There isn’t an exact equation that generically calculates the sustainability of an item. A rough definition says that a sustainable business operates on a triple bottom line, with profit, ethics and environmental considerations all sharing equal importance.
At The Fableists, we also think that how an item will be used and discarded are a really important factor in its sustainability. That’s why we aim to make most of our clothes so that they can be worn by both boys and girls, year round, and they won’t go out of style. They are made to be worn a lot and to be passed on. When there is no life left in them, we will take them back and make something new out of them.
Buying denim that is made as sustainably as possible is a great place to start when thinking about sustainable fashion. First of all, pretty much everyone wears denim. Jeans are so versatile and so well-loved. But mass produced jeans have a sizeable environmental footprint. It has been calculated that the amount of water used to make just one pair of basic jeans is 42 litres. Some experts calculate the amount to be much higher and Levi Strauss & Co.’s research shows that the average pair of jeans will consume about 4,000 litres of water in its lifetime. This numbers covers the cotton growing all the way through the washing.
It’s no secret that cotton requires huge amounts of water to grow. That is why we choose to get our cotton from farmers who work in monsoon-fed regions of India, where tonnes of rainwater is harvested to water the crops.
Another factor that makes jeans not quite so cool, is the huge amounts of toxic chemicals used to grow non-organic cotton but also to dye the fabric. Once the denim has been dyed, a lot of fast fashion brands then subject it to a series of toxic chemical baths in order to achieve the desired finish or rinse on the jeans. Chemicals used to produce artificial finish on denim include chemicals such as cadmium, lead, copper and mercury. To achieve a worn look, sandblasting is often use, which can cause tuberculosis or silicosis in workers. ‘Stone washed’ jeans are weathered using volcanic pumice stones, which break down and the pumice dust can enter the local water supply.
At The Fableists, our jeans are thick so that they’ll last and don’t need repeated washings. They are dark because they haven’t been treated by toxic chemicals. They have neat stitching and no fake wear marks. We’re sure your kids will be terrific at putting those wear marks in themselves.
The Fableists’ denim is made just for us. The cotton is certified organic by GOTS, so it is not grown with loads of poisonous insecticides. We work with a collective of small holding or marginal farmers who, by working together, have been able to negotiate fair prices for their crops, making farming sustainable in their region. The collective have also educated the individual farmers on water wastage, storage and efficient organic farming methods. The factories we use also employ a closed loop system for their dying so that dye won’t seep in to the surrounding ecosystem. Our factories use a reverse osmosis system to purify the water so that it can be re-used. The majority of the process water is recycled. Our dye house also uses rice husk, a waste product from the processing of rice, to generate steam. They do not burn fossil fuels.
The Fableists recommends reducing the amount you wash your denim items. This can be tricky with kids but stains and marks can often be spot cleaned with a cloth and some soapy water. If odours develop, try putting jeans in the freezer, which kills the bacteria that cause the odour, or hang them in the bathroom while you have a shower. The steam will take out wrinkles and odours.
Obviously, kids can be tough on their clothes and when they’ve been crawling through mud and grime, there is nothing to be done but put them in the washer. When the clothes have reached their limits, then be sure to wash in cold water and hang dry.
If a hole develops in the jeans, they can be patched, or cut down in to shorts. Don’t just throw them away! Send them back to us and we’ll give you a discount off your next purchase.
We know you’ll love our jeans. They are cut extra-long to leave room for your little punk to grow in to them. They look just as great with a big turn up! They look cool on girls and boys and are adorable on the littler ones. They also feature an elasticated inner belt on the waist to cinch up and let out as required.