Close-up of stack of folded jeans in domestic room
What Does It Really Mean When Denim Is Sustainable?
When it comes to fashion, sustainable denim has become a favored and popular option. However, it’s always important to know what it actually means when something is labeled “sustainable,” and how sustainable denim differs from other denim garments.
Unfortunately, there is not a single definition of what constitutes sustainable denim, so it’s up to you to investigate whether or not a brand is “sustainable.” To make matters more confusing, “greenwashing” is the practice of making products seem better for the environment than they actually are; however, there are some companies working to use fewer harmful products, like bleach.
Some argue that there is no sustainable denim at all, like Corey Page Spencer from AMENDI, who says “sustainability requires three major dimensions to be in balance with each other” but “none of these dimensions are currently in balance.” Many brands are working to change this, and Boyish founder Jordan Nodarse suggests looking for “transparency the company has on their website.”
Try to be more sustainable when you discard your jeans, such as upcycling your old denim garments into something new or — depending on where you buy your denim — there may be buyback or recycling programs. Unfortunately, clothes donated to a local charity could end up being incinerated or tossed in a landfill without your knowledge.