Leaders in Retail

Here’s How J Brand Makes Going Eco-Friendly Easy3 min read

September 24, 2020 2 min read

Here’s How J Brand Makes Going Eco-Friendly Easy3 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Did you know that 26 billion pounds of clothing end up in landfills each year? In today’s fashion climate, brands can’t afford to focus on aesthetics alone. While many brands across the globe are starting to prioritize sustainability as a core business component and create transparency around their supply chain, only a handful actually walk the talk. One retailer that has consistently pushed boundaries in circular fashion is J Brand.

J brand needs no introduction. The premium denim-wear label, founded in Los Angeles in 2005, made skinny jeans a staple in every celebrity’s off-duty wardrobe. Also, Kate Middleton, Charlize Theron, Alessandra Ambrosio, Giselle Bundchen, the Hadid sisters and the Kardashians are loyalists! And why wouldn’t they be? J brand’s glove-like fit, attention to quality and sleek tailoring make them a worthy investment. But what’s caught our eye is their efforts around the production of eco-friendly denim. Here are some of the things J brand has done to create a more circular model, and simultaneously, less wastage.

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1. The All-New Jeans Innovation Center

ThredUP’s report suggests that the total number of denim jeans sold around the world every year is 1,240,000,000 pairs! That number blew our mind, but it also got us thinking about denim’s typical attributes, the resources that are consumed in its making and how brands can be smarter in their production of fashion’s most loved fabric. Last year, J Brand’s parent organization Fast Retailing launched their Jeans Innovation Center at Gardena, Los Angeles. In an interview with WWD Magazine, the brand talked about new practices they’d implemented including use of lasers to create whiskered and vintage effects on denim, replacing the use of toxic chemicals and nano-bubble spray wash that cuts water use. If that’s not scaleable progress, we don’t know what is!

2. The New Eco Wash Process

Did you know that the average number of jeans a woman owns is 7 pairs? I just peeked into my closet and thought of the litres of water it would’ve taken to make the jeans I wear, and boy, I’m not thrilled! Of course, J brand seems to have found a solution for this – and that is their Eco Wash process, a new water recycling system that reduces the percentage of water required to wash denim by an unparalleled average of 90%—  which they claim is more than any competitor in the premium denim market.  Currently, 94% of all the indigo washes from their Spring 2020 collection are made with strict compliance to their eco wash process. Impressive! 

3. Going the Up-cycled Route

J brand has always stood by the narrative that “mindless consumption is officially (and finally!) out of style”. Inspired by the new generation of conscious shoppers, they’re always exploring cutting-edge ways to be a more transparent business. They have global partnerships with companies that help them recycle all their unused fabric scraps into insulation for homes, cars, and mattresses. And divert about 40,000 pounds of fabric a month! They’re also very focused on using recycled materials like recycled cotton, botanical polyesters, and sustainably produced and biodegradable tencel fibers in the production of their jeans! And their hangtags and labels are made of recycled thread and hardware. 

If you want learn more about how other brands are shifting towards more sustainable practices, listen to our podcasts and read up on on our latest article:

Why We’re Betting On Tommy Hilfiger To Steer The Circular Fashion Movement 
Anthony Marino, President, thredUP
Andy Ruben, Founder & CEO, Trove

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