I'm a Sustainable-Fashion Expert, and These 5 Denim Brands Are the Best

Do you follow Andrea Cheong on Instagram or TikTok? If you don't, you should! She has become the trusted and approachable authority in an arena that many find daunting to step into: sustainable fashion. Breaking it down into bite-size pieces of information one can easily digest and use for more sensible shopping tactics in the future, Andrea's Mindful Monday Method is an absolute must-view if you want to be a more conscious consumer of fashion. With her wealth of knowledge and very good taste, it's no wonder we had to knock on her virtual door. Join Andrea each Friday on Who What Wear UK's TikTok channel (@whowhatwear.uk), where she'll be dissecting the latest trends and shopping phenomena. This week, she brings you her edit of the 5 best sustainable denim brands.


(Image credit: @andrea_cheong_)

Andrea wears jeans by Frame

Let’s make this clear: the most sustainable jeans you can get are the ones straight from your wardrobe. The next best thing would be secondhand. Denim has a reputation for being one of the most unsustainable garments. The process uses an astonishing amount of H20—just try to picture 10,000 litres. You probably can’t. So that’s why they say to picture 13 years worth of drinking water for an individual. Then there’s the dyeing of denim, which often involves toxic dyes that pollute waterways. Oh, it doesn’t end there. Often, our favourite wardrobe essential is made with more elastane than "necessary”. While elastane may provide some comfort, it’s not considered a sustainable addition to what would otherwise be a natural fibre because it’s not biodegradable and is derived from fossil fuel production. However, if you're inclined to a little stretch in your jeans, look for up to 2% elastane and opt for recycled options wherever possible.

That’s a lot to get our heads around. But if the thrifting didn’t work out for you and you really do need a new pair of jeans, then here are the five denim brands that are doing their best for the planet.



(Image credit: @andrea_cheong_)

Andrea wears Frame jeans

Frame is already a firm favourite among the fashion crowd but its offering of eco-conscious options is relatively new. It’s really the recent partnership with Candiani that has the true denim obsessives sitting up in their chairs. This is a Milan-based textile mill that’s known for its high quality and leading the way with sustainable innovations, such as creating stretch denim that degrades in just six months. I absolutely love the Oversized Button Detail Denim Pant with exaggerated cuffs. I’d wear this with tube socks and chunky loafers or a black stompy boot.



(Image credit: @andrea_cheong_)

Andrea wears a Boyish denim jumpsuit

LA native Boyish makes absolutely no secret of their claims to sustainability. To its founder Jordan Nodarse, this is a journey, not a destination. And it's a long road where his brand is leading the way. The Ricky jean is a flattering, high waist style that flares at the bottom. A guarantee to optically add an inch or three to your height. And those of you that love the comfort of a little elastane can rest easy knowing this has 1% and it's recycled.

3. E.L.V


(Image credit: @monikh)

Monikh in E.L.V jeans

E.L.V stands for East London Vintage Denim and as the name suggests, it’s all about using upcycling vintage in the name of circular fashion. This "reworked” aesthetic has been on the rise for a long time, dare I say fuelled by the thrift flip phenomena on Depop. So comparatively, E.L.V’s prices do seem a little intense. But as opposed to the brand simply sourcing larger sizes that are actually wearable and don’t need to be reconstructed, it sources old jeans that would have ended up in a landfill.



(Image credit: @joy_monty)

Joy Montgomery in Seventy + Mochi dungarees

A delightful British brand that’s all about circular fashion. Using a range of recycled materials it purports to use absolutely no virgin or non-organic cotton. My preference is the Mabel jeans. Not because they're black and I constantly spill coffee down my legs but because it’s a slouchy yet elongating trouser that manages to make patchwork look chic.



(Image credit: @kellyouhar / BHL / Illya )

Kelly Harrington in a Blackhorse Lane jacket

Remember this name because it is a must know if you love denim. Both a manufacturer (they work with E.L.V denim) and a brand in itself, they sell by weight or according to your textile preference: selvedge, Japanese, Turkish or organic.

What’s selvedge you ask? Only the most premium in the jean world. It’s made on a shuttle loom where the edge is self-finished. It’s considered almost artisanal and those who know, know. You can identify it by the way hems are cuffed to reveal a beautiful seam that looks like a stripe. No overlock necessary.


The sustainable denim brands you need to know. #sustainablefashion #outfitinspo #fashionforyou #learnontiktok

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This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

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