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7 Sustainable Denim Shorts to Shop in 2022

These sustainable shorts are eco-friendly, ethically made, and ready to be worn all season long. Here are our top picks.

Written by
Giulia Lallas

Sustainable shorts are a must-have during the warmer months. They're easy to style, breathable, and cute. So why not start finding some you love in preparation for summer?

While sustainable shorts can sometimes be an investment, it's worth paying a little more upfront. In short (get it?), you're putting your dollars toward something that's higher quality, longer-lasting, and made with the planet—and people—in mind. For instance, aside from using water-reducing technology, Outland Denim also employs women who have experienced sex trafficking. Yep, worth every cent.

Aside from buying new shorts, you can also make your own by upcycling an old pair of jeans. Simply cut off as much as you want, and voilà—you'll have a pair that fits you exactly how you want it to. Painting on or embroidering your denim is pretty darn cool, too. But for now, check out these beauties.

7 Cute and Comfy Sustainable Shorts

Cute, cozy, and affordable sustainable shorts? You can't go wrong with this pair from Oliver Logan. It's made from yarn sourced from the Better Cotton Initiative and features a relaxed fit and raw hem that gives you a casual, carefree vibe.

By focusing on ethically- and sustainably-made denim, the Los Angeles-based brand has been able to save 7 million days worth of drinking water, avoid 31,000 miles of driving emissions, and save 12 million hours of bulb energy. The items are also made from reclaimed fibers sourced from textile waste and produced in factories commited to creating a cleaner fashion industry.

These denim shorts were handmade in Mexico and are made from cotton and lyocell. With subtle paint splatter details and a medium vintage-inspired wash, you get a cool-casual look that's perfect for weekends.

Able is a fashion-forward brand that publishes all its employee wages. The company uses recycled packaging, ethically-sourced leather, and sustainable fabrics like GOTS certified cotton.

If you like your shorts not too short but not too long, this option is a great in-between. The organic blend is both comfortable and eco-friendly. They're also moisture-wicking, making them great for going about your daily activities—hikes, included.

Toad & Co works in partnership with Bluesign, OIA Sustainability Working Group, the Higg Index, and more. The company proudly stays away from restricted substances and uses eco-friendly materials like hemp and recycled fabrics.

This pair of shorts was refined with elevated details, including quarter cross pockets. It also has a unique elasticicated wasteband that makes them extra comfy for all-day wear.

They're made with organic cotton, 100% traceable denim, and zero harmful chemical. They're also produced in facities based in Cambodia that are designed to create a cycle of empowerment in vulnerable communities.

This pair of high-rise pleated shorts comes with a belt detail and a wide, relaxed leg for a more elevated fit that the brand says "works for work, play, and everything in between."

By being made with recycled cotton opposed to traditional cotton, it saved 564 days worth of drinking water, avoided 5.7 miles of emissions, and diverted 0.1 pounds of waste from landfills.

These shorts come with a removable waist belt and are made from organic, GOTS certified cotton and elastane. They also come in multiple colors and patterns—from camel-colored to polka dots—making it easy to find a pair that fits your personal style.

Sézane has a jeans recycling program and prides itself on the fact that 3/4 of all materials are eco-friendly (many of which hold reputable eco-certifications). Also, 100% of the brand's locations rely on renewable energy sources.

DL1961 uses eco-friendly materials in all its pieces, including these mid-rise shorts that are made from certified cotton and clean dyes through the brand's vertical supply chain.

The company also strictly follows International Social and Environmental & Quality Standards and makes its clothing through a waterless process that features ozone technology and lasers.