An estimate of 30% of produced clothing is never sold. This means an average of 45 billion items of clothes are overproduced each year (150 billion clothing items produced each year)! This applies to jeans too, so as I was on the look for sustainable jeans SELFNATION caught my eye - not only because they check off so many sustainability aspects in our brand contact form, but also because they are made to fit - this means all the time we otherwise spend looking for that perfect pair of jeans we can now invest in other projects. Nice to know that the side effects are less waste and overproduced clothing in the fashion industry.
How SELFNATION makes sure they get your size right? You take your own measurements with the help of their easy step-by-step explanation videos. All you need is a measurement band and approx. 5 minutes. After you’ve entered your measurements they use their algorithm they have specially developed to determine the perfect cut for your measurements and in 2-3 weeks your jeans are in the mailbox.
Oh yeah, there are nifty gimmicks as well like having your initials stitched in and also one which is useful for all those leading a sustainable lifestyle by choosing to ride a bicycle instead of car: you can order your jeans with built in reflectors - one to flap out of your back pocket and two when you flip the seams on the legs up :)
What sustainability boxes SELFNATION checks:
LOCAL SOURCING AND PRODUCTION: have a look at their supplier and production map to see where the ingredients for your jeans are coming from, as well as the production and manufacturing.
FAIR & ETHICAL: working conditions all the way back to their Farmers.
FABRICS: sourced from suppliers with numerous certifications for their sustainability standards, like Tejidos Royo for example from where the fabric for this pair of jeans came from. This pair is from OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 and OCS (ORGANIC CONTENT STANDARD) certified material, which is tested to be skin-friendly and from at least 50% organic cotton. Still make sure you give them a wash or two before you wear them, as the indigo dye can rub off a bit.
ZERO WASTE APPROACH: textile cut offs, fabrics from their returned products and dead stock is given to further processing. One of the companies they like to work with here is Social Fabric where they are turned to pencil cases, bags and backpacks.
Throughout their product pallet SELFNATION also uses organic (skin friendly) and recycled materials.
NO OVERPRODUCTION, as each pair of jeans is made to order.
CERTIFICATIONS you can find the supplier certifications through the SELFNATION website, however the jeans themselves do not carry certifications. Check suppliers here.
CRITIQUE: Although the fabrics used are better than your conventional brands, they are still not 100% organic, additionally it would be great to have a 100% organic cotton option for denim trousers, which at this point is still necessary for recycling. Then again, this might mean having a higher return rate due to the fit, which would essentially mean overproduction... Never the less - the fit is unbeatable(!), therefore SELFNATION is a great option for those who strugle to find fitting jeans.
Photography by Cherie Birkner, and Bijan Valentin