Sustainable Denim & New Leg Shapes

Wed 26 Jan 2022

Sustainable Denim 

I wrote a blog back in 2020 about denim and the damaging effects the production of jeans has on the environment, and I included a number of more sustainable denim brands on the market. These brands are still available, Re/Done, E.L.V, Nudie Jeans, to name a few, but the high street have also stepped up over the last two years and are doing more to make their denim better and more sustainable.

Denim is one of the biggest problems in the fashion industry in terms of manufacturing processes for the environment. Manufacturing a single pair of jeans produces 44 pounds of CO2, roughly equal to the greenhouse gas emissions from driving a car 50 miles. The amount of water used to create a pair of jeans is even scarier. Cotton, which is the main fibre used to produce denim, uses a lot of water to grow. Up to 20,000 litres of water is required to produce just 1kg of cotton.

New Leg Shapes

Jeans are still an item that we all want to wear, and we want to find the holy grail of a pair that fits us well. This can mean trying on lots of different shapes and styles to find the right ones for you. For those that have attended my trend presentations I have talked a lot about moving away from the skinny leg shape and I have encouraged you to try different shapes. So this blog is about those different denim styles, with an emphasis on brands that are looking for more sustainable ways to produce their jeans. A wider leg shape and a relaxed silhouette with a forgiving waistline is a great shape to try after all of the loungewear we have been drawn towards during the pandemic. Lots of designers showcased baggy jeans in their SS22 catwalk shows, Molly Goddard, Rejina Pyo and Peter Do were a few of them. Repurposing jeans rather than making a brand new pair is a great way to look at reducing the carbon footprint, E.L.V. and Mud both do this. Another option is to look at second hand or ‘preloved’ jeans. Go to your local charity shop, or check out local vintage sellers. For those near to Cambridge, you should give Moss & Rose a call, as they have a large selection of denim products.

  1. Levis High Loose Jeans £120

These are made with cottonised Hemp, which is a blend of cotton and hemp, offering an authentic look and softer feel. Hemp requires less water and fewer pesticides to grow, supporting healthier soil and cleaner water.

  1. Levis Ribcage Straight Ankle Jean £110

Sustainably made with TENCEL fabric for reduced environmental impact.

  1. Agolde Baggy Tapered Jean £240

These are made with 100% organic cotton

  1. Nudie Jeans Clean Eileen £115

Again, these are made from 100% organic cotton

Nudie also have transparency for each of their products on their website.

  1. Re/Done +NET SUSTAIN 70s Ultra High Rise Wide Leg Frayed Jean £137.50 (50% off)
  2. E.L.V. Denim Boyfriend Jean £300

These jeans are crafted from upcycled or post-consumer waste denim

  1. Mud, Wide Leg Jean

75% organic cotton, 23% post-consumer recycle cotton, 2% elastane, which contains 33% recycled stretch in the weft

Unfortunately Mud jeans are not currently shipping to the UK. However, the concept of a circular fashion company, introducing the pioneering Lease a jeans model in 2013 and consistently putting the circular economy principles into practice, is a great one and definitely one to keep an eye on. Check out their website for more information.

  1. Tomorrow Denim, Straight Leg Jean £148

Made using organic cotton and recycled materials. No use of pesticides or fertilisers during manufacturing and they are washed without harmful chemicals.

  1. Monkee Genes Libby Straight Leg in Black £60

Organic rigid denim, 80% less water used in the laundry process

  1. Gap Mid-rise ‘90s Loose Jeans with Washwell £39.96

Made using organic cotton and washed with their Washwell initiative.

  1. & Other Stories Wide Press Crease Jeans £75

Made with organic and recycled cotton

  1. H&M Straight High Jean £24.99

20% recycled cotton

  1. Arket Barrel Leg Jean £59

43% Tencel, 40% recycled cotton, 17% organic cotton

  1. COS Straight Mid Rise Jeans £59

99% recycled cotton, 1% recycled elastane


I hope this encourages you to try some different denim leg shapes other than skinny jeans. I also hope you will think about where you are getting your jeans from, if you need a new pair, and consider the brands sustainable credentials, I have not covered all retailers that have improved how they are manufacturing, so if you want some more specific information or help with shopping, then please get in touch.



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