While many denim companies have been shifting to utilizing organic cotton and fair trade practices, it appears that these practices may not be as environmentally friendly as once thought. Manufacturing denim draws on water, electric resources, while using harsh chemicals for dyes and treatments. It wasn’t until Levi’s examined their production process, which revealed that “making one pair of 501′s required almost 920 gallons of water, 400 megajoules of energy and expelled 32 kilograms of carbon dioxide. Levi’s said this was equivalent to running a garden hose for 106 minutes, driving 78 miles and powering a computer for 556 hours”
Given these high statistics and the economy, it seems that everyone is looking for a change, “Everyone is trying to uncover ways to save money and energy,” said Andrew Olah, chief executive officer of Olah Inc., a U.S. agent for foreign contract manufacturers and textile and hardware vendors targeting denim designers. “The chemical companies who supply dyestuff are making it more and more irresistible. Change is happening, step by step, mill by mill.”
One of the first denim brands to start making changes is Jeanologia, a Spanish company. They have released two products with the aims of lowering water usage and energy. They released a new washer, the G2, which uses a combination of water and air, rather than chemicals and water to achieve desired denim color. The G2 washer will reduce chemical, water, and energy usage. It also cuts production time and energy consumption almost in half. This is significant because the brand has estimated that 158 billion gallons of water and 1.3 million tons of chemicals are used to make produce jeans. By adoption of the G2, Jeanologia estimates that it can conserve enough water to provide drinking water for up to 8 months in Spain.
Image of the G2 washing machine
The company has also perfected a technique to achieve the distressed denim look, in under a minute, which eliminates the need for chemical abrasives, which pollute the environment. Other companies such as DyStar, Novozymes, and Lenzing fibers have pioneered the way for environmentally friendly dyes that are less harsh and use less chemicals.
Jeans from Replay, a collection that uses environmentally friendly dyes.
Despite these advances, the change towards more eco-friendly dyes and practices has been slow. Some feel that this could be contributed to the primary focus of aesthetics when it comes to fashion. These new technologies have not been perfected and can result in inconsistent dying and fit, as Leah Eckelberger, owner of Boston’s Jean Therapy, expressed. She also stated that while, “We do have customers that come in and ask for it, but what trumps the eco-friendly aspect is the fit, wash and style,” it is really the lack of both that leaves her skeptical.
However, these advances of technology are a step in the right direction towards eco friendly measures and will continue to be perfected. After all, Levi’s wasn’t built in a day!
Article and photos from WWD.com
You can’t buy much for under $100 when it comes to clothes, especially denim. However, Armani Exchange just launched a new premium denim line for men and women. The brand has released a variety of styles, washes and cuts. For women, there is skinny, boot cut and straight leg. You can choose from dark, light or distressed styles. They also come in short and regular lengths, so you don’t have to worry about hemming! For men, they offer boot cut, straight leg, slim and relaxed cuts, with the same washes offered in women’s cuts. Both collections give hand washing, appliques, leather patches, and grommets. The best part, is they start at $98.oo! If you’re not convinced, go check them out, they’re currently offering $20 off any purchase over $100 between July 30-August 15th.
You can check out their website at armaniexchange.com
Nordstrom’s anniversary sale is on now until August 3rd You can get great deals on jeans from True Religion, Rich and Skinny, 7FAM and tons of others (online and in stores). The best part is, that they are styles from the fall collections. Shop early, as prices go back up on August 3rd.
The Hills star and Lauren Conrad‘s BFF, Lo Bosworth celebrates a night out in a retro Topshop denim skirt, it’s no longer available online but they have a shredded one similar. She opted for an acid wash, zip-front denim skirt, which she paired with a plain white tank. I’m not sure how excited I am for the return of acid wash jeans, what are your thoughts?
Images from pacificoastnews.com