Planet Friendly Denim: The 10 Best Sustainable Jeans Brands in the UK for 2022

Planet Friendly Denim: The 10 Best Sustainable Jeans Brands in the UK for 2022

Guy wearing sustainable blue jeans jumping in air

Let’s face it: The fashion industry doesn’t really have the best rap when it comes to environmental sustainability.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of eco-friendly fashion brands trying to change how the game is played.

On the contrary, the sustainable fashion market is thriving like never before!

The same is true when it comes to the denim industry, one of fashion’s biggest polluters.

We have already explored the environmental costs of denim production, have a look at our article Is Denim Sustainable for more information.

With that said, if you’ve been looking for a new pair of eco-friendly jeans to add to your capsule wardrobe, you’re going to need a little help distinguishing the real deal from the greenwashing.

Keep reading to discover our favourite sustainable denim brands using organic cotton, recycled denim, and natural dyes to reduce water waste and landfill pollution.

Girl in best sustainable blue jeans
Photo by alex avendano on Unsplash

What is eco denim?

When we talk about eco-friendly denim and sustainable jeans, we are referring to pieces that are not pre-treated, made from water-saving organic cotton, recycled materials, or made with energy and water-saving technologies.

The Jeans Redesign project has set out guidelines to solve denim’s biggest environmental issues, and while not all brands have made real changes to their manufacturing practices, looking at the project’s members might give you an idea of which companies to support.

The best sustainable jeans for UK fashion lovers

So, what are the best sustainable jeans for UK shoppers?

While not all brands tick all the boxes in the eco-friendly bill, there are many ways to lower the carbon footprint of denim, and just as many ways companies are working to make their jeans more sustainable.

This includes using raw denim and natural dyes, upcycling, manufacturing all products locally, using organic cotton, recycled cotton, recycled water, and plastic-free designs. For more on recycled cotton see here.

We’ve rounded up 10 of the best eco friendly jeans brands available in the UK to make finding a new pair of eco-friendly jeans that much easier.

kailey-sniffin-best sustainable jeans on three ladies
Photo by Kailey Sniffin on Unsplash

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1. Hiut Denim

Pants from Hiut Denim UK

Based: Cardigan, UK. Offers worldwide shipping.

Made in: Wales, UK

Price: £175 – £275

Range: Skinny, Wide Leg, Straight, Tapered

Sustainability creds: Organic cotton and Selvedge cotton, free repairs.

Hiut Denim is a sustainable brand rooted in traditional craftsmanship and community engagement.

The company uses organic cotton and Selvedge denim, the most durable denim on the market, to craft pieces made to last a lifetime. Hiut’s pieces are made with 100% recycled water and rely on Nanobubble technology to dramatically reduce the amount of water used in the washing process.

On top of that, the company is also a strong proponent of the “No Wash” mindset, urging consumers to not wash their jeans for at least 6 months to preserve denim’s durability and save water!

2. E.L.V. Denim

Woman wearing sustainable pants from ELV UK

Based: London, UK. Offers worldwide shipping.

Made in: London, UK

Price: £255 – £850

Range: Boyfriend, Match Flare, Straight Leg

Sustainability creds: Upcycled, eco finish buttons

We can’t talk about sustainable jeans in the UK without mentioning E.L.V Denim.

E.L.V. stands for East London Vintage, and that in itself can tell you everything you need to know about this brand: Fashionable pre-loved denim, made in the heart of London.

The company takes unwanted, second-hand jeans destined for the landfill and turns them into sophisticated quality pieces made to last.

But this zero-waste mindset goes beyond upcycling alone: E.L.V’s pieces are washed in a local laundrette using only 7 litres of water as opposed to the whopping 7,000 litres needed to create a brand-new pair of jeans!

3. G-Star

Pants for men from G-Star UK

Based: Amsterdam, Netherlands. Offers worldwide shipping.

Made in: Bangladesh, China, India

Price: £80 – £125

Range: Boyfriend, Straight Leg, Skinny, Wide Leg, Relaxed

Sustainability creds: Cradle to Cradle fabrics, organic cotton, BCI cotton, part of the Jeans Redesign project.

G-Star is the home of classic raw denim and a proud maker of affordable, sustainable jeans.

The brand has been a long-time pioneer among mainstream denim brands, and as of 2021, 99% of the cotton used is sustainably sourced.

In 2018, G-Star introduced jeans made from “Cradle to Cradle”, Gold Level-certified denim, fully biodegradable thanks to the use of natural dyes and plastic-free fabrics.

It also developed the “world’s cleanest indigo dyeing process”, using no polluting salts and 70% fewer chemicals.

4. Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger sustainable jeans UK

Based: Amsterdam, Netherlands. Offers worldwide shipping.

Made in: China, Vietnam

Price: £70 – £110

Range: Tapered, Relaxed, Skinny

Sustainability creds: Recycled organic cotton, recycled buttons and rivets.

Nothing says classic preppy fashion like a Tommy Hilfiger piece, and their blue jeans are no exception!

Starting with the brand’s Spring 2019 sustainable denim collection, Tommy Hilfiger has made considerable progress on the eco-friendly front, using 100% recycled materials for all their denim products.

Their sustainable collection uses scrap organic cotton from the apparel industry, recycled elastane for stretchy jean designs, thread obtained from recycled PET bottles, and even buttons and rivets made from recycled metal.

