Here’s a sobering statistic: it takes 2/3 pound of pesticides to produce enough conventional cotton to make one pair of jeans. Apply that fact to the over 450 million pairs of jeans that are sold in the US every year, and well, you get a few more zeros and a much more sobering statistic
That’s why, six years ago, Nudie Jeans—our new Nau Collective partner— set a goal: to make their entire line of premium, high-quality denim using only 100% organic cotton by 2012. It was an ambitious goal. Entire supply chains have to be reevaluated, new fabrics developed, and old business practices reexamined.
We get it. We make these decisions every day. But for the Swedish-based company, they had to rethink everything—from design to manufacturing—in order to create premium, well-fitting denim that wouldn’t compromise their style or ethics.
Here’s what Maria Erixon Levin, Nudie Jean’s Founder, had to say about the company’s journey to organic:
“Sure, it has taken time, but we have maintained the courage of our convictions during a period that has seen a number of eco-trends come and go. For us, this is a question of lifestyle, and one of our core values. Since starting up back in 2001, we have remained focused on issues around sustainability and the environment regardless of the demands of the market or our customers, in a time when price has been a key factor. Prices have often been so low that quality, as well as organic and CSR-aware production have been sacrificed as a result.
We have chosen to work with organic cotton regardless of the trends of the day. We are often asked if our values are a marketing tool, or something requested by our customers. The answer is no. It’s a choice we make in the boardroom, and a choice we make during product development. We believe our commitment to organic production should be part of our pricing and quality profile.
In 2006, we invited all our material suppliers and laundry operators to join us in a discussion on sustainable development in the industry. And today, we are especially proud to say we offer 100% organic cotton across our entire range of rigid, stretch and selvage denim. This is a vital stage in the evolution of the Nudie Jeans philosophy. We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been with us along the way.”
This season, we’re proud to partner with Nudie Jeans to bring you their first collection of premium denim crafted entirely from fine Italian and Turkish organic cotton. Clean, minimalist construction, classic European style, and none of the bad stuff.
Words by Leighann Franson.