Jeans used to be fashion's most polluting items, now they are more sustainable


Sustainable or eco-responsible jeans are proving popular around the world, a new study reveals. Photo: AFP

As one of fashion's most polluting items, jeans have started to become more sustainable, whether through local manufacturing, upcycling, or reduced use of water and chemicals. And this green revolution is appealing to consumers worldwide, as they are increasingly turning to models and brands that are less harmful to the environment.

The ultimate fashion essential, jeans are more than ever in demand this year, as the fashion world continues its never-ending love affair with the 1990s and 2000s.

The famous fabric is everywhere right now – in high- or low-waisted styles, depending on your generation; skinny or boyfriend cuts, depending on your taste; and raw or faded washes, depending on the look. But denim is also – more than ever – synonymous with pollution.

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And the figures can be dizzying: more than 3,700 litres of water are needed to manufacture a pair of jeans, notching up some 65,000 km between the cotton farm and your wardrobe, and all for a lifespan of just four years on average.

All of which is enough to motivate brands to change their production and manufacturing methods, among other things, to make this must-have a model of sustainability (or at least head in that direction).

Strong demand for sustainable denim

While iconic labels and other fashion houses are trying to reinvent themselves by stepping up their so-called "sustainable" or "eco-conscious" collections, new brands are gradually emerging that have chosen to make denim a reference in terms of eco-design, making the notion of sustainability part of their ethos.

And this commitment is going down well with consumers, who are also now looking for denim that has less impact on the planet. Or so reports the latest analysis from Stylight, which states that sustainability is now one of the main search criteria for denim.

Based on the search queries of its 160 million annual shoppers, across all its international platforms, the global fashion search engine looked at the demand for denim among internet users during the first seven months of the year, compared to the same period a year earlier.

And the verdict is clear: demand for the terms "sustainable denim" or "sustainable jeans" jumped by more than 1,000% over that period. At the same time, eco-friendly denim brands stood out: MUD Jeans saw clicks increase by 44%, while clicks for Boyish were up 42% in one year.

These figures reflect shoppers' growing interest in eco-designed denim, and should encourage brands to continue their efforts.

Inclusivity as a driving force

Evidently, the questions surrounding jeans purchases have changed a lot in recent years. It is no longer (just) a question of whether they make you look good, or flatter your body, or if such and such a cut is trendy.

Now, it's about ensuring that jeans meet all the expectations of consumers, which have evolved considerably over time.

In addition to eco-responsibility, inclusivity now plays a key role in the choice of a pair of jeans. And the gender-neutral and body positive movements clearly dominate these new expectations.

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This is evidenced by the boom in searches for plus-size jeans, which have increased by 483% in one year, as well as those dedicated to unisex jeans, which have increased by more than 1,000% over the same period.

At the same time, it is the brands that have made efforts in these fields, or which are founded on these principles, that are attracting the most interest from the public.

Good American, for example, carries sizes that range from 00 to 24. Clicks for the brand on Stylight have jumped more than 1,000% in a year, reflecting a certain interest in fashion for all.

With more and more brands stepping up their efforts to offer more sustainable jeans, there's no doubt that denim still has a bright future ahead – and a future that's greener. – AFP Relaxnews

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fashion , trends , green fashion , sustainability , jeans


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