Eco Trend: Denim

Fashion blogger Caitlin Willard shares the latest in fall fashion


Denim is known for being a durable fabric, and it has certainly lasted through the ever changing world of fashion. Denim has been a staple in wardrobes for decades. We all have our one favorite pair of jeans that we can dress up or dress down as much as we like.

However, denim this year has made a major comeback. It is everywhere. Celebrities and style icons like Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé have been seen rocking all-denim ensembles casually on the street while pop icon Katy Perry channeled an early 2000’s Britney Spears on the MTV VMA red carpet (we all know trends in fashion tend to repeat themselves). And across the Atlantic, designers Marques’Almeida and British multinational retailer Topshop have collaborated to produce a line comprised almost entirely of denim, set to launch on October 9.

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Photo courtesy of kimkardashian.celebuzz.com
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Photo courtesy of E! Online

The problem with denim is that the fabric is at the top of the list of consumptive textiles in terms of water, chemical, and energy use. According to the American Chemical Society, some estimates suggest that producing one pair of conventionally-made jeans requires more than 2,500 gallons of water, nearly a pound of chemicals and vast amounts of energy. Multiply that by 2 billion — the number of jeans produced worldwide every year — and you get a snapshot of an industry that contributes a hefty share of wastewater and greenhouse gases to the environment.

With Fashion Week officially over, we can conclude that denim continues to be a trend both on and off the runway—and we are super excited that the most obvious example of this was the debut of musician/entrepreneur/fashion designer Pharrell Williams’ collaboration with Bionic –  the first manufacturer of denim made from recycled bottles – to create RAW for the Oceans (which you can read more about here).

If you didn’t know, sustainable denim is created by blending natural fibers with organic cotton. For example, RAW for the Oceans takes trash and turns it into treasure by removing trash (such as plastic bottles) from the world’s oceans, breaking it down into pieces and then into fibers, spinning those fibers into yarn mixed with cotton.

Another exciting announcement came just last week from H&M. On October 2 they will be launching an all denim collection as part of their eco line, Conscious. The Conscious Denim collection will feature 40 pieces including classic skinny jeans and button-downs, and a jumpsuit I can’t wait to get my hands on.

Looks like denim is here to stay—and we LOVE it.

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Connect with Caitlin Willard on Twitter

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