By 2030, the brand also aims to go a step further and make all of its products circular.

5. Levi’s

Denim pants from sustainable brand Levi's UK

Based: San Francisco, USA. Offers worldwide shipping.

Made in: India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh

Price: £60 – £120 

Range: Mom jeans, Skinny, Straight Leg, Bootcut

Sustainability creds: Water-saving technology, part of the Jeans Redesign project.

The original creator of denim as we know it, Levi Strauss & Co. has long embraced the use of sustainable materials to reduce denim’s environmental impact.

The company frequently releases new eco-friendly initiatives, and most recently, Levi’s has implemented a stricter water usage policy, using a signature Water<Less™ technology to dramatically reduce the amount of water used during the finishing process.

The brand’s latest campaign, WellThread, is the most sustainable yet: Organic cottonized hemp, Water<Less™ technology, natural dyes, and recyclable thread come together to create durable pieces with as much as 65% less water.

6. Nudie Jeans

Pants from Nudie Jeans UK

Based: Gothenburg, Sweden. Offers worldwide shipping.

Made in: Tunisia, Italy

Price: £105 – £145

Range: Skinny, Straight Leg, Relaxed

Sustainability creds: GOTS-certified cotton

Swedish brand Nudie Jeans is one of the best sustainable jeans companies around, offering denim made from 100% organic cotton, free repairs, and a circular initiative for recycling your pre-loved denim.

The company uses secondhand denim returned to stores to create new products, such as fashionable bucket hats.

In terms of reducing water consumption, the brand is also using Smart Indigo technology to save up to 75% more water during the dying process, using electricity and caustic soda instead of chemicals to dissolve the indigo dye.

7. Outland Denim

Jeans from sustainable brand Outland Denim

Based: Tamborine Mountain, Australia. Offers worldwide shipping.

Made in: Cambodia, Turkey

Price: £155 – £259

Range: Wide Leg, Skinny, Straight Leg

Sustainability creds: 100% organic cotton, plastic-free products.

When it comes to shopping for environmentally friendly jeans, UK fashionistas can definitely feel good supporting this Australian brand!

Outland Denim uses 100% organic materials and no harmful chemicals and pesticides to create beautiful organic cotton jeans, also offering an elastane and plastic-free collection.

On top of that, Outland uses natural, vegetable-based dyes to reduce waterway pollution, and when using synthetic dyes, ensures that they are certified organic.

The company’s commitment to human rights also deserves some praise, as Outland is not only a Living Wage employer but also a generous sponsor of educational and anti-human trafficking programs in Cambodia.

8. Boyish

Lady wearing Boyish sustainable jeans

Based: Los Angeles, USA. Offers worldwide shipping.

Made in: Thailand

Price: $158 – $208

Range: Straight Leg, Skinny, Wide Leg, Tapered

Sustainability creds: BCI and OCS-certified cotton, GRS-certified recycled fabrics, part of the Jeans Redesign project.

LA-based Boyish offers a 100% organic denim collection that is also free from synthetic dyes and bleach.

The brand also uses recycled cotton and sources eco-friendly materials (like Tencel and REFIBRA Lyocell) to create durable and stretchable jeans, cutting down on cotton use even more. 

When it comes to the washing and finishing process, Boyish has mastered the art of making every single step count: Vapor water is used to save water and energy, and the brand’s faux stone washing process allows water to be recycled, all while maintaining the classic weathered look we all love!

As a member of the Jeans Redesign project, Boyish also ensures that every scrap of fabric is recycled and that all buttons and rivets are made from recycled metal too. 

9. Everlane

Sustainable jeans from Everlane UK

Based: San Francisco, USA. Offers worldwide shipping.

Made in: Vietnam

Price: £75 – £94

Range: Skinny, Straight Leg, Relaxed

Sustainability creds: Organic cotton, energy and water-saving manufacturing.

Everlane is one of the most transparent fashion brands around, offering ethical products designed to last and free of the usual “sustainable” markup.

The brand’s newest Clean Denim collection features jeans made with 98% organic cotton and Roica® V550 yarn, the first stretch yarn made without polluting and harmful chemicals.

On top of that, Everlane denim is made at Saitex, one of the world’s cleanest factories powered by renewable energy, where water is recycled and all byproducts repurposed.

The company’s jeans collection is also free from microplastic-laden dyes!

10. Kuyichi

Denim jeans from Kuyichi UK

Based: Utrecht, Netherlands. Offers worldwide shipping.

Made in: Turkey

Price: €100 – €120

Range: Straight Leg, Tapered, Skinny

Sustainability creds: GOTS-certified cotton, recycled fibres.

Kuyichi was the world’s first organic denim brand in 2001, and 20 years down the line, the brand’s jeans collection is as sustainable and fashionable as ever.

Kuyichi uses 100% GOTS-certified cotton, natural dyes, recycled denim, recycled PET, and even recycled polyester sewing threads to create durable pieces that defy passing trends and aim for sustainable longevity. 

The company’s collection is also vegan-friendly, as the classic leather patch you can find on the back of a pair of jeans is replaced with jacron, a resilient material made with recycled paper.

Supporting sustainable fashion, one pair of jeans at the time

From fully eco-conscious brands to classic companies releasing more sustainable collections, there are plenty of places where you can get the best sustainable jeans, UK included!

Are you ready to find your next favourite pair of jeans?

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