As we prepare to emerge from our quarantine bubbles, many are looking for ways to make the most of their newfound freedom. And not just in the form of big moves, like finally taking that dream vacation or pivoting jobs to do something they love, but in smaller ways as well, like replacing non-green habits with more eco-friendly ones. For instance, according to global shopping platform Lyst, searches for sustainably-made clothing and accessories are generally on the rise, but there’s one item in particular that shoppers are really invested in finding: sustainable denim.
Sustainability-related keywords like “recycled” and “organic” have increased by 229 and 119 percent, respectively, in the past month alone, and shoppers are also looking to buy jeans secondhand from resale sites like Poshmark and ThredUp. But here’s the thing: Cotton, which is used to make denim, is notoriously environmentally un-friendly, meaning buying new jeans is already iffy, even before you add in questions of shipping methods, working conditions or recyclable/compostable packaging. That said, the idea of eliminating denim from our wardrobes all together in the name of sustainability is pretty drastic (and unrealistic for most). So what’s a gal to do? Well, reading up on the best sustainable technologies, learning which eco-certifications mean what and noting what various brands are doing to green their processes is a phenomenal place to start. So we reached out to the experts from four leading sustainable denim brands—Reformation, Ética, Boyish and Kut from the Kloth—to get advice on how to improve our shopping habits. Read on to learn more about how to make your next denim purchase a more sustainable one, without sacrificing an ounce of style.