It’s exciting when a movement as powerful as sustainable fashion bypasses the buzzword phase and proves its staying power. How the effort is executed, however, varies widely from consumer to brand, whether you’re thrifting at a consignment shop or choosing biodegradable packaging for all your shipping needs. When it comes to denim, in an effort to conserve clean drinking water and keep the planet free of pollution, companies implementing water conservation efforts are blazing the trail for the apparel industry writ large.
Eco-minded brands use water-saving wash techniques at various points in the denim-making process to reduce water usage. For the uninitiated, cotton irrigation makes up 92 percent of the water footprint of a pair of jeans. According to The 71 Percent, it takes a whopping 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton for your blues – that’s a mind-blowing figure for just one garment. While seemingly minor details like organic cotton may not have seemed important to you in the past, breaking down the process reveals that buying organic means a brand uses roughly 91 percent less water and eliminates the need for harmful pesticides. So you can probably see what the hype is all about.
Take it from us: shopping eco-friendly denim doesn’t mean you’re limited to a single style. On the contrary, some of our favorite brands are already on board. Ahead, shop 15 stylish iterations that are all made using reduced water techniques. Spoiler alert: this comprehensive list includes everything from your go-to everyday blues to the denim sundress you’ll be wearing all season long.