Is Denim "Sustainable"?
So we here at Dzihic believe in sustainable materials for clothing and we have done varies blogs about what we believe is “sustainable fashion” and how it might defer from what others might consider it to be. One reason our definition might be different to others is that we believe in incremental change in an industry. But rather than going into that now, we will do a separate post on that. Instead what we want to focus on right now is whether a specific, well known and well used material is in fact “sustainable. And whether we can use that material within our men’s organic clothing UK range and sustainable women’s clothes range. That material is of course, had you not guessed by the title, denim.
But before we get into whether denim is sustainable and if it will fit into our overarching business policy of offering “affordable ethical clothing UK”. Let’s first look into the history of Denim.
Denim as we know it is relatively new in the materials world. Being the predecessor of a similar material called “dungaree”, denim was popularised within the 1800 hundreds. Being made from cotton, the word “denim” was popularised by Royal Air Force workers who wore one-piece garments made out of a durable cotton yarn. The workers were called “denims” and as the material became used in everyday life through jackets and jeans. The word denim stuck with the material and became synonymous with whatever was made with it.
Denim is a relatively cheap material to produce and although can be made completely out cotton (since it is the base material). Many add in the material spandex (usually around 3%) which adds in an element of stretchiness into the mix. For all those unaware, spandex is a plastic based material so for us it is considered “unsustainable”.
Just like leather, denim fades over time due to the fibres of the material wearing over time. Just like leather as well, some consider this wearing of the material fashionable however many abstain from wearing the same piece of denim to often and in fact will go months without wearing it from time to time.
As we can see from the above, denim is a fantastic material and if we can add in to our men’s organic clothing UK range and organic women’s clothes range, in the form of jackets or jeans. Then we would be very lucky indeed. But first we have to establish whether it is a “sustainable” material. For those that know Dzihic, you know our ethos is sustainable clothes and sustainable clothing and as part of that we try to offer affordable ethical clothing UK. And for us here at Dzihic, sustainable is using materials which are organic, which decompose within an acceptable time. Ideally less than three years. So based on the above criteria, can we consider denim “sustainable”?
As noted, denim is a cotton based material and avoiding mixing it with spandex means it is 100% cotton. Cotton is both organic and decomposes within 12 months depending on the how much there is. But usually when it comes to clothes, it can take up to six months to decompose. Cotton is of course organic because it grows on the cotton plant meaning that if don right, it can be grown sustainable and without any need to manufacturer it artificially. So based on this criteria, denim is sustainable based on what we here at Dzihic consider sustainable.
Because we consider denim sustainable, we are actively working on incorporating it into our men’s organic clothing UK range and our organic women’s clothes range as well. Just like all our clothes, we aim to ensure that everything is affordable ethical clothing UK. Meaning that you look good and save the planet ecologically and morally.
As always, thanks for reading!