In a world where fast fashion dominates the market and many people are more concerned with buying pieces that are trendy now and can be disposed of later, it is refreshing to see big brands moving towards a green initiative. J.Crew and Madewell have announced their launch of a line of Fair Trade Certified™ denim. Fair Trade Certified™ is an organization that sets ethical standards for various companies, concerning every step of the process from safe working conditions for employees to protecting the environment.
J.Crew is launching 18 styles of their new “eco-denim”, as Refinery29 calls it, and Madewell is launching 16 styles, both in their men’s and women’s collections. These new pieces will cost between $60 and $128, so they will still fall within both brands’ existing price ranges for jeans. Both brands already have existing eco-friendly collections, but denim will be a new addition.
The new denim, as well as the preexisting eco-friendly collections by J.Crew and Madewell, are created in partnership with Saitex factory and Candianai mill, according to Refinery29, which creates no waste, or “zero-discharge”, in the production process. These facilities are responsible for reducing their energy consumption by 13 million kilowatts per year. As if that wasn’t enough, they also build homes for the needy in their community.
Saitex factory and Candianai mill have already been working with the company Everlane to create sustainable clothing. However, J.Crew and Madewell are much bigger and more complex brands to convert to more ethical practices. Nevertheless, they are forging on and blazing a path for more big name companies to follow.
As much as we all love of-the-moment clothes, we must also take into consideration the damage fast fashion is causing to the environment and the unnecessary waste it produces. There has to be an in between. Luckily, J.Crew and Madewell have taken the first steps that hopefully spark a revolution of sustainability in the fashion industry.