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Guest Blog: Being Eco-Friendly With Denim

Posted by Amelia Glynn Online Fashion Content Assistant

19th Dec 2013

This week we have fabulous Guest blogger Lorna writing about Eco-Denim for the Oxfam Fashion Blog. Lorna is a fashion and lifestyle blogger who writes on her blog Raindrops of Sapphire as well as for Thanks for joining the team Lorna!

When you think of eco friendly clothes, your first thoughts might not necessarily be denim, especially not premium denim, but as the times are changing and people are getting more conscious about the earth and protecting it, brands are making those all important differences and doing their part. I've been working in the premium denim industry for just over seven years now and have a big denim obsession myself but I have noticed a big change. Denim is getting more popular by the day which unfortunately means more water is being used for the washing of jeans. Wasting water is always something we need to be aware of and brands like Levi's, A.N.D and Dirtball are making a difference! 

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You might not associate Levi's at all with being eco-friendly, but they recently launched their Water<Less collection. The brand became aware of the wastage problem after taking one of their most iconic products, a pair of 501 jeans and working with third-party organisations to look at every possible impact their jeans could have - from cotton in the ground, the washing of the jeans, to the eventual disposal of the product. 

The water impact became clear straight away: more than 3,000 litres of water are used during the full product cycle of a single pair of Levi's 501 jeans. They found that 49% of this water is used to grow the cotton and 45% is used when their customers wash their jeans. The remaining 6% is used during the manufacturing process of the jean. This is why they now have the Water<Less collection. On average a pair of jeans uses 42 litres of water and the new Water<Less collection reduces water consumption by an average of 28% and up to 96% for newer products, just by using less water in the finishing processes. 

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If using less water doesn't appeal to you, then there are jeans that actually don't use any water at all. A.N.D is a new brand on the scene, launching this year with a Spring/Summer 2013 line. It stands for A New Denim Brand. The brand is based around a revolutionary fabric process exclusive to A.N.D, which involves a technique that takes raw untreated denim and transforms it into a soft and worn-in fabric without using water during the process, thus maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the indigo dyed denim, while being eco-friendly. I think this is amazing because there are almost no premium denim brands out there that don't use water in the making of their jeans. Think how much water that's saving? If the stats from Levi's are anything to go by, then it's a lot. The one thing I love about A.N.D is that you don't have to be unfashionable to be eco-friendly. They have amazing fits, which I can vouch for and are definitely on trend. 

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As you can see, denim is really starting to change and denim companies are starting to really think about the impact of their products and how they can make them more environmentally-friendly. Some of these jeans are more of an investment piece though with their prices, but if you don't have too much money to spend, you can still do your part for the environment by recycling vintage denim! Denim is readily available from Oxfam shops and with a little love it can be revamped into a whole new piece- just check out some of the Oxfam Fashion Blog DIY's

Today, having that vintage appearance and a little bit of quirk to your style is what everyone is looking for. Looking unique often comes with wearing vintage or old pieces of clothing, especially denim, so don't be afraid to try on a pair of jeans from a charity shop, you might be surprised! Personalisation is always key too! You can easily rip a few holes in the jeans to make them your own, even add some patches or bleach/dye them to create a brand new style! Being eco-friendly with your denim choices is definitely a lot easier as the months go by now, without sacrificing fashion! 

Written by Lorna Burford


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Blog post written by Amelia Glynn

Online Fashion Content Assistant

More by Amelia Glynn

Amelia Glynn