The denim jeans that you wear are bad for the environment.
Versatile and classic as they are, producing this staple piece poses a number of harmful effects to the world we live in, from the massive amount of pesticides used to grow cotton to the thousands of liters of water used to produce a single pair.
Jeans, according to eco warriors, are one of the most environment damaging pieces of clothing.
According to British retailer Marks and Spencer, about 2,000 liters of water is used to produce one cotton shirt, the same amount an average person drinks in three years. Then there are chemicals used to protect the crop.
To enable customers to purchase denim that won’t hurt the environment, the company releases its range of jeans made using materials sourced from the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI).
BCI, the largest cotton sustainability program in the world, has so far helped train two million cotton farmers to reduce their use of fertilizer, pesticide, and water. Marks and Spencer has also partnered with Jeanologia to cut 86 percent water (versus industry average) used in garment finishing process on its denim production.
Through its partnerships, the British brand was able to create “super soft” denim made with less water and made of 100 percent polyester from recycled plastic bottles.
“With the environmental impact of denim production, it’s safe to say that it’s best to invest in more sustainable fabrics that last. It may only seem pricier at first, but the value is much worth it in the long run and cheaper too, as a pair of premium quality jeans can outlast several lower quality throwaway clothing,” the brand said in a statement.
Tommy Jeans has likewise shifted into producing environment friendly denim as part of Tommy Hilfiger’s “ambitious” sustainability mission to reduce its negative impacts to zero.
The spring 2021 collection of Tommy Jeans includes a 100-percent recycled denim range made using an innovative technique that blends bedsheets with other recycled cotton scraps, surpassing the industry average of 30 percent recycled cotton.
In addition to recycled materials, the water used in production was also reduced, “enabling us to save up to 50 liters of water per garment compared to like-for-like denim washes,” the brand said.
The collection includes jeans, skirts, dungaree shorts, over-shirts, and shorts. All products are available on tommy.com.
Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo for its part employs its BlueCycle process to reduce the amount of water used in its jean production. The process, the company said, significantly reduces the amount of water by 99 percent, with the jeans finished to the same standard with “just a teacup’s worth of water.”
The process likewise reduces manual labor required in distressing the jeans by using lasers.
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