Are you on a quest to find the best sustainable jeans brands to upgrade your casual “uniform” without suffocating your curves in the process? Our favorite ethical jeans brands below are good for the environment and your wardrobe.
Don’t forget to check out our favorite 12 BEST Affordable Sustainable Denim Shorts for Summer!
This post is about ethical & sustainable jeans brands
Granted, jeans are a no-questions-asked hero piece that deserves a place in our all-year-round wardrobe. Nonetheless, it’s also one of the most damaging garments. It takes 7,500 liters of water to make a single pair of jeans and the denim industry alone accounts for 5% of landfill waste. Yes, that’s an awful amount of environmental damage! But that doesn’t mean that you have to forgo the unmatched comfort of your trusted denim.
The best sustainable jeans brands are incorporating everything from certified organic materials and post-consumer waste to recycled fibers and ethically sourcing denim that requires way less water and energy.
You’d think that those premium and affordable ethical jeans would be dowdy, but no. Ethical and sustainable denim brands serve some of the most innovative silhouettes, washes, and prints that make traditional denim turn green with envy.
Take a look at the best sustainable ethical jeans that are currently at the forefront of the socially and environmentally responsible fashion sphere, ahead.
Can jeans be sustainable?
Traditional denim emits 33.4 kg (73 pounds) of CO2 into the atmosphere PER PRODUCT (that’s the equivalent of driving more than 1,000 km by car), but that’s not the case for ethical and sustainable jeans. Brands create their collections with only a fraction of the water needed thanks to recycling. Additionally, eco-friendly jeans are made with certified organic, recycled, and regenerated fabrics treated with safe dyes and finishes. Lastly, raw jeans are more sustainable than pre-washed jeans. Ethical jeans brands also compensate for carbon dioxide emissions through carbon offsetting.
What does "ethical jeans" mean?
Ethical jeans brands maintain sustainable production and sourcing standards that focus on the health and well-being of their workers and the environment. This includes the fair payment of workers, enforcing safety standards, and supporting the local community. Sustainable jeans made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, for example, ensure that are free from highly toxic substances that severely harm the planet and the farmers’ health.
What are sustainable jeans made of?
Sustainable jeans are made of GOTS-certified organic cotton and post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled cotton. Sometimes, ethical jeans brands use sourced deadstock denim and recycled plastic fabrics as well. Lastly, TENCEL Lyocell (cellulose fiber, made from dissolving pulp) is another eco-friendly material that gives sustainable jeans an extra boost of durability and softness.
This post is about ethical and sustainable denim brands.
The Best Sustainable Jeans Brands
Neems’ custom-designed sustainable ethical jeans are tailored to each customer’s unique body type in mind. It’s pretty simple. Once you choose your desired style and rise through the “ Dream Jeans Builder”, you can see your jeans’ fit in real-time using the ‘30-second Mobile Body Scanner’. Neems is one of the few sustainable jeans brands that tapped into 3D mapping technology to further eliminate eliminated the risk of overproduction and lower their environmental footprint by reducing their products’ return rate. But in case you need alternations, Neems will do them for free!
Price Range: Starts at $199
Sizes: ALL SIZES!!!
Ethics: Premium, locally sourced deadstock denim, ethically made in Neems’ LA facility, OEKO-TEX100 Cotton, LEADS.GOTS and GRS certified, energy-efficient eco-friendly Tukatech laser cutting machines, recycled packaging, 3D body tech
How Neems Customizable Jeans Work:
While, normally, a pair of jeans takes about 1,500 gallons of water to produce, Warp + Weft uses 10 gallons ONLY! But that’s not the only thing that makes them one of the most sustainable jeans brands. Their size-inclusive and affordable ethical jeans are made locally made in the US using Energy Saving Technology with an eco-friendly stretch denim blend of cotton, modal, and lyocell. Also, they are one of the few ethical jeans brands that offer skinny, straight, bootcut, wide leg, and shorts for sizes up to 24.
Ethics: Sustainable Materials, Ethical Practices, Fair Wages, Made In The Us, Dry Ozone Technology, Water Recycling
Able’s efforts to help create a better life for women who currently live in poverty by teaching them how to earn a living wage makes them one of the most ethical and sustainable jeans brands. Apart from their stylish vintage-inspired look, the female artisan-made affordable ethical jeans are colored with liquid indigo, which requires less water when being washed. Additionally, each pair comes with a lifetime warranty and the remaining 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
Lauded as one of the most coveted sustainable jeans brands, Reformation uses OEKOTEX and Bluesign certified sustainable & organic fabrics to crate affordable ethical jeans that are not-your-basic. Every vintage-inspired style is sewed in Turkish FLA-certified fair labor factors. The brand is wind-powered which means that their solid-colored sustainable jeans, multi printed cowboy jeans, jackets, and bustiers – just to name a few- come with a significantly lower carbon footprint. Plus, they are also members of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jeans Redesign program.
