Choosing the best ethical jeans brand is not an easy task, as there are multiple factors to consider when evaluating. Nowadays, there are numerous sustainable denim brands that prioritize fair labor practices, use eco-friendly materials, maintain transparency and traceability, consider animal welfare, and minimize their carbon footprint.
In the past, finding comfortable jeans that flattered your body and were ethically made was challenging. The available choices were all from mega-brands and corporations with unsustainable manufacturing practices, such as Jordache, Sasson, or even Calvin Klein.
However, today, fast fashion is being replaced by sustainable denim, including recycled denim, which is becoming increasingly popular. Affordable ethical jeans used to be fashion unicorns, difficult to find, and often limited in size. Transparency was also rarely prioritized.
Fortunately, ethical jeans brands are now thriving and prioritizing fair labor practices, ensuring that workers involved in the production process are paid fairly and have safe working conditions. They also prioritize the use of eco-friendly materials, such as organic cotton, recycled denim, and biodegradable dyes, to minimize the environmental impact of their manufacturing processes.
Transparency and traceability are also critical, as customers want to know where and how their clothes are made. Ethical jeans brands prioritize openness, providing customers with information about the origin of their materials and the working conditions of their employees.
In addition, some ethical jeans brands prioritize animal welfare by avoiding the use of animal products, such as leather patches or animal-based dyes. They also aim to minimize their carbon footprint by using renewable energy sources, responsible waste management, and sustainable transportation practices.
All of these topical entities are essential to consider when choosing the best ethical jeans brand. Overall, denim is finally entering a golden era of sustainability.
Able began as a bold plan to assist Ethiopian women exiting the commercial sex industry in search of skills and employment. When the founders sold 4000 scarves in their first sixty days they knew they were on to something meaningful.
Able has grown into a successful sustainable fashion brand that invests heavily in education and training for women to break the cycle of poverty.
This is slow fashion on a mission.
And all started with scarves. They now offer a full range of wonderful products including handmade leather totes, wallets and leather bags, shoes and clothing. Even jewelry. They make a mean pair of jeans.
My favorite is their ethical organic cotton denim. It’s good to know it’s ethically made. We are big fans of The Martha Permanent Cuff Straight. You won’t be disappointed!
You can get more details here.
Able offers free U.S. ground shipping on orders over $100.
Warp + Weft
Warp + Weft is committed to listening to its customers. In response to customer feedback, they launched more than 75 sizes and styles ( sizes 00 to 24 ).
They are arguably the most size-inclusive denim company in the world.
They also claim to be the world’s cleanest vertically integrated denim company. With some impressive vertically-integrated processes Warp + Weft has saved more than half a billion gallons of water. 572, 400,000 to be exact. Thank you!
With fair labor standards and eco-friendly and sustainable practices they are hell bent on changing the denim jeans industry to meet the modern day wants and needs of the conscious consumer.
Check out their website here.
Everlane is awesome.
They make ethical, vegan clothing that is designed to last for years, if not decades.
They abide by a high standard when selecting the finest materials and demand excellence from their factories. Everlane clothes are unusually exceptional quality and we respect their efforts at radical transparency.
You’d be hard pressed to find a better pair of denim jeans.
When I know my jeans are being made in ethical factories I feel better about myself and the world. Everlane is my go to source for ethical clothing.
They launched in 2011 and have since been a darling of the press with features in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Elle and GQ.
With two retail locations in New York and San Francisco they’ve served over one million customers.
What really sets Everlane apart is their claim to have the world’s cleanest denim factory.
Their factory, Saitex, is LEED-certified and runs on alternative energy sources. It recycles 98% of it’s water and repurposes by-products.
So, low waste for those fashionable, premium sustainable jeans. Nice.
You can find them online here.
Reformation jeans are made in the good old United States with sustainable denim and eco-friendly factories that pay a living wage.
Here’s what they have to say:
Reformation is a great company and they have a really wide variety to suit almost anyone’s needs.
If you are looking for affordable ethical jeans then Reformation is a good choice.
Choose between some of their classic and simple designs or turn heads with something more unique. Get reformed!
Outerknown S.E.A. Jeans
Outerknown was founded by well-known professional surfer Kelly Slater. Their motto is: For the people and the planet. They are famous for their ethical denim.
Outerknown quality is second to none. These are phenomenonal ethical jeans made from organic cotton that will last nearly forever.
If they ever wear out or “break” just send them back for free repairs or replacement. So, it’s like a pair of jeans forever.
“We created Outerknown to smash the formula. To lift the lid on the traditional supply chain and prove you can actually produce great looking menswear in a sustainable way.”Kelly Slater
Outerknown ethical denim jeans are produced in the same Saitex factory as Everlane making them a sustainable brand from head to toe.
We can’t get out of our Outerknowns. So comfy.
ÉTICA is an LA company dedicated to fair labor and sustainablly conscious manufacturing.
Their factory has been perfecting their processes for more than 20 years.
Less water. Less chemicals. Less waste.
Less is more. We love ÉTICA.
We are one of the only manufacturers fully certified for Global Impact, Clean Industry Practices and Social Responsibility. We exceed fair labor standards, we invest in our planet and we give back to our community.
ÉTICA jeans are expectional quality at sustainable, attainable prices.
With premium fabrics, washes and fits there’s a pair of ÉTICA ethical jeans for everyone!
Monkee Genes was founded in 2006 by a team that was frustrated by the denim market. They were looking for something fresher with a youthful vibe. Plus an eco and/or ethical conscience.
Monkee Genes make some preety awesome denim products carefully concientously manufactured with carefully sourced organic cotton.
All of the Monkee Genes are also one of the brands making garments in a GOTS Certified Factory. They work closely with their employees and guarantee a safe workspace a well as a respectible living wage.
All organic, all ethically produced, all fairly made!
PRO TIP: Check out online thrift shops for great deals on vintage denim.
Is Denim Environmentally Friendly?
Something like a bazillion jeans are produced around the globe each year (okay, around 2 billion!). Traditionally, denim has not been that sustainable a fabric.
Everything from water waste to toxic dyes and pesticides as well as child and forced labor issues have plagued the denim industry since it’s inception.
Thankfully, we’re nearer to a point when these issues will be a thing of the past.
The good news is that there are many brands that are commited to sustainable practices that benefit both people and the planet.