I wouldn’t consider myself a denim head by any stretch of the imagination, but I do appreciate a well-constructed pair of jeans. It’s been gratifying to see the heritage movement in men’s apparel birthing (or re-birthing) brands across the U.S. and also bringing small-batch clothing manufacturing back into the spotlight. Brands like Levi’s has found a renewed popularity, and other labels such as 3sixteen, Tellason, Imogene + Willie and many others have made it big on the denim scene.
Going back to the basics has been a huge part of what has made these brands successful, but it’s nice to also see innovation happening in the space. Levi’s, for example, has introduced “Water<Less” denim, which uses 96% less water in the finishing process, saving a total of 172 million liters thus far. Dawn Ellams, a textiles PhD, has taken this one step further with her introduction of “wooden” denim made from the pulp of eucalyptus trees. As Springwise explains, “the traditional method for making one pair of jeans out of cotton requires around 42 liters of water and uses a number of harmful dying chemicals,” whereas Ellams’ new denim can be created with roughly one-fifth of the resources required for a cotton pair and can be colored or given different watches via digital printing. The process is new and still too expensive for mass production, but it should be very interesting to follow as the technology is further developed and refined!