Price: 88€- 295€
Ethics: OEKO-TEX and Bluesign Certified Organic And Recycled Fabrics, Fair Wages, Fla Certified Factories, Eco-Friendly Production, Climate Neutral, Donations
Universal Standards aims to help you up to your eco-conscious vestiary game with skinny, straight leg, and flair affordable ethical jeans built to last for many many years. As one of the most sustainable jeans brands, their incredibly size-inclusive range goes up to 40 with a “See It In Your Size” option to better understand the fit and look. And if your size changes, the brand will replace your clothes and send your new size if you opt for the Fit Liberty Collection. Did we mention the slew of sustainable basics they offer to match your new perfectly-fitted jeans?
Ethics: Eco-friendly materials, Fair Trade Certified, upcycling/recycling, charity
Certified organic, fairtrade, or recycled cotton, recycled polyester, and TENCEL are only a few of the eco-friendly materials Nudie Jeans use to craft their impressive line of premium ethical jeans. The brand offers free tear repairs for life and a 20% discount if you choose to send them your worn-to-death pair in exchange for a new one. No worries, your used pair will gain a new life through their Re-Use collection. Also, their Rebirth collection is crafted with at least 70% recycled fibers from waste made ethically in certified factories!
Ethics: Sustainable & Recycled Materials, Certified Organic, Ethical Production, Free Repairs, Second-Hand Section, Fair Wages
Made by skilled artisans in Honduras, Mott & Bow Jeans is one of the top sustainable jeans brands in terms of quality, affordability, and transparency. They source their cotton denim from the world’s most prestigious and proceed to blend it with Modal. Each pair of affordable ethical jeans is sprayed or immersed into a resin mix to create a slew of different looks. From mid-rise and high-rise to mom jeans and slim boyfriend, you’ll certainly be able to find your next forever denim.
Ethics: Ethically made in Honduras, Sustainable & Recycled Materials, Sustainably Sourced Denim, Ethical Production
Not many ethical jeans brands go as far as recycling water to keep harsh chemicals out of fresh-water streams, but Boyish certainly does. Made from recycled cotton, and Tencel Lyocell in low waste factories, the premium ethical jeans line includes frayed jeans, straight, skinny, tapered, flare, and stretch with a vintage flair. Rest assured that your new 80s chic pair’s materials come from GOTS and ISO 9001 certified mills.
Price: $265 – $310
Ethics: OCS-Certified Organic And Recycled Materials, Natural Plant-Based Dyes, Ethical Manufacturing, Water Recycling, Donations
Energy efficiency and innovative manufacturing practices are only a few of the reasons why DL 1961 is on every list of ethical jeans brands. They mostly use GOTS or OCS organic cotton, but some pairs are made from GRS or RCS recycled cotton as well. Plus, Tencel and Modal are added to increase durability. The sustainable jeans are treated with Jeanologia Ozone water-free zero-discharge washing to eliminate toxic chemicals along with Dystar 40% VAT – a safe indigo blend. The stylish options included skinny, straight, relaxed, bootcut, and flare jeans.
Ethics: Family-Owned Brand, Full Transparency From Start To Finish, Sustainable Fabrics, Turning Trash Into Fashion
Apart from the array of Sustainable Dresses for Spring & Summer and quite a few luxurious sustainable flip flops to match your warm-weather mood, Christy Dawn is also one of our favorite ethical denim brands. Made from quality upcycled fabrics, you can opt for vintage-inspired styles in many different washes knowing that everything is ethically Sewn in Los Angeles. To top it all off, the brand also offers us the chance to “GROW our OWN Dress” by purchasing a Land Stewardship investment which makes them even more amazing!
Price: 225€- 250€
Ethics: Sustainable And Upcycled Materials, Ethically Made In LA, Fair Labor
Named as one of the most coveted premium sustainable jeans brands in LA, Citizens of Humanity uses post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled cotton as well as organic cotton to craft their ethical jeans. To eliminate the use of chemicals and save water/energy, the brand invests in green washes and dyes, laser technology, E-Flow, and ozone machines. Their line runs the gamut from Skinny, straight, bootcut, and wide-leg to relaxed and slim with some impressive patterns and silhouettes that are far from ordinary.
