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Waterless Fashion

Humans undeniably have a murky relationship with water. We rely on water to cook, clean, and produce everything from our homes to the contents inside. It is easy to feel like you are sinking when trying to reduce your water consumption. As soon as you get used to turning the tap off when you brush your teeth, another tidal wave of campaigns flood your feed. For example, recent statistics postulate that the fashion industry consumes 32 million Olympic swimming pools worth of water per year. In a world where water scarcity is becoming more extreme, any measures to reduce water consumption and/or the pollution of water are undeniably important.

From the moment humans are born we are dependent on water. Likewise, the invaluable resource is involved in every stage of the life cycle of your favourite jeans. From the whole cotton production cycle, to the fabrication of the jeans, to the global population washing their jeans on average after two uses. However, you do not need to drown in guilt when deciding whether to replace your ripped jeans that were bought 3 Summers ago as many companies are taking the plunge to transform their relationship with water.

Boyish Jeans keep sustainability running through every weave of their fabric. The company utilise non-toxic dyes and gentle processes to not only reduce the toxins you wear on your skin, but also to reduce the chemicals in the unavoidable wastewater. Their products are vegan, organic, and recycled, all while ensuring good enough quality to make the all-natural jeans durable while fashionable. While the jeans are made in a manner that reduces water consumption and pollution, Boyish jeans also promote ethical washing such as washing your jeans in cold water and less frequently to reduce water consumption following your purchase.

Explore the full collection here.

Similarly, Nudie Jeans are working hard to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in the production process. This is through regulating the suppliers used and ensuring approved wastewater systems. Additionally, by providing free repairs of every product, in 2020 they prolonged the life of 45,900 pairs of jeans; an amount that would demand 130 Olympic swimming pools of water.

Explore the full collection here.

An alternative to the practices discussed above is the method adopted by E.L.V Denim. Every product is upcycled from post-consumer waste denim. According to their website, making a new pair of jeans uses 10,000 litres of water, yet E.L.V Denim jeans only takes 7 litres of water to wash the denim waste. This innovative zero-waste practice is undeniably revolutionary.

Explore the full collection here.

Ultimately, such small differences in our consumption habits can feel like a drop in the increasingly polluted ocean. However, it is important to keep making conscious choices to support brands who are actively trying to reduce their water consumption. 

It’s the little things that make big things happen.

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About the Author

Amie Williams, Environmental sustainability and climate change specialist

Amie Williams, Environmental sustainability and climate change specialist

Amie has worked with companies and NGOs globally to improve their relationship with their surrounding environment. From wildlife conservation in South Africa, to waste management in Fiji she has discovered that in order to save the environment, you have to educate the people.

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