If you love eco-friendly jeans as much as we do, then you are in for a real treat with this full guide to Sustainable Denim Brands. We’ve got your back! Below is a list of our team’s favorite ethical denim brands that we love to rock on repeat!
You may also want to check out this blog post on 12 gorgeous sustainable denim shorts for summer!
Sustainable Denim Brands To Love
The perfect pair of jeans is something that none of us take for granted. They have to have the right feel, the perfect fit, and a great background story. The kind of story that we like here at SKL? One that is fair, environmentally friendly, and 100% transparent. Even better if we can actually opt for eco-friendly jeans and not only sustainable but also affordable.
Here’s something you probably didn’t know. It takes around 1,500 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to manufacture a single pair of jeans. Now if you consider that denim also uses up to 225,000 tons of chemicals annually, choosing to support sustainable denim brands seems like the only way to help battle the ‘thirsty’ manufacturing process of the industry.
Today, we will be sharing our top ethical denim brands (plus a few extras) that we love to rock in our own lives. Sure, there are more premium and affordable sustainable brands out there – but these are the ones that grace our teams’ bodies every single day.
What exactly is sustainable denim?
The denim industry comes with a huge environmental impact. Cotton farming requires pesticides which degrade the quality of the soil, affect the land’s biodiversity, and cause several health issues. On top of that, denim production also pollutes the waterways from dyes used in the manufacturing process. When it comes to natural resources, one pair of jeans needs up to 8 gallons of water, which is the average water usage of a US household per 3 days. Yes, that’s A LOT!
Sustainable denim brands try to change the industry with eco-friendly jeans that don’t rely on exploitative tactics, excessive waste of resources, and toxic chemicals. Ethical denim is made of organic cotton which requires way less water and no chemicals during the farming process. Brands also use deadstock fabric, recycled plastic, and more innovative textiles that pose no harm to the environment. Sustainable denim is always colored with plant-based dyes. Lastly, the entire supply chain is closely monitored to ensure the well-being and fair pay of the workers.
Rest assured that our favorite sustainable denim brands below meet all the aforementioned criteria.
What is the most sustainable denim brand?
Amongst the many ethical denim brands on the market, some stand out thanks to their fantastic quality, size inclusivity, and ethical production policies. Neems, Nude Jeans, Boyish, Universal Standards, Reformation, Warp + Weft, and Able are some of the most noteworthy sustainable denim brands for eco-friendly jeans.
This is your guide to best sustainable denim brands.
Best Sustainable Denim Brands For Affordable & Premium Eco-Friendly Jeans
Neems is not only one of the most sustainable denim brands but also a very inclusive one. You can’t find eco-friendly jeans that actually fit properly? Send your exact measurements to make a completely custom pair just for you. From choosing the perfect style, and ideal rise, down to the wash, it’s the ultimate DIY process. Their ethical denim is crafted from OEKO-TEX 100 Approved, locally sourced deadstock denim l by an amazing team of sewers in their ethical LA facility.
Ethics: Deadstock Materials, Latinx-Owned, Ethically Made In LA, Oeko-Tex 100-Certified Mills, Inclusivity
Nudie Jeans is at the top of our ethical denim brands list thanks to their environmental and social concerns. Apart from using certified organic, fairtrade, or recycled cotton to create their sustainable denim collection, the brand also uses recycled polyester, TENCEL, and more eco fabrics. Their Rebirth collection is crafted with at least 70% recycled fibers from waste. As for their re-use line, it’s all about second-hand Nudies! The brand will patch your can From dozens of jeans to a fantastic sustainable denim jacket line, everything is made ethically in certified factories!
Ethics: Sustainable & Recycled Materials, Certified Organic, Ethical Production, Free Repairs, Second-Hand Section, Fair Wages
The Climate-Neutral Certified and, Boyish is one of the most ethical denim brands for premium sustainable jeans for every occasion. Their collections are made in low waste factories with OCS-certified organic and recycled cotton, and Tencel™ Lyocell to help divert waste from landfills. Additionally, they recycle water to keep harsh chemicals out of fresh-water streams. The range runs the gamut from the cult-favorite frayed jeans, to straight, skinny, tapered, flare, and stretch. It’s hard to find a brand that rivals the quality of these classic vintage eco-friendly jeans.