Price: 269€- 499€
Ethics: Recycled And Organic Materials, Recycled Threads, Water And Energy-Saving Production, Chemical-Free Dyes, Ethically Made
With ethical factories in LA and Turkey and a heavy focus on eco-conscious production, Agolde is certainly one of the best sustainable jeans brands with basic and very fashion-forward silhouettes for every taste. They use post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled cotton and organic cotton to create their jeans. On top of that, green washes and dyes, laser technology, E-Flow, and ozone machines further eliminate their environmental footprint. You can opt for skinny, slim, and straight silhouettes as well as cropped, wide-leg styles and shorts.
Price: $89- $459
Ethics: Recycled And Organic Materials, Water And Energy-Saving Production, Chemical-Free Dyes, Ethically Made In LA And Turkey
Your search for Parisian style-influence jeans is officially over. Sezane might be known for their sought-after Affordable Sustainable Swimwear, but they are also one of the best ethical jeans brands designed to flatter every figure. The French label crafts their premium sustainable jeans with GOTS certified organic cotton. From belted high-waisted styles to classic slim-fit options, flare and slightly oversized, the choices are so many!
Price: 95€- 150€
Size Range: 23-36
Ethics: Certified Sustainable Materials, Fair Labor, B-Certified, Recycled Packaging, Donations
With the sole goal to build “The best, for the most, for the least,” Buch Manson is one of our favorite sustainable jeans brands that just gets it. Durable, long-lasting, and heavy-duty, their ethical jeans are made with indigo dyes in factories around the world. Plus, they come in so many different washes and silhouettes!
Ethics: Indigo Dyes, Ethical Manufacturing
While we do love our Sustainable Socks, Outerknow’s denim collection is equally worthy of the splurge. S.E.A. (Social and Environmental Accountability) ethical jeans come in high-rise, boyfriend, or cropped silhouettes that are equal parts stylish and functional. Every pair is made from organic and recycled cotton in Bluesign and Fair Trade certified factories. On top of that, their fair trade jeans are produced in small batches using vintage hand-operated looms. And if you have old jeans to retire, their take-back program will do that for you.
Price: $168- $400
Ethics: Organic & Recycled Materials, Renewable Energy, Fair Trade factories
The OG denim brand, founded in 1853, has recently entered the eco-friendly manufacturing game and we couldn’t be happier about it! They reduce water consumption, use ethically-sourced cotton and opt for regenerated fibers like Tencel Lyocell and EcoVero. Additionally, you can now recycle and re-purpose old vintage denim to reduce textile waste. Their “sustainably soft” affordable ethical jeans range from straight, skinny, slim, and boyfriend, bootcut, and flare styles in multiple different washes.
Price: starts at $50
Ethics: Organic & Recycled Materials, Ethical Sourcing, Inclusivity, Donations
Oliver Logan is yet another fantastic addition to the list of LA-based sustainable jeans brands. The collections are made from recycled yarn and organic cotton in BSCI or OEKO-TEX certified factories in China. Every pair comes with a lifetime guarantee, but you can also take advantage of the brand’s repair program to bring your ethical jeans back to life. Currently, they offer many different affordable styles including relaxed, wide-leg, flare, and straight leg silhouettes in a slew of washes.
Ethics: Recycled Materials, BSCI or OEKO-TEX Certified Factories, Offsetting,
Lovingly made in NY, Loup’s size-inclusive ethical jeans feature a 1970’s inspired vibe that’s oh-so-chic. Some styles are cropped while others are skinny and full-length, relaxed and straight-lined. Every pair is designed with real women in mind and it’s 100% curve-friendly. On top of that, you can take advantage of the Loop Repair program to give your jeans their former glory.
Size Range: XXS-4X
Ethics: Made In The Us, Free Repair Program, Size-Inclusive
Kings of Indigo is a prime example of how sustainable jeans brands can be extremely ethical and transparent without forgoing style and size inclusivity. Their materials range from certified organic cotton and hemp to recycled elastane, polyester, and Tencel. Their ethical jeans collection includes balloon, slim, regular straight, and lose fit styles -just to name a few. You can take a look at their sustainability report and Five Pillars of Sustainability to better understand their environmental impact.
Price: 109€- 149€
Ethics: Organic And Recycled Materials, Eco-Conscious Manufacturing, Size Inclusivity, Fair Wages, Waste-Conscious, Socially Responsible
This post was all about sustainable jeans brands
There you have it, the best sustainable jeans brands that are far from uncreative and boring. If you’d rather spend your coin on only the best premium and affordable ethical jeans out there, the list above will certainly satisfy your lust for quality, comfort, and environmental responsibility. And luckily for us, the top ethical jeans brands have the same values as us.