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Friday, October 6, 2017

What Goes Into Making an Earth-Friendly $68 Pair of Jeans

Many industries are quickly ramping up to a green future.  We profiled 3 of them this week on the radio side.  All of them are big and important.

The question we ask to you is will you support these innovators and buy their products?   Even if it means spending more with them?  Our job is to educate and inform...your job is make good buying decisions.

Everlane aims to upend the environmental impact of denim manufacturing.



Denim production is a “dirty business,” says Michael Preysman, chief executive officer of fashion e-tailer Everlane Inc. He’s not wrong. Chances are, those jeans you’re wearing produced 44 pounds of carbon dioxide and took up to 10,000 liters (2,700 gallons) of water to make, much of it ending up in waterways, along with toxic dyes and chemicals deployed in making denim. The desire to do better is why, last month, Everlane embarked on its biggest endeavor to date: an eco-conscious jean. It’s the next step in the brand’s journey of radical transparency.
Everlane’s $68 price tag sits well in the quality green jean market. L.A. brand Reformation’s range of sustainable jeans costs from $118 to $168, Patagonia Inc.’s jeans retail from $99 to $119, Seattle-based Source Denim LLC’s Ethical Raw Jeans for men cost $139, while Swedish brand ReDew, whose jeans will soon be available online, has just debuted jeans in a limited number of U.S. cities, ranging in price from $150 to $195.
As with its bag factories in China, Everlane works hard to find the right factories at the right price, allowing for the disclosures that are going down so well with customers. For those $68 jeans, the “true cost,” according to the brand, is $28, including $7.50 for labor and $12.78 for materials. Everlane’s markup runs from double to triple, compared to an industry standard that ranges from five to six times costs.
T
he LEED-certified Saitex denim factory in Bien Hoa, Vietnam.
Source: Everlane
If Preysman were to start it all again, denim would be Everlane’s second product, after t-shirts, but he says it took him two years to find a manufacturing facility with the right eco credentials. Typically, he says, “factories take advantage of inadequate regulations and dump contaminated water directly into the environment,” with denim manufacturers being particularly egregious offenders. A damning Greenpeace report in 2010 detailed how Xintang, known as the “Jeans Capital of the World,” was polluting surrounding waterways in China’s Guandong Province. “The smell is putrid and unbearable, and any skin contact results in itching and even festering,” said the report (PDF), with accompanying satellite images of dark, disturbing indigo runoff in the Pearl River. “Though villagers once fished and drank water from the river, now they dare do neither of these things and must pay for tap water.”

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