Price: $265 – $310
Ethics: Certified Organic And Recycled Materials, Natural Plant-Based Dyes, Ethical Manufacturing, Water Recycling, Donations
From sustainable wedding guest dresses and eco-friendly leggings to basics, Universal Standard has all our sartorial needs covered. Skinny, straight leg, and flair are only a few eco-friendly jeans options you can opt for. Honestly, not many sustainable denim brands manage to be that inclusive and affordable. It’s no wonder why they have their own body-positive sizing charts. Their collection also includes figure-flattering denim dresses, jackets, overalls, and skirts.
Ethics: Eco-friendly materials, Fair Trade Certified, upcycling/recycling, charity
Made with high-quality OEKOTEX and Bluesign certified sustainable & organic fabrics, Reformation’s eco-friendly jeans rival the collection of the most premium sustainable denim brands – minus the hefty price tag. From vintage-inspired striped straight jeans and multi printed cowboy jeans to gorgeous studded bustiers, everything is sewed in FLA-certified Turkish factories where living wages are guaranteed. The superhero materials? TENCEL, “deadstock” fabrics, and recycled cotton.
Price: 88€- 295€
Ethics: OEKOTEX and Bluesign Certified Organic And Recycled Fabrics, Fair Wages, Fla Certified Factories, Eco-Friendly Production Donations
You may recognize Warp & Weft from our list of sustainable maternity brands for eco-friendly jeans below the $100 mark. Nonetheless, their inclusive collection caters to everyone. Think skinny, straight, wide-leg styles as well as denim jackets and overalls. Locally made in the US using Energy Saving Technology, their collection combines innovative fibers and cotton. In fact, their mill is one of the world’s largest textile manufacturers that many sustainable denim brands trust.
Ethics: Sustainable Materials, Ethical Practices, Fair Wages, Made In The Us, Dry Ozone Technology, Water Recycling
For Able, simply being one of the most coveted sustainable denim brands for eco-friendly jeans isn’t enough. They also strive to help educate women on how to earn a living wage and get out of poverty. Their clothing comes with a lifetime warranty. On top of that, they are very transparent with their materials. Their non-stretch denim, for example, uses liquid indigo, which requires less water when being washed. Plus, 100% of the water is recycled. What’s even more impressive? All denim scraps are given to the government to use for housing insulation.
Price: $18- $180
Ethics: Eco-Friendly Materials, Women Empowerment, Water Recycling, Fair Wages, Lifetime Warranty, Recycling
The brand touted for its luxurious sustainable flip flops, is also a major player in the eco-friendly jeans game. Handcrafted entirely from upcycled fabric, their collection includes vintage-inspired styles in a slew of washes. Just like all our favorite sustainable denim brands, ethical manufacturing is a given. We can’t help but love their aesthetic and one-of-a-kind styles. Apart from their premium sustainable jeans, make sure to check their cotton clothing line too.
Price: 225€- 250€
Ethics: Sustainable And Upcycled Materials, Ethically Made In LA, Fair Labor
With an 85% recycled water production system, Triarchy crafts “real denim for real women”. What makes them one of the most sustainable denim brands on the market? Their collection of the World’s First Plastic-Free Stretch Denim. They use Tencel, organic cotton, vintage denim, and natural rubber, soaked in reduced indigo or clay to create their ethical jeans. Additionally, they recycled their cutting waste so that it can be made into new materials
Price: $225- $395
Ethics: Sustainable Materials, Oeko-Tex Standard 100 & GOTS Certified, Cruelty-Free And Peta Approved, Recycling, Toxic-Free Dyes, Fair Wages, Green story And Retraced Partners
This post was all about Ethical & Sustainable Denim Brands for Eco-Friendly Jeans
No matter your size, materials of choice, or personal aesthetic, you’ll certainly be able to find something special on the virtual shelves of our favorite sustainable denim brands. While there are some premium eco-friendly jeans options listed above, many ethical denim brands offer surprisingly affordable lines. From staple straight-leg jeans, and skinnies to all-over-printed styles, the options are all in our favor.