Meghan Markle, J.Crew, and the Rise of Do Good Denim
“When girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but also for those around them.”
-Meghan Markle in speech to University of the South Pacific in Australia
Meghan Markle and Outland Denim
Beauty Meghan Markle has quickly become a fashion icon and when Markle wears something, people want to know where its from. Not only does she have style, but she has heart. She is a strong advocate for female empowerment and supports brands with a cause. On a tour in Australia the duchess was photographed wearing Veja sneakers and a black pair of skinny jeans from Outland Denim (the high-rise Harriet Jean in black). The jeans quickly sold out in the US and Outland Denim reported a 948% increase in traffic in the week and a half that followed Markle’s tour in Australia. Outland Denim works with women in Cambodia and other parts of Asia to provide jobs for women who are recovering from being sex trafficking victims. The brand uses fair trade practices , providing its workers with fair wages, a safe working environment, and training development. Thanks to Markle the company plans to use their success to hire up to 30 more seamstresses, which means 30 more women who will make fair wages without having to sell their bodies.
The Rise of Do Good Denim
Sustainable denim is on the rise. People want to know who is making their clothes and at what environmental cost. During a fashion panel discussion in New York Italian fashion maker Adriano Goldschmied, known as “The Godfather of Denim” noted “We’ve realized that our industry doesn’t have any future at all if we’re not seriously thinking about sustainability.” Brands are now using tencel or water-saving alternative fibers to create lines of denim that consumers can buy at a comparable price point to sustainable denim.
J.Crew and Madewell Bring Denim to a Mainstream Audience
J.Crew is a company I’ve always loved and love more now that they are trying to expand their sustainability efforts. In January J.Crew announced the launch of a line of sustainable denim that will sell in its J.Crew and Madewell stores. Both brands are partnering with Fair Trade USA to make products that are produced ethically and don’t harm the environment. The initial line will include an assortment of more than 30 different styles of denim. The jeans will be made in a fair trade factory in Vietnam. The great news? The new line of fair trade denim won’t cost any more than their other styles.
J.Crew and Madewell already have a successful sustainable denim program called Blue Jeans Go Green, where a customer can bring in old jeans to recycle and get a discount on a new pair of jeans. The old jeans are then recycled to make housing insulation. I look forward to seeing the results of their Fair Trade partnership. Apart from Outland Denim, J.Crew, and Madewell there are plenty of other sustainable denim brands to choose from. Here is a short list of some of my favorites:
AG practices environmental responsibility by focusing on water conservation, waste reduction, and using eco-friendly fibers.
Reformation was one of the first brands to explore sustainable clothes and denim and is still one of the best when it comes to making sustainability sexy.
ABLE denim is a must. ABLE uses organic materials and creates job opportunities for women living in poverty.
Levi’s are classic, sustainable, and made in the USA.
Everlane uses ethical factories to make denim with exceptional quality.
Bella Dahl uses tencel in its denim and its products are made in the USA.
With Raleigh Denim you don’t have to worry about sketchy factories because it’s all designed and handcrafted with raw materials in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.
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