If there’s one thing you every planet-friendly closet needs, it’s a great pair of sustainable jeans. Not only is choosing a pair made with high-quality materials better for the planet, but it will also be around much longer than anything you’ll find from a fast fashion retailer.
When you’re shopping for sustainable jeans, there are a few factors to keep in mind. First, looking for certifications like Fair Trade Certified, OEKO-TEX, and GOTS certified cotton can tell you a lot about the product and the company. Also pay attention to the company’s manufacturing process. (Some even share the water footprint of each pair of jeans!)
Instead of buying new, you can also shop for jeans from a thrift store in-person or online. (There are plenty of options available on platforms like ThredUP and Depop.) But the next time you’re in the market for a new pair, here are some options to get you started—many of which are under $100.
8 Sustainable Jeans in Every Style
1. Boden Girlfriend Jeans, $98
Between the high waist, stretchy fabric, and relaxed fit, this is a pair of jeans you truly won’t want to take off. (Take that, work-from-home sweats!) Right now, 60% of Boden’s cotton comes from sustainable sources. By 2023, the goal is for that to be 100%.
2. prAna Kayla Mid-Rise Jeans, $67
Not into high-rise? This mid-rise option is a great pick. It’s made with an organic cotton and spandex blend that adds a nice amount of stretch. Prana is also a cruelty-free, Fair Trade certified business that works with Bluesign to reduce the number of harmful chemicals that end up in the oceans and air.
Yep, you can find Fair Trade Certified clothing right at Target. Part of that includes denim made from sustainably sourced cotton and recycled polyester. There are numerous styles and colors to choose from.
4. Warp + Weft High-Rise Jeans, $88
Warp + Weft minimizes the amount of water used to make its jeans, using just 10 gallons per pair compared to the typical 1,500 gallons used on conventional jeans. There’s also a wide array of jeans sizes, ranging from plus size to petite to maternity.
5. ABLE The Whitney Boyfriend Jeans, $85
This loose-fitting boyfriend jean features buttery-soft denim made from a cotton and Lyocell blend. They’re also handcrafted in Mexico. What really makes ABLE stand out is that it publishes employee wage details on its website to ensure everyone is being paid and treated fairly.
Walmart launched its Free Assembly fashion line last year, and the company says the denim is made in LEED and Fair Trade Certified facilities with mostly organic cotton. While more transparency is still needed, it’s a much better option than traditional jeans at this price point.
Levi’s WellThread collection uses recycled denim and is made with techniques that reduce water waste. This ’90s-style pair features a high-rise waist and loose fit that looks great with a front-tucked sweater and pair of sneakers.
8. DL19961 Hepburn Wide Leg Jeans, $209
Skinny jeans are great… but once you put on these wide-leg options, you’re sure to fall in love. While this pair is the priciest of the bunch, it’s worth every cent. The certified cotton denim has the perfect amount of stretch, and the color comes from clean dyes.
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