Denim shorts are a must-have during the warmer months. They’re easy to style, breathable, and cute. So why not start finding some sustainable shorts 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
1. Able The Guadalupe Cutoff, $68
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. These denim shorts were handmade in Mexico and are made from cotton and lyocell.
2. Toad & Co Sequoia Short, $70
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. It also carries vegan products. These pants are made from organic cotton, polyester, and elastane, making them stretchy and comfortable enough for lockdown walks.
3. Boden Abingdon Chino Shorts, $80
Boden makes clothing designed to last. It also highlights its employees and empowers working women. The company uses recycled packaging and has partnerships with the Better Cotton Initiative and the Responsible Sourcing Network. These shorts are made from cotton and elastane.
4. Outland Denim Chambray Short, $95
Outland Denim values justice and fair pay, and it was founded to employ women who have experienced sex trafficking. It also actively works to limit its water, energy, and chemical use. These shorts are made from 100 percent organic cotton, making them 100 percent vegan. They were produced using energy-, chemical-, and water-reducing technology.
5. Marine Layer Sasha Denim Short, $98
Marine Layer is very transparent in its third-party audits, gaining certifications like WRAP and BSCI grades. The company uses tote bags to avoid waste and has donation boxes for old clothes. It also has a new vintage shop. These high-waisted shorts are made from 100 percent cotton.
6. Sézane Rome Shorts, $125
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 percent of the brand’s locations rely on renewable energy sources. These stylish shorts come with a removable waist belt and are made from organic, GOTS certified cotton and elastane.
7. DL1961 Karlie Boyfriend Short, $129
This pair is the priciest on the list, but it’s worth the investment. DL1961 uses eco-friendly materials in all its pieces. The company also strictly follows International Social and Environmental & Quality Standards. Additionally, the brand makes its clothing through a waterless process that features ozone technology and lasers. These mid-rise shorts are made from certified cotton through the brand’s vertical supply chain.
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