Everlane’s Case for Clean Jeans (Now Available at Pop-In@Nordstrom)
Denim is a dirty business. Astonishingly, it takes an average of 2,600 gallons of water to make one pair of jeans (that’s three times more than you’ll probably use in a month of showers). Add to that the toxic chemicals that leach out of most denim manufacturing systems into local waterways and factory-workers’ lungs and we’ve got an untenable pollution problem.
While beautiful basics are the building blocks of Everlane, the brand couldn’t rationalize manufacturing America’s most hardworking basic the old-fashioned way. So they waited to get it right. They searched the world for a denim factory that felt the same—and finally found it at Saitex in Vietnam. The LEED-certified facility recycles 98% of its water back into production, uses sustainable energy sources and repurposes its byproducts into concrete for homes in the nearby area. Everlane CEO and founder Michael Preysman feels confident it’s the closest thing on the market to zero-impact denim.
“Denim is one of those unique products where you actually dye the fabric and then undye the fabric to get the look you want,” Michael explains. “And in that process of undyeing the fabric, you create a lot of [water] waste in the system. We managed to find a partner that moved well beyond what was required by law and actually uses a reverse osmosis purifier to make all of the water drinkable, then we refilter it back into the system. So, in the end, each pair of denim uses almost negligible amounts of water because it’s a closed loop.”
But creating the ideal pair of jeans also takes exceptional fabric. And using super-stretchy denim that bags out didn’t fit into Everlane’s picture of perfect jeans. After a year of exploring fabrication sources, they landed on 11 oz. Japanese denim woven with a modest 2 percent stretch. It’s enough stretch to allow for easy, comfortable movement, but still feels like authentic, old-school denim you can wear for days without losing its shape.
Priced at $68 a pair and currently available at Pop-In@Nordstrom Welcomes Everlane in three essential fits for women (High-Rise Skinny, Mid-Rise Skinny and Boyfriend) and two for men (Slim and Straight), Everlane’s new denim collection is just another example of the company’s promise to keep challenging industry norms.