Jeans for People Who Care, By People Who Care
Jeans are everyone’s favorite wardrobe staple. As they should be! You can wear them anywhere and everywhere. Wear them to the beach, to brunch, to a fancy dinner. Jeans give off a no-bullshit attitude that’s just plain cool.
That’s how jeans should be. Straightforward and easy.
Then why is shopping for them such an emotionally fraught experience?? I know you know what I’m talking about. Maybe you find a pair that fit in the waist but have no room for your butt. Or they’re about a foot too long, or too short. Even when you find a pair that fit you perfectly, there’s no guarantee their other styles will fit you well. In fact, you can probably bet they won’t. I don’t know why this is. Don’t they have fit models? We’re living in the future man, shouldn’t there be some cool robot algorithm technology thingy by now that can just make this work already?
**Sigh** Shopping for jeans is a total drag.
While I’ve always dreaded buying jeans, it wasn’t until recently I learned a whole other reason to resist them. Their environmental and human impact.
Conventional cotton is one of the most chemically intensive crops in the world. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in the year 2000, 84 million pounds of pesticides were applied to the nation’s 14.4 million acres of cotton. To make it worse 7 of the 15 pesticides most commonly used are linked to cancer.
These chemicals don’t just stay on the plants either. They run into our waterways, make it into our cattle feed, and maybe worst of all into the air. It’s common for these toxins to drift in the air across neighborhoods and schools as crop dusters spray the fields. Which, of course, makes people sick. The people of the coastal region of North Carolina call this sickness “the cotton flu”. Their asthma attacks, headaches, and fatigue may only last about a week at a time, but what is it doing to them in the long run?
I could go on and on about the horrors of conventionally grown cotton (and in fact have, at the bottom of this page), but I gotta keep this blog short. Let’s move on to the manufacturing of jeans.
According to a report by The Guardian 90% of jeans are made in China. China is known to have some the most lax safety and working standards in the world. In 2009 approximately 1 million workers were injured while working and 20,000 suffered from diseases linked to their work. Chinese workers face poor working conditions, little pay, and forced overtime.
So much pain and suffering for one measly pair of jeans.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can do better and it’s actually pretty easy. Buy organic jeans made by a company that respects their workers. Boom. Done. With that one behavior change, you’re creating a ripple of effect of goodness.
I’ve tried on a few different organic jeans over the last year and my favorite brand by far is Monkee Genes.
Their organic flex jeans are the perfect blend of sturdy and stretch. As a director, I require a lot from my jeans. In an average day on set I squat, kneel, break out in motivational dances (it’s true, ask my actors), lay on the ground...you get the picture. I don’t have time to worry about my clothes, I just need them to do the job.
As an eco-fashionista I have a whole other set of standards. They need to be made well, make my butt look good, and take me from running errands to a red carpet. Somehow Monkee Genes fufills both those roles.
The best thing about them though is their ethos. Just as it says on their labels they’re committed to 5 things.
- NO SLAVES
- NO CHILD LABOR
- NO BLOOD
- NO SWEAT
- NO TEARS
Simple. Easy. And just plain cool. Just the way jeans are meant to be.